The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) is a popular and well-established psychometric test produced by Pearson Assessments. The test has been in formal use in the United States since the 1960s, but it gained global popularity toward the end of the 20th century. Today, the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal is used for two main purposes:
- Job selection and talent management – The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal is used for the assessment of managers and senior managers in a wide variety of organizations. It is also used in the selection of graduates and professionals in the fields of law, finance, and more.
- Academic evaluations – Many US students come across this test, whether in seminars or in advanced degree courses. It functions as a non-mandatory (but recommended) tool for the evaluation of critical thinking skills.
It is administered by employers as either an online test (usually unsupervised at home, or in some cases at a test center), or as a paper version in an assessment center.
The Watson Glaser test is split into five sections. The old and long variation (Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal - Form A) consisted of 80 questions that had to be completed in 60 minutes. The new and short variation consists of 40 questions to be completed in 30 minutes.
What Is Critical Thinking?
Critical thinking, as applied in the Watson Glaser test, is the ability to look at a situation and assess it, to consider and understand multiple perspectives, and to recognize and extract the facts from opinions and assumptions.
Critical thinking is used in several stages of the problem-solving and decision-making process:
- Defining the problem.
- Selecting the relevant information to solve the problem.
- Recognizing the assumptions that are both written and implied in the text.
- Creating hypotheses and selecting the most relevant and credible solutions.
- Reaching valid conclusions and judging the validity of inferences.
These skills are necessary for the many professions in which you must be able to evaluate evidence thoroughly before making a decision. This is particularly the case in the law field, as lawyers need to read and evaluate large amounts of documents.
Watson Glaser Test Questions
The Watson Glaser test is divided into five sections, and each section has its own question type that assesses a particular ability.
Section 1: Inference
In this section, you are asked to draw conclusions from observed or supposed facts. For example, if a baby is crying and it is feeding time, you may infer that the baby is hungry. However, the baby may be crying for other reasons—perhaps it is hot.
You will be presented with a short text containing a set of facts you should consider as true. Below the text is a statement that could be inferred from the text. You need to make a judgement on whether this statement is valid or not, based on what you have read.
You are asked to evaluate whether the statement is true, probably true, there is insufficient data to determine, probably false, or false.
Section 2: Recognizing Assumptions
In this section, you are asked to recognize whether an assumption is justifiable or not. Here you are given a statement followed by an assumption on that statement. You need to establish whether this assumption is made in the statement or not.
You are being tested on your ability to avoid taking things for granted that are not necessarily true. For example, you may say, "I’ll have the same job in three months," but you would be taking for granted the fact that your workplace won't make you redundant, or that that you won’t decide to quit and explore various other possibilities.
You are asked to choose between the options of assumption made and assumption not made.
Section 3: Deduction
This section tests your ability to weigh information and decide whether given conclusions are warranted. You are presented with a statement of facts followed by a conclusion on what you have read. For example, you may be told, "Nobody in authority can avoid making uncomfortable decisions." You must then decide whether a statement such as "All people must make uncomfortable decisions" is warranted from the first statement.
You need to assess whether the conclusion follows or the conclusion does not follow what is contained in the statement.
Section 4: Interpretation
This section measures your ability to understand the weighting of different arguments on a particular question or issue. You are given a short paragraph to read, which you are expected to take as true. This paragraph is followed by a suggested conclusion, for which you must decide if it follows beyond a reasonable doubt.
You have the choice of conclusion follows and conclusion does not follow.
Section 5: Evaluation of Arguments
In this section, you are asked to evaluate the strength of an argument. You are given a question followed by an argument. The argument is considered to be true, but you must decide whether it is a strong or weak argument, i.e. whether it is both important and directly related to the question.
Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test Results
Once you have completed your test, the five sections are marked, and your result is set out against the three keys to critical thinking. These three areas look at your comprehension, analysis, and evaluation skills:
- Recognize assumptions – the ability to separate fact from opinion
- Evaluate arguments – the ability to analyze information objectively and accurately, to question the quality of supporting evidence, and to suspend judgement
- Draw conclusions – how you decide your course of action
Who Uses the Watson Glaser Test?
