Full Critical Thinking Test Guide 2024
David Meshulam

David, Psychometric Testiting Expert at JobTestPrep.

Have a question? Contact me at: ask_the_team@jobtestprep.com

What Is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking, often referred to as critical reasoning, involves evaluating a situation and understanding different viewpoints. It requires recognizing, analyzing, and distinguishing between facts, opinions, and assumptions.

Why Is the Critical Thinking Test Important to Employers?

Employers use reasoning aptitude questions to assess your ability to make reasoned decisions when faced with a problem, without letting emotions sway your judgment. This ability to separate feelings from analysis allows you to remain objective, self-assured, and decisive, leading to choices that are more reasoned and well-founded.

When Is Critical Thinking Used?

Critical thinking plays a key role throughout various phases of problem-solving and making decisions:

Identifying the issue at hand.
Choosing pertinent data needed to address the issue.
Acknowledging both explicit and implicit assumptions present in the information.
Formulating theories and determining the most pertinent and trustworthy solutions.
Arriving at sound conclusions and evaluating the strength of the deductions made.

Critical Thinking Skills Tests

Tests of critical thinking often include multiple parts or subsections that evaluate different cognitive skills.

In the inference segment, you're tasked with drawing conclusions from given or assumed facts. You'll read a brief passage with facts to accept as true, and then you'll see a statement that might be derived from the passage. Your job is to decide if this statement is valid based on the information provided. You must determine if the statement is true, probably true, not enough information to decide, probably false, or false. For instance, if a baby cries at mealtime, you might infer that the baby is hungry, though other reasons could be possible, like discomfort from heat.

Recognizing Assumptions
This part requires you to identify if an underlying assumption is reasonable. You'll be presented with a statement and an associated assumption. Your task is to figure out if the assumption is supported by the statement. This tests your ability to not automatically accept things as true without evidence. For example, saying "I’ll still have my job in three months" assumes that you won't be laid off or decide to leave for other opportunities. You must decide if an assumption is made or not.

The deduction section evaluates your ability to consider information and determine if certain conclusions are justified. After reading a set of facts, you'll be given a potential conclusion. Your role is to decide if this conclusion logically follows the facts. For instance, from the statement "No one in authority escapes making tough choices," you must deduce if it logically means "All people must make tough choices." You must judge whether the conclusion follows or does not follow from the statement.

In this part, your skill in understanding and weighing various arguments about a question or issue is assessed. You'll read a paragraph, assumed to be true, followed by a proposed conclusion. You must decide if the conclusion is logically sound beyond a reasonable doubt. The options you have are whether the conclusion follows or does not follow.

Evaluation of Arguments
Here, you're asked to judge the strength of an argument. You'll be given a question and an argument that is taken as true. Your task is to decide if the argument is strong or weak, meaning if it is significant and directly related to the question.

Watson Glaser

The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA), a widely recognized psychological test created by Pearson Assessments, serves primarily for evaluating critical thinking skills. It's frequently utilized for selecting candidates for employment and managing talent, as well as for assessing students academically. This test can be taken either through an online platform or in a traditional face-to-face setting.

Additionally, access our Free Watson Glaser practice questions!

Critical Thinking Examples

Critical thinking comes in many forms, so we have put together a variety of questions to test your critical thinking skills.

Example 1 – Identifying Assumptions
A wife tells her husband that their combined income is not as high as it could be. She plans to start working a part-time job soon to earn more money.
Hypothesized Assumption: The wife should not ask for a raise at her current job to increase her income.

A. Assumption is present

B. Assumption is absent

The correct answer is (B), Assumption is absent.

Explanation for the answer:

The wife's main point: Our total income will soon go up.
Her reasoning: I'll start a new part-time job.
The assumption that must be correct for her conclusion to hold: A part-time job will bring in additional income.
The assumption that she shouldn't ask for a raise at her current job is not necessary for her conclusion to hold water.

Example 2 – Drawing Conclusions
Years ago, Harold and his wife adopted a two-year-old named Betty. Now, Betty is a college student living away from home. Harold feels sad and misses her a lot, wishing she would visit more.
Hypothesized Assumption: Harold’s wife isn’t sad.

A. Conclusion is valid

B. Conclusion is invalid

The correct answer is (B), Conclusion is invalid.

Explanation for the answer:

Harold's wife isn't mentioned in the story, so we can't make any assumptions about her emotions.

Example 3 – Making Inferences
After a drop in applications, a college has had students review their professors' teaching for two years. The college leaders say the reviews are to help teachers improve and to reward the best ones with raises and promotions. Professor Burke, who just retired, wrote a letter criticizing these reviews, saying they lower academic standards.
Hypothesized Assumption: The college leaders have more motives than they're admitting.

A. True

B. Probably true

C. Insufficient data

D. False

E. Probably false

The correct answer is (B), Probably true.

Explanation for the answer:

The introduction shows that the college's announcement is a response to fewer student applications. Although the announcement seems to focus on improving teaching quality, it's likely that there's also a concern about the college's reputation and application rates. So, the answer "probably true" fits best.

Professions That Use Critical Thinking Tests

Below are some professions that use critical thinking tests and assessments during the hiring process as well as some positions that demand critical thinking and reasoning skills:

Lawyers Police Officers Supervisors
Dispatchers Firefighters Administrators
Corrections Officer Court Officer Probation Officer

Prepare for Critical Thinking and Critical Reasoning Assessments

The Critical Thinking PrepPack™ offers a comprehensive preparation journey to enhance your critical thinking abilities. With our collection of practice questions, detailed study guides, and informative score reports, we aim to boost your skillset. Begin your prep now to secure your success.

JobTestPrep is not affiliated with any specific test provider. Therefore, while our materials are extremely helpful and styled similarly to most critical thinking tests, they are not an exact match.

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