Cambridge International AS/ A Level in THINKING SKILLS (9694)


CCTS Private Tutoring:

If you are interested in taking the exam as a Private Candidate, we offer private tutoring following the syllabus 9694.

Registering as a Private External Candidate

You can register as a Private Candidate at Hills Road Sixth Form College, in Cambridge. More information t can be found here:

Hills Road Sixth Form College Examinations Office

Cambridge International Examinations is now offering a qualification in Thinking Skills for AS and A levels which is part of the Cambridge Advanced Qualificatons.

Assessments are primarily designed for students who are studying at schools registered with Cambridge. It is recognised, however, that there are students who may not attend Cambridge schools but who may wish to enter for assessments; such individuals are referred to as private candidates. What this means is that if your local school is not offering this qualification, students can apply to do the exam as a private candidate. Private candidates need to approach a Cambridge based registered school and ask them to provide the exam.

You can find a list of Cambridge registered schools in your country here.

Entry for assessments can only be made through a registered Cambridge school. It is the responsibility of private candidates to make their own arrangements with a school. The school name will not appear on certificates issued to private candidates.

You can see the contents of the syllabus here: SYLLABUS OVERVIEW or the summary offered in this page below.

Paper 1: Problem Solving (PS) Paper 2: Critical Thinking (CT)
  • PS1 Extract relevant data
  • PS2 Process data
  • PS3 Find procedures for solving problems
  • PS4 Search for solutions
  • PS5 Identify similar data
  • PS6 Suggest hypotheses for variations
  • PS7 Use spatial reasoning
  • PS8 Identify necessary and sufficient data
  • PS9 Work with appropriate models
  • PS10 Make choices and decisions
  • CT1 Recognising Reasoned Arguments
  • CT2 Identifying Conclusions
  • CT3 Drawing Conclusions
  • CT4 Recognising Implicit Assumptions
  • CT5 Assessing the Impact of Further Evidence or Information
  • CT6 Recognising Flaws in Reasoning
  • CT7 Recognising Plausible Explanations
  • CT8 Recognising the Logical Functions of Key Elements
  • CT9 Understanding and Clarifying Key Terms and Expressions
  • CT10 Inference and Deduction
  • CT11 Analysis and Evaluation
  • CT12 Further argument
Paper 3: Problem Analysis and Solutions (PS advanced) Paper 4: Applied Reasoning (CT advanced)


PS11: Developing a Model

Modelling requires the candidate to develop a set of equations, a table or some other set of data which represents the mathematics of a real situation.


PS12: Analysing complex data and drawing conclusions

Analysis requires candidates to combine raw data in appropriate ways so they are able to draw conclusions. The data may be presented as words, tables and/or graphs. The candidates are expected to:

  • select the pieces of data which are relevant to the questions asked
  • look for patterns in the data
  • analyse the data mathematically to lead to the conclusions required.


Paper 3 requires some knowledge of:

  • numerical probability (e.g. the throws of a die), including the combination of independent and nonindependent events
  • expressing problems as linear algebraic equations and the solution of these equations
  • expressing problems as a pair of simultaneous equations with integral coefficients and the solution of these equations
  • use and manipulation of integer powers
  • the use of tree and decision diagrams
  • the calculation and use of mode, mean and median of sets of data
  • the use of Venn and Carroll diagrams for solution of categorisation problems


CT13: Construction of a Reasoned Case

CT13 may be regarded as a deepening and formalizing of the skill of further argument (CT12).

Constructing a reasoned case consists of the following sub-skills.

  • Selecting relevant material from a range of documents.
  • Combining information or opinion from different kinds of sources through critical evaluation, comparison and inference.
  • Proposing a clear conclusion or recommendation.
  • Justifying the conclusion or recommendation with sound reasoning.
  • Identifying and responding effectively to counter-positions (objections to own argument).

CT14: Interpretation of Statistics

Candidates should be able to analyse and evaluate the use of statistics in supporting a particular claim.

Understand what they might reasonably infer from a given set of statistics.

Familiar with the meaning of the following terms which may be used in conjunction with statistics:

  • correlation,
  • causation,
  • likely,
  • unlikely,
  • inference,
  • prediction,
  • error,
  • uncertainty,
  • risk,
  • sample,
  • population,
  • distribution,
  • outlier

Be familiar with graph shapes (e.g. graphs of exponential growth/decay and the bell curve) and how a visual representation may be misleading yet technically accurate (e.g. truncated scales or logarithmic scales).

Not required to understand the meaning of ‘statistical significance’ nor are they required to have any knowledge of statistics formulae.