Abstract. The study aimed to identify the critical thinking traits of students as possible determinants of their critical thinking skills and their relationship to selected variables. The researcher utilized a descriptive-correlational design and employed a systematic sampling technique to identify 130 randomly selected students from private Catholic institutions in the Province of Siquijor. Validated questionnaires were used, and multiple regression analysis, chi-square test, and weighted mean were employed for data analysis. The study found that senior high school students exhibit "high" levels of critical thinking traits in the following areas: truth-seeking, open-mindedness, analyticity, systematicity, critical thinking self-confidence, inquisitiveness, and cognitive maturity. Their critical thinking skills in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, inference, and self-regulation are also “high”. Furthermore, students who exhibit higher levels of truth-seeking, open-mindedness, and critical thinking self-confidence tend to have better critical thinking skills. Female students display more positive critical thinking traits compared to their male counterparts. Students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Technical Vocational Livelihood (TVL) tracks exhibit the most desirable critical thinking traits and skills compared to other groups of students. These findings indicate the need for a concerted effort to maintain and improve critical thinking traits and skills across all student groups, with particular emphasis on gender disparities and stream-specific differences. Educators and policymakers can use these insights to better prepare students for academic success and future challenges.

Keywords: Critical thinking; Private catholic school; Philippines