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What is the Watson Glaser test?

Law firms are increasingly using the Watson Glaser test to measure the potential of candidates. This post will outline what the Watson Glaser test is and what it assesses, as well as some tips on how to ace the test on the big day.

NEW FOR 2018: you can now prepare for your Watson Glaser Test properly with our free Watson Glaser Practice Test!

Go to Watson Glaser Practice Test

What is the Watson Glaser test designed to assess?

Watson Glaser Test
The Watson Glaser Test is designed to assess your critical thinking

The Watson Glaser Test assesses your critical thinking and your ability to understand and digest relatively large amounts of information within a short period of time. In 50 minutes, you are expected to answer a total of five sections – which means you will have 10 minutes to answer each sub question. The reason why this method of assessment is quite popular with graduate recruiters is because a good result in the test often provides for a good indication as to the likelihood of you becoming a successful lawyer.

What does the Watson Glaser test examine?

1. Your ability to draw inferences

The first competency that the test examines is your ability to draw references. In this section, you’ll be given a passage of information and you’ll be required to give a response: this will be ‘true’, ‘probably true’, or ‘false’. The key to answering this section correctly is by assuming the passage to be completely true – this means you cannot use any of your own prior knowledge to make a determination of the answer.

2. Your ability to recognise assumptions

The second skill that the Watson Glaser tests is your ability to recognise assumptions. This section is different from the first in that you will have to answer ‘true’ or ‘false’ – there is no in-between. However, the layout and structure of the question remains the same as the first.

3. Inductive reasoning

The third section of the test examines your inductive reasoning. Simply put, this is testing is your logic. Just like the second section, the answer will be either true or false.

4. Logical interpretation

The fourth section of the test will be slightly trickier and will examine your logical interpretation. This means your ability to sum up the strength of an argument and whether the statement is true or false.

5. Argument evaluation

Finally, similar to the fourth section you will be challenged on your ability to evaluate arguments, however unlike the fourth section there is an add-on where you will have to determine whether a particular argument is ‘weak’ or ‘strong’.

How can I do well in the Watson Glaser test?

Practice, practice, practice! Speaking from experience, this will be unlike any other test you may be used to. You cannot simply memorise and regurgitate information, so the only way to perform well is by doing as many practice papers as possible.

These are easily obtainable online here and will often be provided by the law firms who use these tests. Doing as many practice papers as possible will give you a good idea of the sort of thinking that is required in the real assessment and will more crucially allow you to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

Good luck!

Words: Vikramjeet Singh


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