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A Guide to the Watson Glaser Test

A Guide to the Watson Glaser Test: Practice Questions and Tips

Feb 05, 2023

If someone is looking into a career in law and wants to apply for a law training contract, they’ll likely be required to complete the Watson Glaser test of critical thinking.

This article will divulge all the details of the Watson Glaser psychometric test, such as the type of questions, its format, some tips and a small Watson Glaser practice test.

To begin, here is an introduction to the origins of the Watson Glaser test and how it is used to assess law candidates.


What Is the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test?

The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) test was originally created by American psychologists Goodwin Watson and Glaser in 1925 and is currently published by talentlens.

Both Watson and Glaser wanted to design an assessment that measured an individual’s critical thinking skills and not their accumulated knowledge.

Critical thinking is the ability to look at a scenario or situation and understand it from different perspectives while separating facts from opinions and feelings.

The Watson Glaser test measures how much an individual presents this understanding.

Many legal practices include the Watson Glaser test in their recruitment process when looking for new trainees. These include:

  • The Government’s Legal Section
  • Hogan Lovells
  • DL Piper
  • Shoosmiths
  • Clifford Chance
  • Linklaters

They want to measure how critically a candidate thinks, how they come to conclusions, and whether they can evaluate strong and weak arguments and recognise assumptions.

The Watson Glaser test is similar to other tests such as the Cappfinity Critical Reasoning test and the SHL Critical Reasoning test.


Watson Glaser Test: Answers, Questions, Format

The Watson Glaser assessment is commonly a multiple-choice test, consisting of between 40 to 80 questions. More often than not, it is around the 40-question mark.

The candidate is normally given between 30 and 60 minutes to take the test. The test is commonly taken online.

The test is basically a verbal reasoning assessment, where you will have to make logical conclusions about text-based passages based on a number of factors.

It is split into five sections. These are:


Assessment of Inferences

This section of the Watson Glaser test includes five separate statements that the candidate must assume are true, without involving any outside knowledge to influence their decisions.

Each statement is followed by a series of inferences relating to the contents of the statement. The candidate must determine whether each inference is definitely true, probably true, probably false, definitely false or if there is insufficient data.

There are generally six questions in this section.


Recognition of Assumptions

In this part of the test, another list of statements is followed by a number of sentences related to each one.

The candidate then needs to recognise which sentences are assumptions and which are not. The options will be 'assumption made' or 'assumption not made'.

There are normally 12 questions in this section.



In the eight questions of this section, the candidate is presented with passages of text and they must draw conclusions from the passage to assess if the multiple-choice answers follow the logic of the given passages or not.



In this section, the student is given passages that they need to assume are true and a conclusion that has been drawn from the passage.

They must interpret the passage to analyse if the conclusion is correct, based only on the information given. The options will be 'Conclusion follows' or 'Conclusion doesn’t follow'.

There are normally six questions in this part of the test.


Evaluation of Arguments

Over 12 questions, the candidate must decide whether the arguments presented are strong or weak ones, based on all the information they have in addition to their own skills regarding the formation of arguments.

They will need to choose either 'Strong argument' or 'Weak argument'.


Watson Glaser Sample Questions

For law candidates, the Watson Glaser test is a very important one, with the results determining whether an individual will secure a law training contract.

This means the candidate is going to want to prepare and revise for it as much as possible.

There are Watson Glaser practice tests online available to help such candidates prepare as much as they can for the actual assessment.

These practice tests have many simple questions that give a full indication of what the test will be like and allow them to answer such questions under a time constraint.

Below are some examples of sample questions. 


Assessment of Inference Practice Question

There are some children making a very loud noise in the distance. One of the children is shouting at the rest of the group, the others seem to be talking over the other child.

The children are all having an argument and the child shouting is angry.

Is the preceding inference:

a) True
b) Probably true
c) Insufficient data
d) Probably false
e) False

The correct answer is: c). Insufficient data.

The reader does not know if the children are arguing, if the child is shouting due to being angry or even what the children are saying – they could just be playing.


Recognition of Assumptions Sample Question

The secret to good skin is buying and using top-of-the-range products from the best brands and using them every day.

Proposed assumption: The reader has enough money to buy these top-of-the-range products.

a) Assumption made
b) Assumption not made

The correct answer is: a) Assumption made.

The initial passage assumes the reader will have the money to buy the products and is thus trying to convince them to do so.


Deduction Watson Glaser Practice Test Question

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

a) No clear days are boring
b) Some Fridays are boring
c) Some Fridays are not boring

The correct answer is: b) Some Fridays are boring.

This can be deduced because, given the stated information, if a Friday is raining it will be boring. The other two statements rely on the assumption that not-rainy days are not boring, which is not information given to the reader.


