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What Is the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test?

The goal of this exam is to assess your logical and analytical abilities, through questions in which you will be required to process information and analyse different hypotheses, arguments and situations.

The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking test is unconventional and a very challenging assessment, which requires high reasoning skills and logical capabilities. This test is made up of 5 different parts: inference, recognising assumptions, deduction, interpretation and evaluation of arguments.

This assessment test includes 40 questions, to be answered within 30-minutes. In the previous version of the test, which is almost no longer used, there are 60 minutes to answer 80 questions. Both versions of the Watson Glaser test have the same degree of difficulty, as well as the same type of questions.

We help 63,200 people every year get the score they need. See the full tailored PrepPack™ that includes 500+ practice questions, expert tips & study guides >> 

What Are the Main Challenges in This Test?

In order to know which challenges you will face, you must first understand why this test is used as part of your hiring process;

Your potential employer wants to see if you are able to quickly analyse complex information which you are not familiar with, identify the relevant information, reach data-based conclusions and as a result, make the right decisions. This can only be done if you avoid being swayed by your gut feeling and intuitive assumptions.

Most test-takers complete this exam within the allotted time frame. Therefore, unlike other psychometric tests, the time limit is not an obstacle on this test. However, since this is a unique and complex test, candidates may feel overwhelmed and under pressure which prevents them from thinking clearly. As a result, employers may overlook even the most capable candidates with the highest potential.

Becoming familiar with the challenging questions expected to appear on the test will allow you to gain confidence, remain calm in real-time and build strategies for identifying the right answer in the shortest possible time. Utilising our Watson Glaser test practice will enable you to showcase your capabilities in the best way possible, ensuring that you outdo your competition.

See Watson Glaser 5 sample questions >>

Already Familiar with Critical Thinking Tests? Be Careful!

If you already know the Critical Thinking tests, you should note that the Watson Glaser exam has its own rules. Practising with generic Critical Thinking tests might cause you to automatically answer questions based on the generic set of rules. Examples of the difference between the two types of rules are found below.

Ensuring that you acquire a thorough understanding of the unique questions that appear in the Watson Glaser exam can be done by practising with our tailored Watson Glaser PrepPack™. Inside you will find all-inclusive test simulations, professional study guides and in-depth explanations of the different types of questions. In addition, make sure to read the instructions carefully before answering each question.

3 Tips You Need to Know

1. Don't leave any questions unanswered - Be careful not to waste too much time trying to answer a specific question. If you are unsure of what the correct answer might be, make an informed guess and move on to the next one. Unlike other psychometric tests, the Watson Glaser exam allows test-takers to go back to previous questions and make changes, so long as the time hasn’t run out. On the other hand, try not being too hasty in marking down answers, because completing the test in a short period of time will not earn you extra points.

2. Pay attention to the different rules in each section - In one section of the test, you may be required to completely ignore your common sense and general knowledge, basing your answers solely on the provided data. Yet in another part of the test, you may be asked to use common sense to determine what the correct answer is. Make sure you are following the exact set of rules specific for each one of the sections.

3. Take example questions if offered – Sometimes, you may be given the option to perform sample questions before sitting the actual Watson Glaser test. This is an opportunity for you to gain confidence, calm your nerves and familiarise yourself with what you are about to face. For this reason, we highly recommend using our Watson Glaser practice test beforehand.

Note: Find below additional tips and tricks for each one of the test sections.

Watson Glaser Test Structure 

Each of the five Watson Glaser test sections has its own rules which are crucial to understand before taking the test. Let’s go over them one by one:

Section 1: Inference

In this section, you are asked to draw conclusions from observed or supposed facts. You are presented with a short text containing a series of facts you should consider as true. Below the text is a statement that may or may not be inferred from the text.

You need to make a judgment on the degree of the inference’s plausibility, and determine if it is true, probably true, probably false, false, or whether there is insufficient data to decide.

Similar to the classic ‘true/false/cannot say’ questions, ‘true’ means the inference is, without a doubt, correct. ‘False’ meanwhile means the inference could not be correct, under any circumstances. Lastly, ‘cannot say’ means you simply don’t have enough information to make a decision.

