Reading time: 11 minutes


Are you a recruiter or hiring manager looking for candidate pre-employment assessment tests and tools including aptitude tests?

We invite you to visit our Assess Candidates website.

What are critical reasoning tests? What does a critical reasoning test measure? How do I pass a critical reasoning test? Which employers use critical thinking assessments?

In this text, we explain Critical Reasoning Tests, what they measure, why they are used, and give key practice tips to help you pass your upcoming critical thinking assessments.

At GF, we provide the Essential critical reasoning test practice that can be used to practice and prepare for the critical thinking assessments found in several recruitment processes around the globe including the UK and US.

Should you practice assessments to prepare for the critical reasoning assessments?

A recent study found that candidates who do not practice assessments, tend to fail at the first hurdle of psychometric assessments (54%-84%). This study looked at the Top 100 global employers.

Bradley et al. (2019)

It is proven that practice increases your chances of getting hired.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover…


  1. What is a Critical Reasoning Test?
  2. What Companies Use Critical Reasoning Tests?
  3. Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Test
  4. Common Critical Thinking Test Publishers
  5. Types of Critical Reasoning Questions
  6. How to Pass Critical Reasoning Tests
  7. Example Critical Reasoning Test Question
  8. Critical Reasoning Tests FAQs

Let’s dive right in!

What is a Critical Reasoning Test?

Critical reasoning tests are assessments designed to evaluate your ability to think logically, analyze information, and make the best decisions. These tests are commonly used in pre-employment assessments and other contexts where strong reasoning skills are essential.

Good to know: Critical reasoning tests have various formats, such as multiple-choice questions, true/false statements. For example, you may assess a scenario/argument and analyze the provided information to answer questions or identify any errors in reasoning.

Critical Reasoning Tests – Key Facts

  • The purpose of critical reasoning tests is to assess your ability to evaluate arguments, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Critical reasoning tests measure deductive and inductive reasoning skills, the ability to detect assumptions, evaluate evidence, and draw valid conclusions. 
  • Critical reasoning tests may include components like analogies, logical puzzles, and evaluating the validity of arguments.
  • Critical reasoning tests are used for roles in Management and Leadership positions, Consultancy, Finance and Banking, Law, Sales, etc.

Below we highlight a few companies that use critical reasoning tests in their recruitment processes.

Back to Contents

What Companies Use Critical Reasoning Tests?

Critical reasoning tests are commonly used in roles and industries that demand logical analysis of data, innovative problem-solving, and the ability to create effective strategies.

Critical reasoning tests are used by several big employers to assess potential hires. These employers include:

AmazonMcKinsey & CompanyErnst & YoungJP Morgan
DeloitteAccentureIBMProcter & Gamble
PwCGoldman SachsMicrosoftKPMG

Discover more top employers that use critical reasoning tests with our Employer Guides and uncover the best expert tips you can use to prepare and pass your employer critical thinking test with our step-by-step guides.

Why do Employers Use Critical Reasoning Tests?

Critical reasoning tests are highly beneficial to employers and enable them to identify the best talents for critical roles. Some of the key reasons why employers use critical reasoning tests include:

  1. Problem-Solving Ability: Critical reasoning tests evaluate a candidate’s ability to solve complex problems, a skill that is valuable in many job roles.
  1. Reducing Bias: Objective assessments like critical reasoning tests can help reduce bias in the hiring process. They provide a standardized way to evaluate candidates, reducing the impact of subjective judgments.
  1. Team Collaboration: Critical reasoning skills are essential for effective collaboration and team problem-solving.
  1. Professionalism and Accountability: Candidates who demonstrate strong critical reasoning skills often exhibit a high level of professionalism and accountability in their work, which are desirable traits for many employers.
  1. Risk Minimization: Employers aim to hire individuals who can minimize risks by making sound decisions and identifying potential problems before they become critical issues.
  1. Strategic Thinking for Leadership: Leadership positions require individuals who can think strategically and make informed decisions. Critical reasoning tests help identify candidates who can excel in these roles.

These key reasons, amongst others, are why employers around the world are using critical reasoning tests to evaluate the skills and suitability of job applicants for various roles.

Did you know? Many large graduate employers are also likely to include critical reasoning assessments in their assessment centres for hiring graduates.

There are many types of critical reasoning tests that employers can use in their recruitment processes. However, the most common is the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal.

Back to Contents

Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Test

What is the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test?

The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking test, often referred to as the Watson-Glaser test, is a widely used critical thinking assessment tool designed to evaluate your ability to think critically and make sound decisions.

This test is also known as the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA).

