Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Tests

Watson Glaser Test

If you’re applying for a training contract, vacation scheme or open day, it’s very likely you’ll have to sit a Watson Glaser Test. But what exactly is it, and how can you find Watson Glaser practice?

This page outlines the different aspects of the test and how to tackle them. We give specific strategies on how to tackle the test and work through Watson Glaser practice questions to guide you through your preparation.


NEW FOR 2018: you can now prepare for your Watson Glaser Test properly with our free Watson Glaser Practice Test!

Go to Watson Glaser Practice Test

What is the Watson Glaser Test?

The Watson Glaser test is an aptitude test used by many law firms. It is also used in other fields. 

Law firms use the Watson Glaser Test because it is well aligned with the skills needed to be a good lawyer. It allows them to quickly evaluate decision-making and judgement-forming skills.

It is designed to examine a candidate’s:

  • Critical thinking skills;
  • Ability to recognise whether conclusions follow or not;
  • Assessment of strong and weak arguments

Specifically, the Watson Glaser test targets your ‘R.E.D’ thinking skills. These are:

  • Recognising assumptions;
  • Evaluating arguments;
  • Drawing conclusions

What is the Format of the Watson Glaser Test?

You usually have 30 minutes to complete a Watson Glaser Test. It consists of around 40 questions, split into five sections. These are:

  1. Assessment of inferences;
  2. Recognition of assumptions;
  3. Ability to decide if a deduction follows a passage;
  4. Capability to assess interpretations from a passage; and
  5. Your evaluation of arguments

Each section requires you to think in a different way. But ‘R.E.D’ thinking skills unite them all. So remember, you are always trying to recognise assumptions, evaluate arguments and draw conclusions.

Let’s look at each section in more detail, alongside some Watson Glaser practice questions and how to answer them.

1. Assessment of Inference

Watson Glaser’s ‘assessment of inference’ questions consist of a statement which is assumed to be true. You are then given a follow-up statement, which you must classify as ‘true’, ‘probably true’, ‘insufficient data’, ‘probably false’ or ‘false’.

In order to do this, you will need to look for clue words in the text, use logical inference and weigh the balance of probabilities. Remember – ‘true’ and ‘false’ suggest a complete absence of doubt!

Consider the following Watson Glaser practice question.

Two hundred students in their early teens voluntarily attended a recent weekend student conference in a city in England. At this conference, the topics of race equality and means of achieving lasting world peace were discussed, since these were the problems the students selected as being most vital in today’s world.

  • As a group, the students who attended this conference showed a keener interest in broad social problems than do most other students in their early teens.

Answer: PROBABLY TRUE. We know that the students ‘voluntarily’ attended. As an unnecessary adjective, this word stands out. We are also told that the problems discussed were selected by the students themselves. These points do not definitively prove that the statement is true. But they suggest it is likely the case.

  • The majority of the students had not previously discussed the conference topics in their schools.

Answer: PROBABLY FALSE. Had this been the case, it would have been hard for the students to agree upon them as ‘the most vital in today’s world’. But there is nothing to prove that it is definitely false.

  • The students came from all parts of the country.

Answer: INSUFFICIENT DATA. It’s quite straightforward, really: the topic is not mentioned!

  • The students discussed mainly industrial relations problems.

Answer: FALSE.  The statement specifically says that: ‘the topics of race equality and means of achieving lasting world peace were discussed.’ Industrial relations problems are not mentioned.

  • Some teenage students felt it worthwhile to discuss problems of race equality and ways of achieving world peace.

Answer: TRUE. It is explicitly stated in the text and we are told that ‘the students selected [these issues] as being most vital in today’s world.’

2. Recognition of Assumptions

An assumption is something presupposed or taken for granted. In this exercise, you are given a statement to examine. You are then given a number of ‘assumptions’ and asked if these have, or have not, been made in the statement.

Here’s the trick. The statement is usually like a conclusion. If the assumption is a necessary premise to reach that conclusion but hasn’t been mentioned, it’s likely to be an assumption!

Consider the following Watson Glaser practice question.

“We need to save time in getting there so we’d better go by plane.”

  • Going by plane will take less time than going by some other means of transportation.

Answer: ASSUMPTION MADE. The initial statement relies on this being true but doesn’t state it.

  • There is plane service available to us for at least part of the distance to the destination.