Watson Glaser puts a twist on this popular question type by adding grey areas such as ‘probably true’ and ‘probably false’. This means, it’s not possible to know for sure, but it’s more likely to be true or false.

note The trickiness in this section is in differentiating between the ‘probably’ ('probably true' and 'probably false') and ‘insufficient data’ answer choices. To do so, you must not only analyse the text, but also use your common sense and world knowledge.

Sample Question

Facts: Following a reduction in the number of applicants, the college has been asking students to evaluate faculty teaching performance for the last two years. The college's management announced that the purpose of these evaluations is to provide information to faculty about teachers' strengths and weaknesses and to help higher management make decisions about pay raises and promotions to reward the better teachers. Last week, Professor Burke, a recently retired senior lecturer at the college, wrote a letter in which he objected to these evaluations, claiming they compromised academic standards.

Statement: The college management does not care about academic excellence at all.

A) True     
B) Probably True     
C) Insufficient Data     
D) Probably False     
E) False

✓ The correct answer is D (Probably False)

This is a very definitive assertion that cannot be derived from the text. Even if the purpose of the evaluation is student satisfaction rather than trying to promote academic standards, it is very unlikely that the management does not care about the academic level at all.

Remember, you can use common sense and world knowledge when deciding between 'Probably' and 'Insufficient Data'.

Section 2: Recognising Assumptions

This section tests your ability to avoid taking for granted things that are not necessarily true and recognise that some concepts are taken for granted.

Here, you are given a statement, followed by a proposed assumption.

Your task is to determine whether the speaker of the statement has made that assumption or not. Note that you are not asked to decide whether the assumption is justified or true; only if it was made.


Sample Question

Statement: A career at DX Electronics is the best choice - it is the most stable workplace.

Assumption: Most of DX Electronics' employees are satisfied with their current company management.

A) Assumption made
B) Assumption not made

✓ The correct answer is B (Assumption not made).

The above text does not relate to employee satisfaction in any way. It might make sense that a workplace’s employees must be satisfied for it to be stable, but one does not have to make this assumption to make this statement.

Section 3: Deduction

Similar to the first section, deduction also tests your ability to formulate conclusions from given facts, however, it is done with a different format.

After reading the passage or statements and the proposed conclusion, you will have to determine whether the conclusion necessarily (meaning - absolutely) follows the passage or not. That is, the instructions here are to only mark ‘Conclusion Follows’ if there is no possible way that it does not.

Therefore, if you can think of any scenario in which the conclusion does not follow, the answer would then be ‘Conclusion Does Not Follow’.


note What is the trickiness in this section?

This section often involves syllogism and formal logic. However, The Watson Glaser test has rules of its own and prior familiarity with formal logic tests may be at your expense. One of the crucial differences is that in the Watson Glaser test, generalisation equals existence! (All A are B = the existence of A and B!).

If you are familiar with formal logic tests and their rules, you might know that in most, a generalisation type premise is considered hypothetical and therefore does not equal the existence of the subject in the statement.

In such tests the premises ‘all bears are blue’ and ‘all blue things are nice’ will not lead to the conclusion that ‘some bears are nice’ because the two premises are generalisations and therefore do not equal existence.

This is not the case in the Watson Glaser test. In this test, you can assume the existence of any group mentioned in the premises, even if it only appears as part of a generalising statement.

Therefore, in the Watson Glaser test, the conclusion ‘some bears are nice’ does follow the premises.

Sample Question

Statement: Only technological companies are listed on OTX stock market. No technological company remains unstable for a long period of time.

Conclusion: If your company is listed on OTX, it will not be unstable for a long time.

A) Conclusion follows
B) Conclusion does not follow

✓ The correct answer is A - Conclusion follows.

Technological companies = A, listed on OTX stock market = B, unstable for a long period of time = C.

According to the premises, (only A -> B), which equals (B -> A), and (no A -> C), which equals (A -> ~C).

The combination of the premises is (B -> ~C).

The conclusion states (B -> ~C).

This is a combination of the two premises. If only technological companies are listed on OTX stock market, and no technological company remains unstable for a long period of time, then no company listed on OTX will be unstable for a long time.

Section 4: Interpretation

The questions in this section look very similar to the ones in the deduction section, however, there are two major differences.

