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
Final Panel Interviews
Once you have been told you are attending a final interview process (often called a ‘final panel’ process), there are various things to think about and be aware of. Luke Judd, Partner at GatenbySanderson, has these tips.
Do get feedback from the lead consultant about your longlist interview, and also use them to gain insights into the client and the issues.
Do some additional research – talk to contacts who may know the client; find out who you are meeting (see below).
Do gain a good understanding of what to expect at final panel. This can vary hugely between clients and sectors, but by and large you may be asked to do some or all of the following:
- Additional psychometric or ability tests (ie personality profiles, numerical or verbal reasoning tests, in tray exercises, leadership judgement indicators, etc.). These can often be done ‘on line’ in advance.
- Meeting your potential line manager in a ‘one to one’.
- Meeting colleagues or staff (could be the same tier, or tiers below).
- Meeting external partners or stakeholders.
- Meeting service users (particularly prevalent for senior children’s services or adult services roles).
- ‘Informal’ lunch or dinner with colleagues and/or partners (often a buffet).
- A presentation – the topic is usually but not always given to you well in advance. However, sometimes you have a short amount of time to prepare.
- Final panel interview with an appointment committee (for Local Government appointments, these are often elected Members).
A final panel process for senior and executive jobs can often be spread over two days, with panels and meetings on day one, followed by the formal and final interview on day two. Occasionally, there will be a cut off at the end of day one, and not all candidates will go through to day two.
It is a two way process, so do try to find out more about the role and the organisation. Ask the right questions (but don’t ask questions for the sake of it, particularly at the end of a long interview).
The organisation will be keen to test your understanding of them, plus your ‘fit’ with them – so be prepared to explore issues of culture, management style, motivations, ambitions, etc.
Keep up your energy and focus, particularly during a long day with numerous panels or meetings!
Be aware that you are always ‘on show’, even during a buffet lunch which seems informal.
For final interview, find out who is on the panel, and ideally find out how long the interview is and how many questions you are due to be asked. (This will help you get a sense of how long your answers should be.) Ask if the panel members are likely to ask ‘follow ups’, or whether you get one shot at the answer.
A GatenbySanderson consultant may or may not be present during a final process. If they are there, use them for on-going feedback and information.
If you would like to learn more about how GatenbySanderson can help you, contact us on Leeds 0113 205 6071, London 020 7426 3960 or Birmingham 0121 644 5700.