Overview of the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal
By far the most common type of critical thinking test is the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (W-GCTA) which is published by TalentLens. You can visit their official site here: Watson Glaser. With over 85 years' worth of development, the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal is the most popular measure of critical thinking ability. The test is most commonly used by law firms, which is understandable as the abilities measured by the W-GCTA are good predictors of future success in roles which require clarity of understanding from multiple perspectives and the ability to reason with fact versus assumption.
The Watson-Glaser Thinking Appraisal (W-GCTA) is one of the main evaluating tools for cognitive abilities in professionals, since it measures critical thinking. It is seen as a successful tool to predict job success, as well as being used to select good managers and finding possible future leaders. It is also used in order to select the right person for a specific job role, especially for careers in the law.
The most recent revision of the W-GCTA was published in 2011 with notable improvements being better face validity and business-relevant items, scoring based on Item Response Theory (IRT), updated norm groups, and an online retest which can be used to validate a paper and pencil test result.
The W-GCTA was originally developed by Goodwin Watson and Edward Glaser. The W-GCTA measures the critical skills that are necessary for presenting in a clear, structured, well-reasoned way, a certain point of view and convincing others of your argument. The test questions are looking at the individual’s ability to:
- 1.Make correct inferences
- 2.To recognise assumptions
- 3.To make deductions
- 4.To come to conclusions
- 5.To interpret and evaluate arguments
Try a Watson-Glaser practice test and learn how to succeed in this success guide for the 2018 Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal.
2 useful starting-point resources
Download A 5-Step Watson-Glaser Cheatsheet
Click Here to Download
Ok, let’s get started…
A Watson-Glaser practice test is a ‘must do’ if you’ll be sitting this test for real at an interview or assessment event.
It’s the ultimate Critical Thinking test used in modern business and practising beforehand will give your chances of success a significant boost.
What should you expect from your Watson-Glaser Practice Test?
Your ability to perform across five defined criteria will be measured. Let’s take a look at each one in turn.
Watson-Glaser Practice Test – Criterion 1: Drawing Inferences
How well can you draw conclusions from facts? Like all the elements of your Watson-Glaser practice test, this area is assessing your ability to make judgements based on limited information.
Each question in this part of the assessment contains a statement that is regarded as true, followed by a selection of inferences. You will be asked to select one of five options for each inference: True, Probably True, Inadequate Data, False and Probably False.
Watson-Glaser Practice Test – Criterion 2: Recognising Assumptions
During your Watson-Glaser practice test your ability to assess whether a statement is justifiable based on a given assumption with be tested.
You’ll be shown two statements and you have to make a judgment call on whether the second statement can be justified by the assumptions of the first. There’s no room for ‘shades of grey’, your answer must be either ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
TOP TIP: There are two different types of Watson-Glaser tests out there: The original one, usually called “Form A” or “Watson-Glaser 1” and the more modern, shorter version, usually called “Form B” or “Watson-Glaser 2.0”. The older version has 80 questions and lasts almost an hour. The newer version has 40 questions, lasts for 35 minutes and scales to a higher difficulty.
Watson-Glaser Practice Test – Criterion 3: Deductive Reasoning
A key element of your Watson-Glaser practice test is deductive reasoning. You’ll have to decide whether a follow-on statement is true based on a prior statement.
Your own knowledge must be disregarded, general knowledge is not being tested here, your decision must be based 100% on the first statement. Again, you have a binary choice in your answer: pick ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Try A Watson-Glaser Practice Test
Click here to try our recommended Watson-Glaser practice tests
(They are high quality industry-standard tests with clear explanations.)
Watson-Glaser Practice Test – Criterion 4: Logical Interpretation
The fourth pillar of your Watson-Glaser practice test is logical interpretation. How well can you assess the weight of different arguments given a predetermined assumed-to-be-true statement?
You’ll be shown a paragraph that you must accept to be valid, and then you’ll be shown a ‘conclusion’ that follows on from the initial paragraph. You must decide whether the conclusion is fair ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. Again, you can only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Download A 5-Step Watson-Glaser Cheatsheet
Click Here to Download
Watson-Glaser Practice Test – Criterion 5: Argument Evaluation
How well can you distinguish between strong and weak arguments? This is the final element that will be measured during your Watson-Glaser practice test.
Again, you’ll be shown two passages of writing, a question statement and an answer statement and this time you must decide whether the answer statement is ‘strong’ or ‘weak’.
Try a Watson-Glaser Practice Test Now
Get hold of Watson-Glaser practice tests here.
A note about the BCAT test
The BCAT (Bar Course Aptitude Test) is based on the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal methodology. It is extremely similar to a Watson-Glaser test but not as widely used. Trainee barristers are required to take the BCAT but most companies in both the private and public sector favour the Watson-Glaser test. You can get hold of a practice BCAT test here.
Some final questions for you…
- Lastly the Tools and Resources page is packed with useful equipment and ‘A’ List recommendations that will make your life easier.
I hope you enjoyed this free guide? I’d love to hear your feedback so please do get in touch and let me know. Thanks and good luck with your Watson-Glaser practice test!
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