A study of the validity of the Watson Glaser (W-GCTA UK) for predicting outcomes on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) was undertaken in 2010. This is a post-graduate vocational course for those wishing to practice as a barrister in England and Wales. 123 students on the course completed the W-GCTA UK for the purposes of the study during a one year vocational training course.
At the end of the course the average final exam grade for students was collected. The final exam grade included both more traditional written exams and ratings on vocational exercises such as writing opinions and arguing a case. The correlation between course results and the W-GCTA was 0.62. This is a very strong correlation and indicates that the W-GCTA is a very good predictor of performance on this vocational course.
A larger sample of students from the course was required to complete pilot forms of the W-GCTA Unsupervised in 2011. These were calibrated as described in the development section of this manual to provide scores on a standardised scale across test versions. Course exam results were available for 988 of the 1501 students who completed the test.
The correlation between the test scores and exam results was 0.51. This is another highly statistically significant and strong result showing the ability of the W-GCTA to predict performance in a vocational training context.
Subsequent to the Validation study a bespoke test, the Bar Council Aptitude Test has been designed using Watson-Glaser methodology. All applicants to a barrister training course in the UK are now required to take this test along with their application.
Full details of this and other validation studies can be found in the Watson-Glaser manual – available to registered BPS Level A users.