For starters, there is no formal logic involved. In addition, while the questions look the same, the rules are different.

In this section, the instruction is to mark ‘conclusion follows’ if it follows 'beyond a reasonable doubt', and not 'necessarily' like the previous section. An answer to a question can still be 'Conclusion Follows' even if you can think of a scenario where it does not apply, so long as that scenario is extremely unlikely.

While 'reasonable doubt' is a subjective term, the word 'reasonable' in this expression points out that there is still a slight chance of the conclusion not being 100% true. Additionally, 'necessarily' in this context is taken to mean 'absolutely true'. 

Remember to pay attention to the sample questions at the beginning of the section. They may help clarify the issue.

Keep in mind: The fact that sections 3 and 4 are so similar causes many test-takers to get confused and make mistakes. Take a look at the difference between these two sections in the explanation of the sample question below.

Sample Questions

Statement: Professor Diamond grades his class based on a grading curve in which the highest grade in each class on the final counts as an A and the lowest grade as an F, with all other scores adjusted accordingly. So, if a midterm is worth 40 points, and the highest actual score is 36 points, then that person gets 100 percent and everybody else gets a percentage relative to it.

Conclusion: If a student in professor Diamond’s class scores 0%, he will get an F.

A) Conclusion follows
B) Conclusion does not follow

✓  The correct answer is A (conclusion follows).

0% is the lowest grade possible, so you can conclude 'beyond a reasonable doubt' that if someone scored 0%, they will get an F, even if there were other students who scored 0% (in which case, they will all receive an F).

Note that we can think of scenarios in which it is unclear what grade someone who scored 0% will actually get. For example, if every single student in the class scored 0%, then this student's grade may be curved. This type of scenario is unlikely, therefore, it will not affect the conclusion.


note The difference between section 3 and 4:

In the Interpretation section, the answer would be 'Conclusion Follows' since the scenario of all the other students receiving 0% as well is very unlikely. Thus, one can say that this student will receive an F 'beyond a reasonable doubt'.  

In contrast, in the Deduction section, the answer would be 'Conclusion does not Follow' since the unlikely scenario still leaves room for doubt. This means that you can't be 100% sure whether this student will receive an F.

Section 5: Evaluation of Arguments

This section measures your ability to evaluate the strength of arguments.

You are given a question regarding a certain issue, typically social or economic, (‘should X do Y?’)  followed by an argument (‘yes, because…’ or ‘no, because…’). You have to regard every argument as true; the question is whether it is weak or strong.

Remember, a strong argument is both directly related to the question and important. A weak argument meanwhile is one that is not directly related to the question (even though it may be of great general importance), or if it is of minor importance or it is related only to trivial aspects of the question.


Sample Question

Question: Should employees who have over five years of experience in the company be bound by law to give employers an advance notice of 60 days upon resignation?

Argument: No. Labour laws such as this one that protect employers discourage employees, making them less efficient in the workplace.

A) Strong argument
B) Weak argument

✓ The correct answer is A (Strong argument).

If you consider this argument as true, as you are required to, then this argument is strong.

It is relevant to the question of whether there should be a law forcing employees to give two months’ notice before they can resign.

It is also important, stating that such laws would only render employees less motivated and productive. Therefore, the argument is strong.

Expert Tips: Develop a Strategy for Answering the Questions Quickly and Accurately


⋙ Section 1: Inference

When answering inference questions, start with the easy and clear-cut choices. Is the statement absolutely true or absolutely false? If so, great. If not, this is where things get tricky. Remember, when deciding between the three remaining options, you must base your answer not only on the passage, but also on your common sense and world knowledge.

Think of the answers as a scale of certainty, where ‘False’ is on the far left, ‘True' is on the far right, and ‘Insufficient Data’ is right down the middle.

Now, think about the statement again – where do you think it falls on the scale? Does it lean to one side or the other, or do you really not have enough information on which to base a decision? Use this method for every question in this section.


⋙ Section 2: Recognising Assumptions

When trying to recognise if an assumption was made, try thinking of it in the following way: Had the speaker not made the proposed assumption, does the statement make sense? If it does, it means the proposed assumption was indeed not made. If it does not, the assumption was made. For example, here is a statement: 'The sales will go up if we change our marketing strategy’.