Answer: ASSUMPTION MADE. In order to save time by taking a plane, one would need to be available, but the truth of this premise is not addressed in the initial statement.

  • Travel by plane is more convenient than travel by train.

Answer: ASSUMPTION NOT MADE. Convenience is not mentioned; only time is. (This could be one component of convenience but is not necessarily the whole picture.) It’s therefore not a premise of the conclusion drawn and not an assumption.

3. Deduction

You are given a passage, followed by a number of proposed conclusions to the passage. You must decide whether or not the ‘conclusion follows’, or whether the ‘conclusion does not follow’.

Think about the assumptions task above and apply the same logic here. A conclusion can only follow if the premises are in place and no assumption has been made.

Consider the following Watson Glaser practice question.

Some Sundays are rainy. All rainy days are boring. Therefore:

  • No clear days are boring.

Answer: CONCLUSION DOES NOT FOLLOW. Think in terms of argument structure. Just because all X is Y, it doesn’t meant that Z is never Y.

Answer: CONCLUSION FOLLOWS. Logically, this is sound. We know some Sundays are rainy and that those days are all boring.

  • Some Sundays are not boring.

Answer: CONCLUSION DOES NOT FOLLOW. This one’s a little more tricky. We know, as per the above, that some Sundays are definitely boring because they are rainy. But we cannot assume that Sundays that are not rainy are not boring for some other reason!

4. Interpretation

You are given a short paragraph followed by several suggested conclusions. You are instructed to assume that everything in the passage is true. You must, on this basis, assess whether the conclusions follow beyond a reasonable doubt.

The technique here is, again, pretty much the same as the above. Just keep using those ‘R.E.D’ skills!

Consider the following Watson Glaser practice question.

A study of vocabulary growth in children from ages eight months to six years old shows that the size of spoken vocabulary increases from zero words at age eight months to 2,562 words at age six years.

  • None of the children in this study had learned to talk by the age of six months.

Answer: CONCLUSION FOLLOWS. The passage clearly states that vocabulary is ‘zero words’ at 8 months. With zero words, a child cannot have learnt to talk. That premise therefore supports the given conclusion.

  • Vocabulary growth is slowest during the period when children are learning to walk.

Answer: CONCLUSION DOES NOT FOLLOW. It is tempting to make this assumption, because at the 8-month point vocabulary is described as zero, and this may coincide with when many children learn to walk. But this is not in the statement itself, and so is an assumption based on outside knowledge. 

5. Evaluation of Arguments

The aim of this exercise is to assess whether you can distinguish strong arguments from weak ones. Strong arguments are highly relevant, have material impact and are realistic. 

The key to answering these questions is to apply to above points as a simple checklist, disregard your personal opinion, and not let subjectivity influence your answer. 

Consider the following Watson Glaser practice question.

Should all young adults in the United Kingdom go on to higher education at university?

  • Yes; university provides an opportunity for them to wear university scarves.

Answer: ARGUMENT WEAK. This is neither very relevant nor likely to have a material impact on the question. 

  • No; a large percent of young adults do not have enough ability or interest to derive any benefit from university training.

Answer: ARGUMENT STRONG. This is very relevant, with a high impact on the argument.

  • No; excessive studying permanently warps an individual’s personality.

Answer: ARGUMENT WEAK. Were this true, it would have a huge impact, but it isn’t very realistic!

We hope this helped. You can practice more Watson Glaser questions with Pearson Vue.


NEW FOR 2018: you can now prepare for your Watson Glaser Test properly with our free Watson Glaser Practice Test!

Go to Watson Glaser Practice Test

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What is a Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Task?

A Watson Glaser test is used to evaluate the ability of a candidate to think critically. It usually helps to predict how you comprehend a given problem or a situation. The questions may have multiple perspectives that should be factored in while determining the solution of the given problem. You may have to analyze the problem from different viewpoints and arrive at a solution after evaluating the merits and demerits of different choices at hand.

Watson Glaser tests help to determine the understanding, analyzing and decision-making capabilities of different individuals. They are usually timed and the candidates are required to answer the given questions in the enforced time limits. Business organizations often use these tests for hiring employees for various managerial positions. Here you can find some example questions.

