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Tips On How To Pass Watson Glaser Tests For Law Jobs

Nikki Dale
Nikki Dale June 15, 2023
Watson Glaser Test Tips

If you are looking to join a law firm as part of your training contract, the likelihood is that you will need to take some sort of assessment - and one of the most popular tests used is the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Assessment (W-GCTA).

This test is well recognized as being particularly challenging for many reasons - and that is why so many law firms use it as part of their recruitment process. Not only do you need to demonstrate to the recruiters that you are able to think critically, but you will need to perform better than other applicants to be considered.

The assessment typically consists of 40 questions in five sections, which has a time limit of 30 minutes. Some firms use a longer version of the W-GCTA which has 80 questions and lasts 60 minutes.

In both cases, the content of the questions is focused on your critical thinking ability only, posing different types of questions to evaluate your ability to make considered decisions based on the available information.

The sections in the Watson Glaser test are:

  • Inferences
  • Recognition of Assumptions
  • Deduction
  • Interpretation
  • Evaluation of Arguments.

You can find specific information, a detailed guide, and example questions in our full article on the Watson Glaser test.

To pass the Watson Glaser test, you will need to answer as many questions correctly as possible - and that is where the tips below will help you.

1. Get to Know The Watson Glaser Rules

There are many different types of critical thinking tests, but the Watson Glaser has pretty specific rules about the way questions are asked and answered.

The main difference in the Watson Glaser compared to other tests is that out of the multiple choice options presented, you can also choose probably true and probably false, which adds a layer of obscurity if you are used to only choosing definite answers.

2. Answer Using the Information Presented

The W-GCTA is designed so that you do not have to have any previous knowledge or experience in law or any other area - all the information that you need to answer the question is provided.

There will also be irrelevant facts and details used, to make it more challenging - so the tip here is to focus on what is in front of you, and leave any preconceived notions behind. Get to the point of what has been written.

3. Develop Critical Thinking Tools

One of the major parts of any critical thinking test is learning to spot logical fallacies - these are common in the W-GCTA and the more you know about them, the more likely you are to spot them in an argument.

Some of the more common ones include:

  • Ad populum (bandwagon)
  • Slippery slope
  • Red herring
  • Strawman
  • Hasty generalization

4. Answering Inference Questions

This section of the assessment is about deciding if the statement you are given is true (or not) according to the text - with the added complexity that you are looking for details that are inferred rather than explicitly stated.

As mentioned before, do not rely on your own knowledge to answer this question - instead, take the information from the passage, and look for hints in the language used around the details. If it is specific, then you can usually tell if it is true or false - but if it is more generalized, then you will know that it can be answered as probably true or probably false.

5. Answering Recognition of Assumption Questions

In this part of the assessment, you are asked to decide whether the assumption given has been made in the passage provided.

One of the best ways to approach this is to decide if the opposite can be true or what the assumption is. If the opposite cannot be true, then you can say that the assumption is made.

6. Answering Deduction Questions

In the deduction section, you will be asked to come to a conclusion based on the information that you have been given.

To get to a firm conclusion, look to see whether there are any words like some or all in the passage - and remember to look for equivalents in any statistics - they like to use both percentages and fractions in the same passage to make it more complicated.

7. Answering Interpretation Questions

In these questions, you will need to show that you are able to understand the text that is provided, and that you can draw conclusions about it - interpreting what is being said correctly.

This usually includes a longer piece of text and more reading - and the best way to deal with this type of question is to keep note of things like facts and inferences, and decide if there could be any alternative interpretations to the text.

8. Answering Evaluation of Arguments Questions

This section can be particularly challenging because it is not about whether you agree with the argument, but about how strong or weak the argument is. Trying to separate this from your own biases is not easy.

The best thing to do is look at what the argument is saying. If it is relevant and related, with facts that directly support the text, you can conclude that it is a strong argument.

If the argument contains any logical fallacies, includes no links to the text, or is otherwise unrelated, then you can conclude that it is a weak argument.

9. Read Widely

Practicing your critical thinking is the best way to exercise that muscle - and you can do it every day when you are reading any sort of formal writing. This might include things like newspaper reports or law journal articles, for example.

When you are reading, think about the strength of the arguments and whether there are any assumptions in text. Can you spot any logical fallacies? Does the writer allow for any other interpretations because of the language they have used?

Thinking more deeply about the information in front of you is a skill that you will need throughout your law career

10. Practice Tests

There is no substitute for taking practice tests when it comes to making the most of your preparation - and if you want to achieve the highest marks you can in the W-GCTA, you need to practice with realistic assessments.

Practice tests have many benefits, but the main focus of them should be familiarity. You want to feel comfortable in the way the test is structured and how you need to answer the questions, and you need to be confident in the timings for the test.

Look for practice tests that are timed, use a similar structure to the Watson Glaser test, and are designed for use in the law recruitment process - these are the most helpful and relevant, although any critical thinking test will help you learn and develop some of your skills.

The more practice you do, the more you should start recognizing some of the ways the questions are written and the content is presented - all leading to you getting better scores in the real thing. You'll also be able to evaluate for yourself if there are any specific areas in your critical thinking that need some more work.

Law firms that use Watson Glaser

Law firms around the world use the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Tests - the list below is by no means exhaustive.

Nikki Dale June 15, 2023

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