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The Watson Glaser Test: A Comprehensive Guide

The Watson Glaser Test: A Comprehensive Guide

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The Watson Glaser test is a critical thinking aptitude test commonly used by recruiters to assess a candidate’s critical thinking skills. As a form of psychometric test, it has been used for over 85 years and is commonly used in sectors such as law, HR, finance and marketing where critical thinking is a core skill within the job role.

In this article, we'll look at what you can expect from the Watson Glaser test, and how to prepare for it.

What Is the Watson Glaser Test?

The Watson Glaser critical thinking exam is a unique online assessment designed to identify a person’s critical thinking skills.

It helps recruiters assess whether job seekers can look beyond the information presented to them to make an informed decision.

Certain professions rely extensively on critical thinking, and it is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after transferable skills.

When Was the Watson Glaser Test Developed?

The Watson Glaser Test has been used extensively for over 85 years. It was initially developed by Edward Glaser and Goodwin Watson.

The success ratio of the Watson Glaser assessment over this lengthy timeframe proves that it can correctly identify candidates with the natural cognitive ability to be future leaders or excellent managers.

What Is the Purpose of the Test?

Critical thinking is a crucial skill in today's workplace. It is heavily aligned with problem-solving skills and can help people to work effectively.

The Watson Glaser test allows recruiters to see how a candidate may:

  • Identify assumptions
  • Understand information
  • Draw conclusions

It also has the advantage of being a standardized test, so recruiters can judge each applicant according to the same criteria. This also removes any unconscious bias and makes it easier to use data analytics to aid the recruitment process.

Who Uses the Watson Glaser Test?

In marketing, law, finance, and HR sectors, the ability to think critically is a core skill. Knowing how to infer details beyond what is presented at face value is essential to managing your job properly.

Therefore, hiring managers in these industries often use the Watson Glaser test during recruitment.

The Watson Glaser test is effective because it can be used to recruit junior and senior positions. Some of the biggest companies in the world have used Watson Glaser testing, including:

  • The Bank of England
  • Amazon
  • Deloitte
  • Hiscox
  • Linklaters
  • Hogan Lovells

What to Expect from the Watson Glaser Test

As we've mentioned, the Watson Glaser critical thinking test is a standardized assessment. It typically lasts 30–60 minutes and comprises 40 questions.

During the Watson Glaser assessment, candidates are tested in five distinct areas:

  • Inferences
  • Assumptions
  • Deduction
  • Interpretation
  • Evaluation

Each question is multiple choice and may be phrased as a true/false statement. The purpose of the questions is to allow examiners to see how well the participant has understood and interpreted the information provided.

There are no pass or fail aspects to the Watson Glaser Test, but lower scores typically indicate that the candidate has not read or understood all the information.

Let's take a closer look at the five sections of the test and how they relate to critical thinking.


The first part of the Watson Glaser assessment will test how you can draw conclusions based on facts. These facts may be directly provided within the question or assumptions you have previously made.

Typically, the question will feature a selection of text.

Alongside this, there will be a statement. You may need to decide whether that statement is:

a) True
b) Probably true
c) Insufficient data (neither true nor false)
d) False
e) Probably false

The assessment tests whether your answer was based upon a conclusion inferred from the text provided, or whether the text directly provided the answer.

From a critical thinking perspective, this is a helpful tool to see how you come to conclusions and make decisions.


Within the world of work, many of us will make decisions based on assumptions. But how can you demonstrate whether your belief is justified?

Like the inference questions, the Watson Glaser Test will provide you with a written statement and an assumption. You will be asked to decide whether your hypothesis was deduced from the text provided or not.

For employers, this is a useful analysis to see if you have any previous expectations about whether something is true or not. For roles in areas such as law or HR, this is an essential skill.


At this stage of the Watson Glaser Test, you must demonstrate how to use logic and reasoning to make an informed decision.

