World’s Largest study in Critical Thinking

UK education technology startup Macat, in collaboration with Cambridge University are conducting the world’s largest ever study on Critical Thinking in education and the workforce.

World's Largest Study on Critical Thinking

While the research is being done by the Cambridge School of Education, the survey is being funded and administered by Macat, a UK edtech startup founded in 2011. In November 2015, Macat announced $30 million in total financing that will enable the company to expand the reach of its content and scale its digital platform globally. In this round, which has three closings, the company is adding $10 million in equity to a previously raised, undisclosed round of $20 million from a group of angel investors.

According to Macat’s CEO, Hassan Abdou:

“We believe critical thinking is a core twenty-first century skill that is crucial for all societies to ask meaningful questions, act rationally and work efficiently. There is a growing gap between what industry needs in terms of critical thinking and what graduates arriving in the workplace have to offer. Strong critical thinking skills are necessary to help us make good decisions, solve complex problems and think creatively. Macat is committed to help bridge this gap by cultivating critical thinking skills and making the world’s greatest ideas accessible to anyone.”

Macat believes education is a right and not a privilege. The education company works with leading academics to create rigorous, accessible analyses of seminal texts to help develop critical thinking skills, which are essential for every society and economy.

Accessible to everyone, however, comes at a price:
$10-30 / month

Macat Payment Plan.png

It was only after much more digging into their website that I found further clarification into their pricing policy.

Any registered member can get free access to the first layer of their analyses which includes The Big Idea, their introduction videos, key points and citations of book analyses.

Those who upgrade to a Premium membership will get the following:

In addition to the basic account features, as a premium member you will see all of our 10-minute-long analyses, which include the Mind Maps and Ways In, as well as the ability to create and share your own collections with fellow students, teachers, or your friends.

The full 3-hour long analysis will also be available to you. It gives you much detailed andcontextualized insight into the book, its author, and why the text and ideas matter. Your access to Macat Collections and Macat Masterclasses will also be unlocked. You can think of Macat Masterclasses like courses – but with the emphasis on everyday learning and really engaging formats. They offer you deep dives into topics that have always fascinated you.

We are currently offering anyone who requests an invite, a free one-month’s premium access. Visit our pricing page to get started.

For critical thinking, Macat currently has 5 different 20 hour courses, designed for specific age groups.  The objective of this survey: to develop new products of course (see brown box below)! Why else would funders fund such a large scale study?

Macat CT courses

Macat - What's coming next.png

On Macat’s website, they claim that students test up to 12.5% higher after only 7 hours of using their materials.

Macat Critical Thinking

While I do not doubt the academic rigour of Cambridge University’s Education department (disclosure: I was from Cambridge University myself), any study that claims to show results after 7 hours leaves me somewhat skeptical, especially in an area like Critical Thinking.


However, I ask myself, am I practicing Critical Thinking or am I just being critical? Let me not be guilty of making snap judgements without first putting Macat through the test.

With that, I encourage everyone to take part in the study.  An impressive list of participants have already signed up, including Dulwich, Eton, Marlborough, Stowe, Vodafone, WPP, Pearson, Ernst & Young, Nestle, Visa.  In fact, organisations like the BBC and Open University have over 1,000 participants taking part in the study. A total of 2,000 organisations and 300,000 participants are expected to take part.


Organisations will get an aggregated report of their organisation’s capabilities benchmarked against their global peers within the same sector (e.g. media and telecoms) across six dimensions. The three different colours below represent different groups (e.g. one colour would represent your global peers, one colour represents your organisation and the last represents a special call-out group that you can specify if you have more than 100 participants).


Critical Thinking Spider Chart
DATES: The survey launched officially  last week and will remain open until 29th April.  Those who wish to take part can sign up at any time (see below for sign-up details).
FORMAT: The survey consists of a 10 minute survey to see how different industry values things the 6 elements of Critical Thinking, and then a 40 minute assessment of individual performance.


Enterprises:  Corporates and other organisations (including non-profits and government) can take part by registering at  Macat recommends a minimum of 100 employees, but will accept organisations with at least 20 employees. Organisations that have  more than 100 participants can specify a special “call-out” group (e.g. of high performers) who’s results will be reported separately from the rest of the organisation.  In addition, organisations with more than 100 employees will get access to an online platform to drill into the data and get more insights.  However, individual participant data will not be available to maintain confidentiality.

Educational Institutions: Any school, student group, or even class of students can choose to sign up.  Macat also recommends that participants be above the age of 16.  However, top educational institutions in the UK like Eton and Marlborough are submitting participants under the age of 16.  Macat has requested that you inform them if you are signing up participants below the age of 16, so that these results do not get aggregated into the global study.


Critical Thinking Sample Participant Report


Critical Thinking White Paper copy


I have no official affiliation to Macat nor am I being compensated for publicizing this study.  I am doing it out of goodwill. Goodwill you may laugh – no one does anything out of goodwill. There must be some kind of catch. What’s in it for you?  Well I repeat –  I am not being compensated nor will I receive any form of financial or non-financial benefits if anyone chooses to sign up.
If anything, I am curious to test out the efficacy of as a document attachment tool as well as the various A/B tests that I am conducting on email open and click rates.
I am certainly curious to see how Singaporean enterprises, educational institutions and individuals will stack up against our global peers, so once again, I highly encourage everyone to take part and to get your organisations to take part in the world’s largest study in Critical Thinking


Anyone with further questions can contact me at

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