Below is a table of the most popular companies and organizations that utilize the Watson Glaser exam. Outscore the competition with JobTestPrep's PrepPack™ and ensure your success today.
|Companies & Organizations|
|Payless||PepsiCo||Caesars Entertainment||Care Services|
|Bird & Bird||Macy's||Wright Tool||Ameren|
Why Is Critical Thinking Important to Potential Employers?
Critical thinking is important to potential employers because they want to see that when dealing with an issue you are able to make logical decisions without any emotion involved. When making decisions, being able to look past emotions will help you to be open-minded, confident, and decisive.
Watson Glaser Practice
The Watson Glaser test is frequently used in recruitment processes as critical thinking ability is considered one of the strongest predictors of job success. This is because all professions require the ability to question, analyze, and make decisions, often under pressure.
Though official test publishers claim there is no way to prepare for the Watson Glaser, our experience shows that pre-exposure to critical thinking concepts, combined with comprehensive practice, creates awareness of the types of analytical skills required for this test, thereby increasing individual performance.
JobTestPrep offers a Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal preparation package, customized to the high level of critical thinking found on the Watson Glaser test. It will walk you through each of the five sections to ensure you have mastered all the necessary skills prior to taking the test. Also included are two full-length practice tests to help you feel ready and confident on test day.
Watson-Glaser and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with JobTestPrep or this website.
- Two full-length Watson-Glaser–style tests
- Additional 290 Watson-Glaser–style practice questions
- Normalized test scores per position
- Comprehensive explanations and solving tips
- Study guides for inferences, deductions, interpretations, arguments
- Video tutorials
- Secured payment
- Immediate online access
- Exclusive to JobTestPrep
Critical thinking is an integral skill for most companies so it's important to master it. It's assessed through the Watson Glaser Test - take a look at what's involved
What is the Watson Glaser Test?
The Watson Glaser test assesses a potential candidate’s critical thinking skills. Employers want to evaluate your ability to identify assumptions, dissect arguments, and draw conclusions.
What is the format of the test?
Inference - You'll need to draw conclusions based on a series of facts. You will be provided with a statement and a series of inferences based on the statement. You must evaluate whether the inferences are true, probably true, insufficient data, false, or probably false. You can make this decision based on information provided to you, or from common knowledge accepted by everyone. To get a better idea take a look at some sample questions.
Deduction - You'll be provided with facts followed by a set of conclusions. You're required to assess whether the conclusion can be logically deduced from the set of facts. You'll be provided with two choices when answering; the conclusion logically follows, or the conclusion doesn't logically follow.
Interpretation - You'll be required to read a short passage with information which is assumed to be correct. After the passage, you will be provided with an interpretation. You must decide if that interpretation logically follows without a shadow of a doubt. You will be given two choices; the conclusion follows, or the conclusion doesn’t follow.
Recognition of assumption - You'll be given a statement, and must figure out if an assumption was made within that statement. An assumption is a declaration that someone takes for granted. When answering, you will be given two different choices; an assumption was made, or an assumption was not made. This section analyses your ability to avoid making assumptions about things which aren’t necessarily true.
Evaluation of arguments - You will be provided with an argument. You will then be asked to identify whether the argument is strong or weak. An argument is strong if it's connected to the statement provided and universally considered significant.
Each section tests a different area within critical thinking and has a different question format. Every section will have between two and five answers to choose from. The test is computer-based, usually 40 questions long and needs to be completed within 30 minutes. Depending on the employer, some tests might be 80 questions long and can be completed in one hour.
Which employers use the Watson Glaser test?
The Watson Glaser Test is used by many companies in the UK such as:
- Bank of England
- Burges Salmon
- Clifford Chance
- Government Legal Service
- Hill Dickinson
- Hogan Lovells
- Ince & Co
- Irwin Mitchell
- Simmons & Simmons.
How can I prepare?
The Watson Glaser critical thinking test is a challenging and unique exam. Most candidates aren't used to taking an exam which focuses on analysis and thinking skills. JobTestPrep has a great practice preparation pack, which includes:
- two instant online Watson Glaser style tests
- 290 extra Watson Glaser type questions
- normed test scores
- all-inclusive explanations and tips
- study guides
- video tutorials
- 24/7 immediate online practice.
Practising in advance is a great way to ensure that you perform to the best of your ability. In this competitive job market, you want to ensure you do everything to outperform your competition.
Written by Jennifer Feldman, Speech and language expert and writer
JobTestPrep · May 2017
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