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Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal

The benchmark test of critical reasoning ability

The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal is the leading critical thinking test used to assess and develop decision making skills and judgment. Thousands of organizations and schools use Watson-Glaser to hire great managers, develop high-potential employees, and admit students into challenging programs.

Often seen as a key competency for employees, the Watson-Glaser test assesses critical thinking through the RED model, that looks at critical thinking through a 3-step sequential model of Recognising Assumptions, Evaluating Arguments, and Drawing Conclusions.

Recognise Assumptions

This is the ability to separate fact from opinion. It is deceptively easy to listen to a comment or opinion and assume the information presented is true even though no evidence was given to back it up. Perhaps the speaker is particularly credible or trustworthy, or the information makes sense or matches our own view. We just don’t question it.

Noticing and questioning assumptions helps to reveal information gaps or unfounded logic. Taking it a step further, when we examine assumptions through the eyes of different people (e.g. the viewpoint of different stakeholders), the end result is a richer perspective on a topic.

Evaluating Arguments

It is difficult to suspend judgement and systematically walk through various arguments and information impartially. The art of evaluating arguments entails analysing information objectively and accurately, questioning the quality of supporting evidence and understanding how emotion influences the situation. Common barriers include confirmation bias, which is the tendency to seek out and agree with information that is consistent with your own point of view, or allowing emotions – yours or others – to get in the way of objective evaluation.

People may quickly come to a conclusion simply to avoid conflict. Being able to remain objective and sort through the validity of different positions helps people draw more accurate conclusions.

Drawing Conclusions

People who possess this skill are able to collate diverse information and arrive at conclusions that logically follow from the available evidence. In addition, they do not inappropriately generalise beyond the evidence.

Furthermore, they will change their position when the evidence warrants doing so. They are often characterised as having “good judgement” because they typically arrive at a quality decision.


Three types of assessment reports are available on the Watson-Glaser:

  • Profile Report: Overview of a respondent’s score, comparison of scores with all available norm groups
  • Interview Report: Enhanced report with tailored interview questions based on respondent’s test scores
  • Developmental Report: Staff development tool, can be used to provide feedback to respondents, helps respondents create a development plan
Norm Groups Available:
  • Singapore General Population
  • UK General Population
  • UK Managers
  • US Graduates
  • US Managers
  • US Senior Management