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Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Assessment: A Whistle-stop Tour

In the dynamic landscape of today’s professional world, critical thinking is a prized skill that sets individuals apart. Whether you’re a seasoned executive, a recent graduate, or somewhere in-between, the Watson Glaser assessment is a well-established measure of critical thinking skills.

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is the ability to examine evidence in a logical way and draw appropriate conclusions. It entails evaluating the quality of information and arguments presented, and deducing logical decisions based on the information provided. It’s a highly valued skill that can be a great predictor of success in almost every workplace.

The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Assessment (WG-CTA)

The WG-CTA is widely regarded as one of the toughest tests of critical thinking. As such, it is commonly used by leading legal, financial, and insurance organisations. Where two candidates may appear identical in terms of qualifications and experience, the WG-CTA can help decipher the potential long-term success of these individuals, particularly as they progress toward leadership.

Since being developed over 85 years ago, the WG-CTA has gained substantial recognition as an assessment tool that can predict future success in the role. It’s been revised to reflect the most up-to-date academic research which ensures the highest quality interpretation with a robust scientific base.

During the assessment, critical thinking is measured by three major categories:

1. Recognising Assumptions:

An assumption is when we believe something despite not knowing if it's true. Being aware of this and recognising when it is appropriate to do so is a key quality of critical thinking. In business, we often have to make decisions without all the information we would like so knowing when to make assumptions is an important skill.

2. Evaluating Arguments

Arguments are interpretations intending to persuade beliefs or behaviours. Evaluating arguments effectively enables you to objectively judge whether to believe something or not, and to act accordingly. Overcoming confirmation bias (too readily confirming or overlooking information based on previous experience) and emotion (which can deter objectivity) are both critical in evaluating arguments effectively.

3. Drawing Conclusions

This is the ability to draw conclusions that follow logically from the evidence provided. Drawing strong conclusions depends on weighing up alternative conclusions, identifying over-generalisations that go beyond the available evidence, and judging the likelihood of different conclusions being correct based on the available evidence.

What does your score mean?

Scores from the Watson Glaser are understood by comparing performance against norm groups. For instance, compared against the general UK population, consultants, or legal professionals. These sub-test scores are combined to determine the individual's overall critical thinking percentile score. This score shows the percentage of individuals in the selected comparison group the individual has scored better than:

Whilst the Watson Glaser test provides a good guide, it should always be interpreted with caution. It's never recommended to recruit only on the basis of WG-CTA scores, but it can be a useful tool when used in combination with other assessment techniques such as interviewing.

At GFB, we specialise in psychometrics and can advise you on how best to implement these in the recruitment process. If you'd like to learn more about whether the Watson Glaser assessment is right for your organisation, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

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