What Is Critical Thinking?
As businesses look for new ways to engage, develop, and innovate for the future, employees who demonstrate good critical thinking skills are sought after. But what is critical thinking ability and why are organisations keen to assess candidates for this skill, as part of their recruitment processes?
Critical Thinking is the ability to look at a situation and clearly understand it from multiple perspectives whilst separating facts from opinions and assumptions; helping a person to reach the right, rational decisions. It is recognised by the World Economic Forum as a key 21st Century skill and is a job requirement for many roles.
Many organisations now expect staff to be competent in four core skills or the Four Cs:
- Critical thinking
Critical Thinking is seen as the raw material that underpins a number of core skills and competencies.
Both problem solving and critical thinking are cognitive abilities, they are governed by how you think and reason. However, critical thinking is also linked to behaviour and by changing or modifying this we are able to develop our ability to evaluate information and make decisions.
Research supports the fact that Critical Thinking is an excellent predictor of job performance, making the difference between a good leader and an excellent leader. Assessing critical thinking ability can help employers from a recruitment and development perspective.
The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal published by Pearson TalentLens, is the industry standard used by businesses for more than 40 years to measure the critical thinking and verbal critical reasoning skills of job applicants and employees.
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What Is The Best Way To Assess Critical Thinking?
Critical thinking involves both cognitive (thinking and reasoning) skills as well as behavioural tendencies and biases. As such it is often difficult to discern Critical Thinking skills through a resume or job interview, and many employers choose to use psychometric assessments as part of their recruitment process, to help them evaluate candidates.
One of the most widely used psychometric assessments is the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, from Pearson TalentLens. The Watson-Glaser offers a hard-skills appraisal and is used primarily in the context of recruitment to measure critical thinking ability levels in job, university, and business school applicants.
Each Watson-Glaser test is composed of scenarios similar to those typically found in a variety of settings, including the workplace, the school, and other organisational settings. Other organisations use the Watson Glaser assessment and resulting Development Report to identify where an individual’s strengths and development areas lie and provide suggestions for coaching activities and exercises.
How Does Testing Cognitive Ability Improve The Hiring Process?
- Make informed decisions –
- Tools such as the Watson Glaser help organisations objectively measure candidates’ aptitude and suitability for a job role, as well as providing an indication of their general ability.
- The reasoning test is also used by University selection teams as part of their administration processes
- Predict the performance of potential employees and support their development in the future
- The Watson Glaser test is seen as a successful tool for predicting job success. Research shows that organisations can predict over 70% of performance by using the right tools. Results can help you identify and select good team members and possible future leaders.
- Reduce risk and the cost of a potential ‘bad hire’
- On average, a ‘bad hire’ costs companies 30% of each hire’s annual salary. Using the Watson Glaser appraisal as a tool can help strengthen your decision-making process.
- Efficient Selection
- Cognitive ability tests combined with personality tests can give organisations a full picture of their potential candidates. Helping to pinpoint suitable candidates immediately and making your recruitment process more efficient. This is essential for specific roles such as trainee barristers who must sit a critical thinking exam in the UK.
- Available as an online assessment
- Designed to save time and offer greater flexibility, the Watson Glaser test can be offered remotely, online via our testing platform.
What Does The Watson Glaser Test Measure?
One of the most established and reputable global tests, the Watson Glaser™ Critical Thinking Appraisal is designed to be a quick, consistent, and accurate measure of the ability to: Analyse, reason, interpret and draw logical conclusions from written information.
The test is suitable for apprasising adults (16 years and above), and has been revised and improved many times since its launch several decades ago.
The Watson-Glaser has five scales that are the building blocks of critical thinking. The questions are of varying difficulty and format to measure all areas of critical thinking ability.
The five subtests, listed here, require different, though interdependent, applications of analytical reasoning in a verbal context.
- Drawing inferences: Rating the probability of the truth of inferences based on the information given.
- Recognising assumptions: Identifying unstated assumptions or presuppositions underlying given statements.
- Deducing: Determining whether conclusions follow logically from given information.
- Interpreting: Weighing the evidence and deciding if generalizations or conclusions based on data are warranted.
- Evaluating arguments: Evaluating the strength and relevance of arguments with respect to a particular question or issue.
Once the WG-III test is completed, the report depicts an overall percentile score as well as scores in three individual areas, – the RED model – (infer, deduce and interpret scores are combined into Draw Conclusions).
Research also demonstrates a correlation of Watson-Glaser test scores with creative thinking ability.
Explore the format of the Watson-Glaser by completing a free practice Critical Thinking Test.
What Is The format Of The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal?
- The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal is a timed online test. Applicants are allowed a maximum of 30 minutes to complete the test. Along with test instructions and untimed practice questions, the total time to administer may be up to 40 minutes.
- The test comprises of 40 items (questions) that include a new bank of business-relevant questions suitable for international use.
- Multi-lingual: The test is available in a number of languages including:
- UK English
- US English
- French Canadian
- Latin American Spanish
- Suitable for unsupervised (unproctored) screening of job applicants due to its ‘item-bank’ design whereby questions are randomly selected from a large pool.
- It is also suitable for online completion in a supervised environment such as assessment or development centres.
- A wide variety of norm groups are available. Bespoke norms can be created.
- Two reports are currently available for Watson Glaser-lll:
- Profile Report: which contains an overall percentile score presented with individual percentile scores for the three sub-areas of measurement: Recognise Assumptions, Evaluate Arguments and Draw Conclusions
- Development Report: designed to help you leverage and strengthen your critical thinking skills.
- Required training to use the Watson Glaser is BPS Test User: Occupational Ability (Level A) qualification – a two-day face-to-face course. An online course will shortly be available. A BPS combined course Level A & B is also available.
- New Critical Thinking: Online Training and Assessment course providing an introduction to critical thinking – discover how to move from theory into practice. At the end of the training, you will be offered the chance to measure your own critical thinking ability levels using the Watson Glaser test.
- Critical Thinking Workshop – one-day bespoke workshop designed to show employers and employees how to absorb, organise, and evaluate complex information, from multiple perspectives – to reach logical, well-founded conclusions. By the end of this workshop, attendees will have the knowledge to apply this key skill.
Employing The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal In Your Recruiting / Company
Join the thousands of global businesses that use Watson Glaser as part of their recruitment and development processes. Complete the following form to:
- Request a no-obligation demonstration of the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal.
- Book a place on our new free online critical thinking training course*
- Register interest in obtaining the BPS Test User: Occupational Ability (Level A) qualification.
- Access our online testing platform with free practice tests for candidates.
Students and candidates are invited to complete a practice Critical Thinking Test.
About TalentLens Pearson PLC
TalentLens is part of Pearson PLC, the world’s learning company and global market leader in assessments. We are an international talent assessment business. Using psychometric tests to help organisations select and develop top performers and high potential.
Our Team. Your Service
Supported by over 70 years of research, our psychometric tests, such as the Watson Glaser test, are used by hundreds of companies around the world for their employee recruitment and development projects. As experts from the business world, our primary objective is to provide you with ongoing assistance to review your practices, understand and define your needs, and support you in choosing and using our assessment solutions.
We can support you with:
- Choosing your inter-or in-company training and the administrative procedures required.
- The development and implementation of customised services to meet your HR needs.
- Administering tests from our dedicated online test platform, see the results of candidates, and make well-supported hiring decisions.
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