Within each question, you will be presented with several facts and conclusions. Your task is to decide whether those conclusions or statements can be made from the information provided.

Typically, your answers will be in the format of a 'Yes, it follows' or 'No, it does not follow' response.


At the very heart of critical thinking is your ability to interpret information.

Businesses need candidates skilled at problem-solving who can show how they interpret data to make the right decisions.

This stage of the test is about demonstrating how you create informed decisions and whether this is a skill that comes naturally to you.

Like the deduction questions, you will be provided with a written statement that you must assume is true. You will also be given a suggested interpretation of that written statement.

You must decide if that interpretation is correct based on the information provided, using a 'yes/no' format.


The evaluation questions are about helping you to identify whether an argument is strong or weak.

We've already mentioned that the Watson Glaser Test is essential for law professionals, and we can see why at this stage of the test.

Within each question, you will be presented with a written statement and several arguments that can be used either for or against that statement.

You need to be able to identify which is the strongest argument and which is the weakest. However, you can only use the information provided to make your decision.

Watson Glaser Sample Questions

Now you know what to expect from the test, let's put this into practice by sharing some sample Watson Glaser practice test questions and some sample answers.

Inferences – Example Statement

Example Question

350 healthcare professionals recently attended a voluntary conference in New York. During the event, two of the main topics discussed were poverty and obesity.

These subjects were discussed because these are two significant issues relating to healthcare and are of interest to healthcare professionals.

Assumptions – Example Statement

Example Question

You should find an alternative way to get to work because there is a detour on your usual route. This is due to a temporary road closure on the fastest route.

The Watson Glaser Test: A Comprehensive Guide
The Watson Glaser Test: A Comprehensive Guide

Deductions – Example Statement

Example Question

ChocChoc is a new anti-aging candy bar that has hit upmarket health stores. The bar's secret is in the way it uses a special antioxidant that can prevent wrinkles and improve skin tissue. The candy bar has a heavy price tag, but online retailers report brisk sales. Some experts, however, continue to be skeptical of its potency.

Interpretations – Example Statement

Example Question

An eight-year-old begins to learn a foreign language at school. The child may know how to say a few words in another language after three months of tuition, but an adult may be able to speak fluently in that same language in the same timeframe.


Example Question

Should all pet owners have insurance as a legal requirement before taking ownership of a dog?

How to Prepare for the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test

You may be worried about taking a Watson Glaser assessment. After all, if recruiters put emphasis on your test scores, it could be a dealbreaker in terms of your chances of success.

It's important to note that there is no pass mark for a Watson Glaser test, so you can’t fail. However, lower scores indicate that you have not read or understood the information provided.

The Watson Glaser test is a standardized test, which means all candidates will be judged against the same criteria.

However, different sectors will have other benchmarks for their success rates.

For example, many legal firms require scores of at least 75%–80%. This is because they need to feel confident that legal candidates have exceptional critical thinking skills.

To give yourself every chance of success, consider these ways to prepare for a Watson Glaser test.

Step 1. Pay Attention to Online Practice Tests

Many sample Watson Glaser practice tests are available online, which should be a starting point for your preparation.

In addition, practicing sample questions will acquaint you with the questioning style and give you an idea of what to expect on test day.

However, bear in mind that sample questions may not offer the same level of detail as the specific exam questions.

Therefore, if you are looking for Watson Glaser tests online, ensure any questions are particular to the Watson Glaser test, rather than just critical thinking.

Step 2. Understand the Purpose of the Watson Glaser Test

Understanding why recruiters focus on the Watson Glaser test as part of their recruitment strategy will help you to prepare.

If you know what different sectors are looking for and why critical thinking is so important, you can apply this knowledge to your preparation.

Rather than seeing it as an inconvenience, you'll appreciate its role in ensuring that the right person is chosen for the job.

Step 3. Think RED

As you read about the Watson Glaser critical thinking test, you'll likely come across the acronym RED:

  • Recognize assumptions
  • Evaluate arguments
  • Draw conclusions

When put into practice, the RED model helps you to identify the truth and understand the differences between fact and opinion.