Passing a Watson Glaser Test

The following tips and techniques are to help you ace the Watson Glaser critical thinking test:

  • Answer Strictly as per the Given Information

Someone appearing for a Watson Glaser test conducted by an organization usually has a background from the domain associated with the job position or role they are interested in. They may also have numerous years of practical experience backing them if they are applying for a managerial job that requires you to have prior career accomplishments. In such a case, the candidate may be tempted to answer a given question utilizing their own knowledge and experience. This is ill-advised as the tests are usually used to measure the critical thinking ability and require answers to be based solely on given facts and conditions. The correct answer based on the candidate’s personal perception might be different from the answer that will be true for the context given in the problem. Therefore, only the information specified should be utilized while arriving at a solution.

  • Recognize the Context of Question

The questions given in the Watson Glaser test may have multiple perspectives to look at them, and each of these perspectives may have a different correct answer. It is important for you to understand the context of the question before arriving at a conclusion. You may interpret a question the wrong way and so may give an incorrect answer, which in your perspective might be the right one. Thorough reading and re-reading of the question and the passage may be helpful. Recognizing the context of the question before finding the answer may also help you approach the question’s passage directly from the correct perspective and look for information that can help you deduce the same.

  • Read Carefully and Don’t Skip Sentences

Watson Glaser test questions usually come with long passages that you may think about skimming through, or you may even skip a few sentences here and there considering the shortage of the time. While doing this, you may miss vital pieces of information in the passage that could be the deciding factor for answering the questions correctly. Every sentence and statement in the given question should be read carefully and no part should be skipped. The passage should be read multiple times before answering a question to get a thorough understanding and ensure that no data has been overlooked.

  • Establish Logic between Statements

Answering the question in a Watson Glaser test usually requires factoring in the logical relationships between the statements in the given passage. Analyzing the statements that are interdependent or related and determining the nature of the logic between them, i.e. whether it holds true or is fallacious helps in arriving at the correct conclusion. A prior knowledge of different logical fallacies that the questions may contain and adequate practice can help you identify if any false logic exists in between the statements of the passage.

  • Look for Contradictory Sentences

There may be a sentence in the question that presents a fact or a logic from a given perspective, and there may be another statement contradicting the former. This counter statement may immediately follow the original sentence where the chances of it being misinterpreted by you are high; or it may be hidden somewhere else in the passage, in between more relevant data and so it may not be easily recognized. While answering the test, you should look for such statements that contradict each other and defy the logic. The whole answer of the question should be based on the presence of such statements and the logical relationship between them.

  • Time Management and Pacing the Test

The questions in the Watson Glaser test are usually complex and the time required to answer each question or section may not be predicted. Some questions may take less time while others may take a while to solve. As every statement and word in the given passage plays a significant role in answering the question correctly, adequate time should be spent on them. The test questions should be answered at a generous pace, assigning each question its full quota of time without rushing through. A thorough knowledge of the number of sections and number of questions in each section beforehand may help you divide the time appropriately among all the sections.

  • Be Aware of Double Negative and Tricky Words

The statements in the question or the passage may use double negative or other tricky word combinations that might be difficult to decipher and confusing to interpret. Such statements should be read meticulously. A divide and conquer technique may be used to figure out such a statement. Moreover, the statement may be divided into multiple meaningful word segments and then the change in the flow of the statement with the words can be figured out.

Prior practice is an important part of the Watson Glaser test as it is for any other test. Regular practice helps you become acquainted with the format of the exam and the questions you might expect. It strengthens the ability of you to identify logics and analyze their validity. You may also recognize your areas of strengths and weakness, and improve upon the same. There are many practice tests to be found online.

How can Assessment-Training.com help you ace your Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test?

Assessment-Training.com is your number 1 online practice aptitude test and assessment provider. Our aim is to help you ace your assessment by providing you practice aptitude tests that mimic the tests used by employers and recruiters. Our test developers have years of experience in the field of occupational psychology and developed the most realistic and accurate practice tests available online. Our practice platform uses leading-edge technology and provides you feedback on your scores in form of test history, progress and performance in relation to your norm group.

Check out our tailor-made Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test Pack to fully prepare you for your assessment.

The Assessment-Training.com data science team found that through practice, candidates increased their scoring accuracy and went into their assessments more confident. Remember, you need to practice to make sure you familiarize yourself with the test formats, work on your accuracy and experience performing under time-pressure.

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