Proposed assumption 1: ‘The sales can be improved’. Imagine the speaker of the statement did not make this assumption. Does the statement make sense? It does not – the speaker must assume something can be done to improve sales to make this statement (for the purpose of the test, the statements are never lies).

Proposed assumption 2: ‘The current sales are not high enough’. Now, imagine the speaker did not make this statement. Does the statement make sense? This time, it does. The speaker may think the sales are just fine but can be even higher.


⋙ Section 3: Deduction

Though considered to be tricky, the Deduction section is actually one of the clearer sections of the Watson Glaser test, because it follows specific formal logic rules, which are more clear-cut. Remember - for the answer to be ‘Conclusion Follows’, it must be able to be concluded from the statements. Meaning, if you can think of a scenario in which it does not, even if that scenario is extremely unlikely, the answer would be ‘Conclusion does not Follow’.


⋙ Section 4: Interpretation

There are three different types of scenarios; two of them are considered to be quite simple:

1. When the conclusion necessarily (absolutely) does not follow
2. When the conclusion clearly and necessarily follows.

3.The third scenario is considered to be tricky: When the conclusion probably follows, but not necessarily – this is where you would need to think of the term “reasonable doubt”, and decide whether the conclusion follows beyond a reasonable doubt or not. It’s okay to take a minute and think about this. If, however, you come across one of the first two scenarios – don’t linger; mark your answer and move on.


⋙ Section 5: Evaluation of Arguments

The most important things to remember in this section are:

1. Your personal opinions are irrelevant – decide on each argument based solely on the test’s criteria (importance and relation to the issue).

2. Judge every argument separately – two arguments can contradict each other and still both be strong arguments.

3. All arguments are to be considered as true. The question is whether they are strong or weak; do not decide an argument is weak because you think it isn’t true.


Improve Your Score Within 3-5 Days with Tailored Watson Glaser Test Prep

Our comprehensive PrepPack™ includes tools and Watson Glaser Critical Thinking test practice material that will help you reach your fullest potential in the quickest and most efficient way out there.


Use this work plan for quickest results: 

1. Take the diagnostic test as a first step, to assess which of the sections are your weakest and require more practice.

2. Follow the instructions of the diagnostic guide: practise with drills for each section separately to sharpen your understanding of the different rules and styles.

3. Read and implement our thorough and extensive study guides. They delve into each of the sections, providing examples, explanations and clarifications for tricky parts of the test.

4. Continue practising with the drills and read all the explanations – even for questions you answered correctly! They may include useful tips or improve your understanding of the concepts.

5. Finish up with two full-length Watson Glaser practice tests that match your norm group (supervisors and junior management/managers, professionals and graduates/senior management); take them in the timed-mode to simulate to the time limit and pressure of the real test. Don’t forget to go over your answers and make sure you understand everything. 

Watson Glaser Pass Mark: How the Test is Scored

Once you have completed your test, the five sections are marked, and your results are analysed against the three keys to critical thinking set out in Pearson TalenLens’s RED model. These three areas look at your comprehension, analysis and evaluation skills:

1) Recognise assumptions (seen in section 2 in the test)

2) Evaluate arguments (seen in section 5 in the test)

3) Draw conclusions (seen in sections 1, 3 and 4 in the test)


Watson-Glaser scores are given in each section along with a general percentile score. This score is a normalised score that compares your results to other people from the same norm group (graduates, managers, etc.).


Each percentile receives a letter grade, according to the following:

A – Well above average (91st percentile and above)

B – Above average (71st – 90th percentiles)

C – Average (31st – 70th percentiles)

D – Below average (11th – 30th percentiles)

E – Well below average (10th percentile and below)


This distribution can be presented like this:

watson glaser scoring

Companies that use Watson Glaser in their Recruitment Process

Below is a list of companies that commonly use Watson-Glaser during their recruitment process:

Accenture Amazon Baker Mckenzie
CMS Clifford Chance Dentons
Faculty of Public Health Freshfields Linklaters
Hiscox Hogan Lovells IBM
Medtronic Hill Dickinson Mishcon de Reya



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