Step 4. Use Critical Thinking in Your Daily Routine

Try to incorporate critical thinking into your everyday life. The more you nurture and develop your skills, the easier you will find the Watson Glaser test.

Recruiters don't use the assessment to see how you pass an exam. They use it because they want to know how you use critical thinking in day-to-day life.

For example, think about the way that you consume the news. Can you identify if you are being given facts or if you are making deductions or assumptions from the information provided?

This is where the RED model comes into play. Can you recognize any assumptions? Can you evaluate clear arguments? And can the information enable you to draw a conclusion?

How to Do Well in the Watson Glaser Test

These practical tips will help you to improve your Watson Glaser test scores.

Be Aware of the Test Format

The Watson Glaser test is very different from other critical thinking tests. Therefore, find out about the test format (for example, through practice tests), so that you are not surprised on test day.

Read the Instructions Carefully

Your critical thinking skills begin from the moment you read the first question.

First, you need to understand what you are being asked to do. Then, take your time to review each question to ensure you've read it thoroughly.

Although it’s a timed test, you won't get a higher score if you finish early.

Make the most of the time given to ensure you are answering the questions correctly.

Focus Only on the Information Provided in Each Question

The purpose of the Watson Glaser test is to see if you can come to a conclusion based on the information provided in the written statement.

Focus only on this information and ignore everything else that you think you may know.

Move On if You Get Stuck

The test is timed, so if you get stuck on a question, move on to the next one.

Part of why many candidates undertake Watson Glaser sample test questions is to practice their timings and establish how much time they need to allocate for each section.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Watson Glaser test is a critical thinking online test designed to see how job candidates use their critical thinking skills. Recruiters commonly use it in legal, HR, marketing or finance sectors.

The Watson Glaser test has a total of 40 questions, split into five sections: inference, assumption, deductions, interpretations and evaluations.

The Watson Glaser test has no pass/fail score, but your overall score will indicate your critical thinking skills.

You need to look at, interpret and understand each question. You could get a lower score if you skim-read the questions or do not fully understand what you are being asked to do.

Numerous Watson Glaser practice tests are available online, but the quality varies.

If you’re interested in a paid option, look at sites such as JobTestPrep to purchase comprehensive study aids.

This depends on your sector. The standardized test directly compares candidates, so this could depend on the type of work that you are applying for.

Sectors such as the law profession expect you to achieve a 75%–80% score because the roles rely heavily on critical thinking skills.

The Watson Glaser Test was developed over 85 years ago. During that time, it has been used by companies including Amazon, the Bank of England, Amazon, Deloitte, Hiscox, Linklaters and Hogan Lovells.

If you achieve a low score on the Watson Glaser assessment, you will not be invited to any further stage of the recruitment process.

Many hiring managers are now using the Watson Glaser test at an earlier stage to filter applicants quicker.

The Watson Glaser test is divided into five sections: inference, assumption, deductions, interpretations and evaluations.

You will typically be provided with a written statement and asked a question based on the information only available within that statement.

You will have 30–60 minutes to complete the Watson Glaser test.

Final Thoughts

The Watson Glaser test helps recruiters assess and understand your critical thinking skills.

It is typically used by firms with exceptional competition for their job roles, and therefore they are looking for the best critical thinkers to join their teams.

To increase your chances of success, pay close attention to your preparation. You want to be aware of what the test entails, so spend time researching Watson Glaser practice test questions online – but be careful not to fall into the trap of using basic critical thinking test questions.

In addition, the Watson Glaser assessment has unique rules and formulations; you need to be clear about those rules well ahead of test day.

Remember that advance preparation for your Watson Glaser test will not just help you improve your score. Practice questions will help you improve your critical thinking skills.

You can then use that newly acquired knowledge to assist you in the workplace, making you far more employable.

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