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Building Thinking Skills

A Test Prep Program for the CogAT, OLSAT, InView, and standardized tests.

This engaging series develops critical thinking skills necessary for success in reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and standardized tests in Grades 2-12+. The Building Thinking Skills® series is the bestselling thinking skills program in the world! The engaging, highly-effective activities are developmentally sequenced. Each skill (for example, classifying) is presented first in the semi-concrete figural-spatial form. Students also learn important academic vocabulary, concepts, and skills as they analyze relationships between objects, between words, and between objects and words by:

  • Observing, recognizing, and describing characteristics
  • Distinguishing similarities and differences
  • Identifying and completing sequences, classifications, and analogies

These processes help students develop superior thinking and communication skills that lead to deeper content learning in all subjects. Activities are modeled to reinforce skills and concepts.

Level 3 for grades 7-12+ is split into two books: one for Figural Similarities, Sequences, and Classifications; and one for Verbal Similarities, Sequences, and Classifications.

These workbooks are reproducible for classroom and individual use! Answer key included.
200-400+ pages depending on grade level. Copyright 2006-2008.



  • 2014 Practical Homeschooling Reader Awards™ – 3rd Place, Logic Category
  • 2015 Practical Homeschooling Reader Awards™ – 2nd Place, Logic Category
  • Cathy Duffy 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum
  • Cathy Duffy Top 100 Award
  • Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence Award
  • Dr. Toy 100 Best Children’s Products
  • Learning® Magazine Teachers’ Choice Awards
  • Mensa Recommended Materials for the Gifted
  • Parent Tested, Parent Approved Winner’s Seal
  • Practical Homeschooling Magazine 2nd Place Reader Award
  • The Old Schoolhouse Magazine 1st Place 2012 Excellence in Education Award
  • The Well-Trained Mind Recommended Resource for Logic and Critical Thinking



Building Thinking Skills
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A Test Prep Program for the CogAT, OLSAT, InView, and standardized tests.

“Students who are still acquiring English face a lack of background knowledge in English and the skills necessary to process the new information. Building Thinking Skills® has helped me meet both these challenges, and I have test scores and happy faces to back this up.” – Britta, ESL Dept., Tucson, AZ

“When my students took the Stanford Achievement Test, they scored well above grade level in everything except thinking skills. I heard about Building Thinking Skills® from a friend.…After working with it just one year, they maxed out the thinking section of the test at the 99th percentile.” – Mary, New Market, MD

“My 8th-grade granddaughter finished both Building Thinking Skills® [Level 3 books] before taking the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. She scored post-high school–in fact she was ‘off the charts!’” – Eleanor, Atlanta, GA

“Our students had taken the Woodcock-Johnson test, then they did the Building Thinking Skills®. Post BTS, the kids were tested again and had tremendous achievement in their scores. Their language scores improved by three years, and they averaged more than a year’s growth in all other areas.” – Sharon, Rathdrum, ID

“As I was working on the activities with my children, I really had only one question: ‘Where was Building Thinking Skills® when we were kids?’” – Elizabeth, Springfield, MO

“Don’t miss out on these books. Each book has…a wide variety of fun and educational activities than can significantly improve a child’s ability to think about problems rather than just mechanically apply a few memorized techniques. Because they contain such a large number of verbal and figural exercises, these books are a bargain. If you purchase just one supplementary book this year, this is the one to get.” – Peggy Zorn, Harvest Home Educators Newsletter, Bedford, GA

“If you’re a parent who doesn’t have this book, you need to get it. My daughters love to do Building Thinking Skills®, even my daughter who doesn’t like to think. She took the Stanford Achievement Test recently and made a nearly perfect score on the thinking section, which was a great improvement.” – Elizabeth, Montgomery, AL

“I have two children with dyslexia who have both done fine academically, and we owe a good part of that success to the work they’ve put in throughout the years with Building Thinking Skills®.” – Paula Scholtz, Braintree Education Center, TX

“My daughter is very bright and has a neurological learning disability. Her performance IQ may often be considerably below her potential or verbal IQ. Building Thinking Skills’® perfectly sequenced cognitive exercises are exactly what she needs to help build the neural pathways around the ‘white-matter damage,’ literally bypassing her disabilities so that she can perform up to her actual IQ. The series has helped both of us to take the frustration out of learning.” – Dr. Heather Henderson, Eugene, OR

The Building Thinking Skills® series is probably the most basic, comprehensive resource for thinking skills at all levels.” – Cathy Duffy, Christian Home Educators’ Curriculum Manual, Greensboro, NC

“The #1 selling thinking skills program in the world and I can see why! These authors have written one of the most effective books for teaching/learning thinking skills.” – Merrilee Defoe, Reviewer

“I have twins who have always done above-average work but have never tested anywhere near the top. We did an intensive study of Building Thinking Skills® in the weeks before they tested. To my surprise, their scores were in the 98th and 99th percentile across the board. I failed to give them practice the next time around and their scores went down. Now they’re back at the top again and I know that Building Thinking Skills was what helped them.” – Sharon, Forestville, MD

“We did a limited experiment to see if Building Thinking Skills® would help students perform better on standardized and state tests. The improvement was remarkable. Test scores went up even after the first few months. I’m totally sold on the program.” – Joel, Principal, Marshville, NC

“I love this book!! Sylvan Leaning Center uses it. That should be enough of a testimony right there.” – Parent, via the Internet

“Having taught thousands of students how to prepare and ace the SAT and PSAT tests, I know curriculum like Critical Thinking is an essential for every student who wants to achieve success.” – Jean Burk,

“The school flyer on OLSAT test claimed we can’t prepare our children for the test. My child didn’t score high enough on the OLSAT the first year he tried, so couldn’t get in the GATE program. When I found out about your Building Thinking Skills® series, I got them and started several pages everyday over the summer. We briefly reviewed it right before the test, and he scored 98th percentile, making into the GATE program! Now I tell other parents, contrary to the flyer, we CAN prepare our children for the OLSAT test. Thank you!!!” – Jean L., California


Building Thinking Skills® includes reading, writing, figural-spatial, logic, and math-related activities to prepare students for high levels of success on a wide variety of standardized achievement tests, including: