Everything You Need to Know
Initially developed by Goodwin Watson and Edward Glaser, The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal Test (WGCTA) understands and measures a candidate’s critical thinking skills. It’s a simple test that allows an employer to evaluate the candidate’s ability to recognize assumptions, assess arguments and draw conclusions based on those assumptions.
Critical thinking is considered a crucial factor because candidates who have it are often good decision-makers and arrive at informed, precise, and objective conclusions instantly. Solid decision making, problem-solving skills, and strategic thinking set the foundation for a successful candidate, organizations use these to screen and hire talented people.
Watson Glaser – an international test
The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal Test was published by the Pearson’s Clinical Assessment Group, an international company with offices in 14 countries. The test that features critical reasoning questions, is available in tens of languages and countries around the world including United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. The test is identical no matter the geography.
The test is available both without a time limit and a 30-minute timed version. Both versions consist of 40 questions divided into five sections. To pass the test, you need to have strong problem solving and analytical skills, and should be able to find a quick solution after examining all aspects of a problem. Critical Thinking Tests or Critical Reasoning Tests, such as the Watson Glaser, are mostly used as one of the factors for hiring graduates, professionals, and managerial staff.
In the timed version, you will be given only 30 minutes to complete the Watson Glaser Test of 40 questions.
Many legal firms and banks use this logical thinking test as a part of their selection process for ensuring they have only the most talented people on board. Available in English, French, Dutch, and Spanish, candidates can either take the test online or can make use of the pen-paper format.
Critical thinking can be defined as one’s ability to rationally or logically think about a particular problem. It is also defined as the ability to process information from different sources reasonably and creatively. Companies utilize this test to hire strong, dedicated employees who will go on to become future leaders. An employee’s ability to effectively use information and make the right decision will ensure passing the test.
Reliable & trusted
The test is internationally recognized, it is a scientifically-reliable and trusted by many companies as a primary tool to assess the candidate’s skills.
Although you have the ability to take the test online, you can also use the pen-paper format to take the test.
The test is available in many different languages: English, Spanish, Dutch, and French. This means you will not encounter a language barrier while taking the test.
Watson Glaser believes that it is essential for employee assessment to analyze and make decisions under pressure, which is why the test is timed. In the timed version, you will only have 30 minutes to complete the test.
Many established organizations like law firms, information technology organizations, and other companies use this test to bring critical thinkers on board.
Easy to administer
There are 40 questions you need to complete in the time allotted. The questions are multiple choice – there will be a number of available options, and you need to correctly choose the right answer.
The Watson-Glaser Thinking Appraisal Test (WGCTA) measures critical skills that are important for having well-reasoned, structured and talented people on board. The test will measure one’s ability to:
- Recognize assumptions
- Make deductions
- Make correct inferences
- Interpret and evaluate arguments
- Come to conclusions
The RED model for critical thinking
The Watson Glaser test works according to the RED model, i.e.:
- Recognize Assumptions: This test is all about understanding what the question states and analyzing whether the info mentioned is correct, or whether there’s any evidence that backs the stated information.
- Evaluate Arguments: Evaluating arguments means logically working with a problem and critically evaluating it. It is about symmetrically analyzing the argument and the evidence provided.
- Draw Conclusions: Candidates need to come to a logical conclusion based on the evidence provided. A candidate with strong critical thinking skills will be able to draw conclusions that would then lead to another conclusion.
What will the Watson Glaser Test measure?
The test will assess the critical thinking abilities of a candidate in five areas:
- Evaluation of arguments
How many questions will be there?
There will be 40 multiple choice questions that you need to complete in only 30 minutes in the timed version.
A mix of questions
The test evaluates the candidate’s critical thinking ability in five different areas, and candidates will be assessed on each area individually. Hence, the questionnaire includes 40 questions in five different sections.
Is the test online or offline?
While the test is online, you can also take this using paper-and-pencil format.
