Watson Glaser Tests

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What Is A Watson Glaser Assessment?

Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal is a well known aptitude assessment that is published by TalentLens. It was first created by American psychologists Watson and Glaser in the 1920s and has over 80 years of scientific development and research backing its methodology.

Critical thinking is a sought after skill for employers and is one of the four C's, which indicate competencies expected from most employers:

  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Collaboration

It shows that someone is capable of assessing a situation while considering different perspectives and differentiating facts and opinions to reach a rational solution.

The Structure Of Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Assessments

The assessment is designed to be quick, consistent, and effective. It breaks down critical thinking into five subsets, which all require different kinds of analytical thought and create a more complete picture of someone's critical thinking abilities. The test has 40 questions and candidates are given a maximum of 30 minutes to complete it, meaning that you must average 45 seconds per question.

Making Correct Inferences

Inference is about understanding the veracity of a conclusion and being able to decipher facts. For these types of questions you will be presented with a short passage and then a list of inferences, from which you will have to answer on whether you think they are true, probably true, probably false, false, or insufficient data. Many people find inference questions difficult as they draw conclusions without enough information, or do not use common knowledge to help them answer.

Recognising Assumptions

This section is similar to the inference questions in that it asks you about the validity of conclusions based on the statements of information given. However, there is less complexity to the answers - you will just have to decide whether the statement is making an assumption and is not necessarily true. Recognising assumptions is a part of critical thinking as it shows your ability to analyse and separate fact from fiction, as well as taking into consideration multiple perspectives rather than the common expectation.

Making Deductions

A deduction is made from following the information to a logical conclusion, which is usually phrased as if the conclusion 'follows' or 'does not follow' the statement. With deduction questions, you only have a choice of yes the answer is logical or no the answer is not, there is not a scale of logic unlike with inferences, which allow for more possibilities.


Interpretation is very similar to deduction as it asks you to process information and then come to a logical conclusion based on the evidence given. You should assume that everything in the statement is true for the purposes of the assessment and work from there, showing that you can identify key information and use it to make an informed decision.

Evaluating Arguments

This section requires you to analyse a statement and determine the strength of the arguments based on this statement. You will have to decide whether the arguments are 'weak' or 'strong' by assessing qualities such as relevancy to the topic, how realistic the statement is, and if it provides a meaningful contribution to the argument.

Tips To Pass Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Tests

1. Only Use The Information Contained In The Test

When it comes to this kind of test, you might be tempted to use the knowledge that you have on a subject that is not given on the test, but this is not how they are designed. Beyond common knowledge that almost everyone would know, you should only take into account what is written in the question or you will not show the skills that the test is looking for.

2. Watch The Time Limit

You only have 30 minutes for the test, which means that you have an average of 45 seconds per question. Some questions may take more or less time than this, but if you get stuck then it is better to move on and come back. You are marked on how many questions you answer, not on how quickly you complete the test, so answering more questions will help to give you a better chance at scoring higher.

3. Practice Example Tests

For any test, the best way to improve your performance is practicing. As the Watson Glaser focuses on more abstract skills related to critical thinking, it can be a lot more difficult than other aptitude tests for technical skills. Through practice, you can become familiar with the structure of the questions and what is expected of you to answer them correctly.

4. Understand Logical Fallacies

A logical fallacy is a flaw in an argument, which undermines its validity and is also called a non sequitur meaning it does not follow the logic. If you can quickly identify holes in an argument such as false comparisons and disconnects between the proof and the information, then you will be much more effective at determining correct conclusions and deductions.

5. Read The Questions Carefully

The abstract nature of these questions means it is very important to take your time and read the questions carefully. How you are expected to approach the information will be in the wording of the question and will tell you exactly how to apply your critical thinking, otherwise you may interpret the information in the wrong way.

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Watson Glaser Tests FAQs

What Is A Good Score On A Watson Glaser Test?

Many places advise aiming for 75% and above on a Watson Glaser test in order to do well, however, this is dependent on the company you have applied to and their expectations. Many recruiters do not have a specific number which automatically passes you to the next stage, but instead view all of the scores comparatively and take the highest performers.

How Do I Get Better At The Watson Glaser Test?

The best way to improve your score is to practice. Doing practice tests is a great way to get better at these kinds of tests, especially if you can practice under timed conditions. However, as the Watson Glaser assessment focuses on critical thinking, there are other things you can do in your daily life to improve this like reading more nonfiction, brain exercises like Sudoku, and questioning assumptions made around you.

Is The Watson Glaser Test Accurate?

The Watson Glaser has over 70 years of psychological research backing its methods and has been constantly developed and redesigned since its inception. There is an efficacy report that shows it has high levels of consistency and fairness, as well as a positive correlation between those who perform well on the assessment and those who perform well on the job.

Which Is Harder: Watson Glaser Or Cappfinity Tests?

The Watson Glaser is considered one of the most challenging aptitude assessments because of the nature of the questions and the skills that it is trying to determine.

The Cappfinity test is adaptive, meaning that it adjusts depending on if you get a question right or wrong, but this does not mean that it is necessarily easier - it will challenge everyone at their own level.

Another difference between the two is that the Cappfinity is not timed, but how long you take to complete it is still considered in your score. Again, this does not make either one more or less difficult, but will challenge candidates in different ways.

Which Companies Use Watson Glaser?

The Watson Glaser is most commonly known for its use on the BCAT and by law firms such as:

Government Legal Service



Clifford Chance

Allen and Overy

Other companies that are known to use Watson Glaser are Deloitte, the Bank of England, and Hiscox.