Critical thinking skills are essential to learning. Self-questioning is one way to build critical thinking skills. Thinking and learning are not driven by answers, but by questions. Knowledge grows through questions.

A common problem in learning is the illusion of knowing. This is when you overestimate your level of knowledge on a specific topic.

It is vital as you study course material that you constantly ask yourself questions that will probe and extend your understanding. It also helps you prepare for exams as you predict the types of questions a professor will ask about the material.

For Recall

  • what
  • when
  • where
  • who
  • which
  • how many

For Understanding

  • why
  • how
  • what for
  • what are the similarities/differences
  • what links ___ and _____
  • which part
  • what is an example
  • how does this connect to what I know

For Application

  • what if
  • how else
  • what are the consequences of
  • how might this appear in a patient
  • is there another way
  • what if ______ were changed
  • what other factors
  • under what conditions
  • how does _____ affect