Results Scale and Interpretations
You will be assessed and scored on three skill areas of the RED model:
- Your ability to Recognize Assumptions
- Your ability to Evaluate Arguments
- Your ability to Draw conclusions
Candidates with skilled behavior in the area will identify what is being taken for granted, and explore diverse viewpoints on the subject. Identifying the assumptions will help you reveal information gaps and enhance your understanding of the subject.
If you scored ‘Strength To Leverage’ in this skill area, it means you possess strong skills in recognizing assumptions.
Candidates who can objectively and accurately evaluate arguments are likely to be hired by many organizations. Such candidates can overcome confirmation-bias and also possess the capability to analyze an argument’s reasoning and supporting evidence, and explore counter-arguments even when doing so is controversial. When evaluating controversial arguments, emotions can play a negative role, as they can cloud your evaluation capabilities.
If you scored ‘Further Exploration’ in this parameter it means that your skills are average when compared to other candidates.
Drawing conclusions mean reaching the conclusion which logically follows the evidence available for a particular problem. Furthermore, reaching a conclusion means evaluating information from diverse sources, and even changing your position on a subject when warranted by the available evidence.
The employer’s scorecard will include the following scores:
- Percentile – your percentile position within your peer group
- Stanine – your score on a nine-point scale (1-9)
- Raw Score – the number of correct answers (out of 40)
For instance, here’s a candidate’s sample score in measuring overall critical thinking
Note: there is no penalty for guessing an answer nor for a wrong answer.
The Watson Glaser test is administered in five different sections:
- Assumptions: In this section, you will encounter assumptions based questions.
- Analyzing arguments: To examine arguments, you will have to assess whether the provided statement is strong or weak.
- Deductions: You will be asked to make deductions using the information from the passage. Given a few proposed conclusions, you will be asked to decide for each if it: ‘follows’, or does not ‘follow’ the passage’s logic.
- Inferences: In this section, you will be provided with a list of possible inferences which you will be asked to rate as true or false.
- Interpreting information: In this section, you will need to interpret information from the questions to decide if each conclusion is based on the given information or not. Your answer should be based solely on the provided information and not on prior knowledge which may mislead you.
The Watson Glaser test is the property of the Pearson’s Clinical Assessment Group. With more than 80 years of experience in the assessment field, Pearson’s Clinical Assessment group offers innovative and comprehensive products and services. Some of the company’s brands include the Wechsler and Kaufman families of products, MMPI, BASC, OLSAT, CELF, and PLS.
The Pearson’s Clinical Assessment Group serves 300,000 customers in the U.S. with assessments for psychologists, speech-language, pathologists, occupational therapists, and related professionals. They have over 700 employees worldwide.
Disclaimer – All the information and prep materials on iPrep are genuine and were created for tutoring purposes. iPrep is not affiliated with Pearson’s Clinical Assessment Group, which is the owner of the Watson Glaser test.
About this Course
Welcome to iPrep’s Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) Course.
This course will help you boost your skills and with it your confidence towards your upcoming Watson Glaser test. The course will provide you with the following tools and benefits:
- You will become familiar with all of Watson Glaser’s five types of questions – Inference, Recognition of Assumptions, Deductions, Interpretations, and Evaluation of Arguments.
- You will be given two full-length 40-question Watson-Glaser-style simulation tests. These simulations include similar questions to those you will encounter in the real test with the same level of difficulty. They also have the same estimated time limit as the real test. Experiencing the test’s time pressure will ensure it will not come as a surprise on test day.
- You will be provided with a great variety of helpful tips for the different types of questions. Some of the tips are in the guidance sections and additional ones in the detailed explanations that follow each question.
12 Learning Hours2+5 Practice Tests166 Questions30 Day Access
By the end of this course, you will be more knowledgeable and comfortable with the Watson Glaser Test – Knowledge and familiarity with the test are the two most significant factors that can help you maximize your score and improve your chances of success.
The course is comprised of two parts – guidance and the test simulations. In the guidance section, we will review each type of question, its purpose, and its underlying logical mechanism. You will also have a chance to practice several test-level questions before approaching the test simulation to get a feel for the challenge ahead.
Afterward, you will proceed to the simulation of full-length tests that accurately follow the structure and concepts of the Watson Glaser. Once done, you will be able to get full question explanations and even see how well you performed in comparison with other people who have taken the test.
