June 26, 2019
If you’re applying for training contracts, you might have heard of the Watson Glaser test. Designed to assess candidates’ critical thinking skills, the test requires you to digest and consider information and situations. You’ll also need to assess the strength of arguments, recognise assumptions and evaluate arguments.

The aptitude assessment is one that is used by many law firm recruiters, so it’s important to have a firm understanding of what is required of you during the test and what you can do to improve your performance.

1. Choose the right time for you

It’s tempting to get it out of the way as soon as possible and to show your enthusiasm for your your training contract application. However, it’s best to take the test at a time when you feel readily prepared and are at your most alert. Unlike when you had to take school or university exams, the Watson Glaser test offers you the luxury of being able to choose when and where you take the test – choose a time and place you know will work well for you, as this will boost your chances of success.

If you’re not a morning person, don’t feel bad about not completing the test first thing in the morning if it’s on your to-do list. Working with, rather than against, your natural body clock will benefit you here as you’ll be switched on, ready to perform at your best and impress your potential law firm.

Read Top Tips for your Face-to-Face Training Contract Interview

2. Chart your performance

Like most things in life, preparation is key. You’ll need to practice the test beforehand to ensure you are prepared to take it and achieve a good score. The best way to get a feel for whether you’re ready to take the test is to map your performance throughout your practice sessions.

If it takes longer than you thought it would, continue to practice and you’ll eventually find yourself at the stage where you feel ready to tackle the test.

We go through sample questions and answers on our Watson Glaser guide.


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3. Work out where you’re going wrong

To ensure you’re prepared to succeed when taking the actual test, have a look at your previous practice tests to identify where, if anywhere, you have gone wrong.

It can be tempting to go over what you already know and feel comfortable with but this won’t be as helpful to you. To do well in the test you’ll need to focus your time on strengthening particular areas of weakness you may have in your aptitude ability. This should see a vast improvement in your test ability.

Read Top Questions and Answers for Your Training Contract Interview

4. Focus on the information given

An element of the Watson Glaser test that some candidates find difficult is focusing solely on the information given to you. Using only that information is essential to success in the test.

It might be tricky but do your best to disregard anything else you might know about a topic because it won’t score you any extra marks when it comes to the Watson Glaser test.

5. Read everything twice

There’s often a lot of information to read through and with a time limit looming over your head, you may feel rushed. However, it pays to read through the passages carefully and double check you read them correctly. This will ensure you have a good understanding of what the question is asking of you before attempting to answer it.

It may be tempting to skim-read passages or questions but you’re more likely to miss out vital information by doing so. This could ultimately make the difference between a law firm progressing your application to the next stage or being rejected.

Read Life as a Trainee Solicitor at Bird & Bird


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