Interpretation Sample Question

Women are often criticised for working full time when they have young children, and it is said they should spend those years picking the children up from school or doing things with them so they don't have to pay for childcare.

Stated conclusion: The role of women in society is changing.

a) Conclusion follows
b) Conclusion doesn't follow

The correct answer is: a). Conclusion follows.

You can conclude that women are still seen as the main carer of children but that they don’t always follow this role, as some work full-time (i.e., the ones who are being criticised).


Evaluation Sample Question

Everyone in the school should be made to vote for the new school prefect because it will make them look more into politics and understand the process.

This is a:

a) Weak argument
b) Strong argument

The correct answer is: a) Weak argument.

This is a weak argument because it makes the assumption that just voting will be enough for everyone in the school to become interested in and understand politics, rather than laying out how the action leads to the result.


You can practise more on TestHQ.


Access Practice Material With TestHQ

How did you do with the example questions? If you were stronger at some sections over others, focus your practice on where you need it most.

For a huge range of practice material, take advantage of the TestHQ practice tests to access more than 800 questions and answers.

The package includes full solutions and explanations, so you can understand how to get to the correct answer and avoid those dreaded point deductions.


The Benefits of Taking a Watson Glaser Practice Test

Taking a Watson Glaser practice test does not just help the individual prepare for their impending assessment: these online sample tests have other benefits too:

  • Better understanding of the test format – Watson Glaser practice tests will let the candidate become comfortable performing under timed circumstances and get used to the type of questions.
  • Help in identifying your strengths and weaknesses – By practising the test and seeing which sections they're stronger and weaker in, a candidate can then perform targeted revision and improve where they need to.
  • Boosts your creative and logical thinking skills – Each time the Watson Glaser practice test is taken, these vital skills will improve.
  • Gives you more confidence – The practice tests will give you the confidence that you can complete the real test.


Watson Glaser Test Tips

Here are some top tips that can help anybody required to take the Watson Glaser test:

  • Read questions carefully – It is all too common to make mistakes by misunderstanding a question, and some are easy to misinterpret if not read properly; so, ensure you’re careful and take your time when reading them to stop this from happening.
  • Don’t make assumptions about the questions – Sometimes, you may overthink every question and believe it is a trick question or that the answer will be the less obvious one. This can cause you stress or make you change from a correct to an incorrect answer. Take each question at face value and do not make any assumptions.
  • Use only the information given to you – This test is based on fictional examples; you have to base your answers just on the information you’re given and not any external knowledge.
  • Don’t dwell on difficult questions – Remember, the test is timed, so if there’s one difficult question, go with your instinct or even come back to it at the end if you have time; even just guessing an answer will mean there is some chance of being correct, and will allow you to move on to questions you do know the answer to.
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before and have breakfast on the day – Facing the test on little sleep and being hungry or thirsty will have a detrimental effect on the results. Test takers should get an early night before and eat some good breakfast; this will support your other preparation.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Watson Glaser test?

The Watson Glaser test is an assessment commonly used on law graduates looking for jobs. It measures their critical thinking skills and their ability to separate facts from feelings or opinions.


Is the Watson Glaser test difficult to pass?

If the candidate is weak in critical thinking skills, the Watson Glaser test could be difficult to pass. Luckily, these skills can be improved upon.


How can I prepare for the Watson Glaser test?

The candidate can prepare for the Watson Glaser test by doing online practice tests, which not only give an insight into what the questions will look like, but let the person answer the sample questions under a timed exam situation.

Many websites offer free Watson Glaser practice tests or paid-for prep packages, like TestHQ.


What is the purpose of the Watson Glaser test?

The purpose of the Watson Glaser test is to measure a candidate's critical thinking skills, to see if they would be a good fit for a certain role.


What topics are covered in the Watson Glaser test?

The topics covered in this test are all based around critical thinking type scenarios, and the test is separated into evaluation, deduction, inference, assumption and interpretation.


Is the Watson Glaser test timed?

Yes, the Watson Glaser test is commonly between 30 and 60 minutes, with normally 40 to 60 questions asked over the five sections.


How do I get better at the Watson Glaser test?

The best way to get better at the Watson Glaser test is to prepare by taking the practice tests online. This will ensure you identify any sections you need to revise and work on.


Final Thoughts

The Watson Glaser test was created to measure the critical thinking skills of someone, testing if they can differentiate between fact and opinion and can evaluate an argument for strength or deductions.

This test is normally used by law firms looking for new trainees to join their firm. It is necessary and important for those taking it to do well so they stand a chance of securing the role.

These candidates can prepare for the test and help to identify their strengths and weaknesses by taking Watson Glaser practice tests online. These consist of sample questions for each section and the candidate can practise doing them under timed exam assessment.

The key is preparation for passing this test.


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