Wishing you an enjoyable learning experience!
Skills You Will Learn
Recognition of AssumptionsEvaluation of ArgumentsDrawing Conclusions
- Course Introduction
- Question Types Guidance
- Full-Length Watson-Glaser-Style Simulations
- Course Conclusion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Roy van den Brink-Budgen
Co-founder and Director of Studies of the Centre for Critical Thinking
Dr. Roy van den Brink-Budgen has been working in the field of critical thinking for over thirty years. His experience has included the development of various assessments in critical thinking, and teaching the subject to a wide range of groups (students from primary to postgraduate, teachers from primary to college, juvenile offenders, and business managers). He has also written seven books on the subject, many journal articles, and online courses for secondary students and MBA students (as well as having produced a critical thinking card game). He has given presentations to various international conferences on critical thinking and creative thinking.
His work in critical thinking has taken him to many countries (including France, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, the UK, and Singapore – where he is the Director of Studies at the Centre for Critical Thinking). He serves as a consultant on critical thinking to PocketConfidant, an international company that is developing AI for personal coaching. In addition, he runs a company that provides various services in critical thinking – if…then ltd – based in the UK.
Get to know what the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal Test (WGCTA) will be like by practicing with these sample questions:
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Tips for Passing the Watson Glaser Test
- Answer strictly based on the provided info – Answer each question solely based on the conditions and facts provided in the question, and not by using your own industry knowledge.
- Read each question carefully and don’t skip paragraphs or sentences – You might encounter long questions which you may be tempted to skim through. Don’t! By quickly scanning the question, you may miss valuable information you will need to get the right answer. Read thoroughly and then make your decision.
- Try finding logic in the statements – Answering each question in the Watson Glaser test requires finding a logical connection between the statements. Analyze the statements and try to find logic between them.
- Learn to manage the time – Since there will be both long and short questions, the time spent on each question is difficult to assess in advance. However, through practice, you should know how to manage time without skipping any question. Learn to pace and compete with time. This tip only applies to the timed version of the test.
- Plan and practice – Lastly, to ace any test, precise planning, and continuous practice are a must! Therefore, practice as many questions as you can beforehand.
Well done! You have completed the Sample Questions section.
The complete iPrep course includes full test simulations with detailed explanations and study guides.
Question 1 of 5
First Type – Inference
There are three general groups of countries that show the relationship between personal income and happiness levels. In some countries (such as Germany), both personal incomes and happiness levels have increased at the same rate over the past 10 years. In others (such as China), personal incomes have doubled over the past decade, but average happiness has increased by only 0.43 points. In 43 countries (including India and the US), incomes have risen, and happiness levels have declined.
Inference – The happiness level in some countries can be higher or lower than in others with the same personal income levels.CorrectIncorrect
Question 2 of 5
Second Type – Recognition of Assumptions
Statement: “Those companies that are especially vulnerable to high levels of cyberattack should invest more in data security, either internally or by bringing in external experts.”
Proposed Assumption: Companies that are especially vulnerable to high levels of cyberattack do not invest in data security.CorrectIncorrect
Question 3 of 5
Third Type – Deduction
Premises: If resources are used to limit future global warming, then spending on current welfare is reduced. If we reduce spending on current welfare, then people’s well-being will be lower. So, if we use current resources to limit future global warming, …
Conclusion – The risk of global warming will be reduced.CorrectIncorrect
Question 4 of 5
Fourth Type – Interpretation
Economic forecasters tend to perform well with three-four-month predictions, but become much less successful beyond this timescale, especially with 22 months or more. The biggest errors occur ahead of economic contractions. This is because, though economies normally have steady but slow growth, when they contract, they do so sharply.
Conclusions – Not considering economic contractions risks overstating the possible growth of economies.CorrectIncorrect
Question 5 of 5
Fifth Type – Evaluation of Arguments
Question: Should all those aged 22-45 be required to save at least 5% of their income in a public savings plan?
No; people aged over 45 would also benefit from saving.CorrectIncorrect