Watson Glaser Test – Key Facts

  • This test is named after its developers, Goodwin Watson and Edward M. Glaser.
  • The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) is commonly published by Pearson Talentlens.
  • The Watson-Glaser Test measures your ability to: analyse, reason, interpret and draw logical conclusions from written information.
  • The test includes multiple-choice questions with scenarios or arguments and requires you to choose the best option after analysing the information.
  • It is a timed online test with 40 questions and a maximum of 30 minutes allotted to complete the test. The test also comes with untimed practice questions.
  • The test is available in a number of languages and is used multinationally by different employers.

Prepare for success with our Watson Glaser-style practice tests! Get started today to hone your critical thinking skills, boost your test performance, and ace the real test.

While the Watson-Glaser test is the most common and widely used critical thinking test, there are other popular critical thinking tests that employers may use. 

Read on to find out what other critical thinking test publishers employers use. 

Back to Contents

Common Critical Thinking Test Publishers

What other critical thinking test publishers are there?

Employers and recruiters use critical reasoning tests created by test publishers, which can be customized based on the recruiter’s needs, leading to variations in the test format across providers.

Aside from the Watson-Glaser test, the following are some other common critical reasoning test publishers:

  • SHL Critical Reasoning Test Battery: SHL, a prominent psychometric test publisher, provides critical reasoning tests to employers. These tests typically consist of 18 to 60 questions, taking 10 to 30 minutes to complete.
  • Cappfinity Critical Reasoning Test: Cappfinity is another recognized test publisher that offers critical thinking tests amongst many other assessments.
  • Criteria Corp CCAT: Criteria Corp is an aptitude test that measures critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to learn, digest and apply new information.
  • Cornell Critical Thinking Assessment: Cornell publishes two versions of this test; Levels X and Z. Level Z is often used as a pre-employment assessment.
  • Other common critical thinking test publishers are;
    • Insight Assessment with the HSRT and CCTST assessments.
    • The Critical Thinking Co. with the CCTT assessment.
    • Test Partnership Concepts Critical Thinking Test

Get prepared for your critical reasoning tests with our Capp-style critical reasoning practice tests with worked solutions, performance tracking and actionable tips to help you ace them!

It is important to understand the various types of questions you might encounter in critical thinking assessments like the Watson-Glaser test. 

In the section below, we highlight the various types of critical reasoning questions.

Back to Contents

Types of Critical Reasoning Questions

What are some critical reasoning test questions?

Critical reasoning questions come in various forms to assess a person’s ability to think logically, analyse arguments, and make sound decisions. These can vary depending on the provider, however will typically assess these same skills.

Here are the most common types of critical reasoning questions:

  1. Assumptions: These questions ask you to identify underlying assumptions in arguments. You determine what must be true for the argument to be valid.
  1. Strengthen/Weaken Questions: Strengthening questions require you to find information that makes an argument more compelling while weakening questions ask you to identify information that weakens the argument.
  1. Inferences: Inference questions require you to draw logical conclusions based on the information provided in the passage or argument.
  1. Evaluation of Arguments: You assess the quality of arguments by identifying logical fallacies, flaws, or weak points in the reasoning.
  1. Drawing Conclusions: These questions ask you to determine the most reasonable conclusion based on the information presented in the passage or argument.
  1. Paradoxes: Paradox questions present a seemingly contradictory situation, and you must identify a resolution or explanation.
  1. Syllogisms: Syllogism questions involve deductive reasoning and require you to determine the logical relationship between two or more premises.
  1. Analogies: You are asked to draw parallels between different situations or concepts to test your ability to recognize similarities and apply them to a new context.
  1. Pattern Recognition: Pattern recognition questions assess your ability to identify logical patterns or sequences within a series of elements.

Now that you know that there are various types of critical thinking test questions from different test publishers, the next hurdle would be how to pass them. 

Read on for our expert tips to help you ace your upcoming critical thinking assessments.

Back to Contents

How to Pass Critical Reasoning Tests

Consider our 7 key tips that can guide you in your preparation and help you succeed in different types of critical reasoning tests.

  1. Understand the Test Format: Find out the style of critical test used, multiple-choice, true/false, or another format. This helps you plan your test-taking strategy and know what to expect, reducing test-day anxiety.
  1. Practice Regularly: Find sample questions and practice them. This helps you become familiar with the types of questions and the level of difficulty.
  1. Identify Assumptions: In many critical reasoning tests, you’ll need to recognize assumptions made in arguments. Practice by identifying unstated assumptions in everyday situations or arguments.
  1. Read Carefully: Read the questions and passages carefully as this is essential to demonstrate critical reasoning. Misreading or overlooking details can lead to incorrect answers.
  1. Use Process of Elimination: When in doubt, use the process of elimination. Eliminate answers that are clearly incorrect first, which increases your chances of selecting the correct one.
  1. Manage Your Time: Pace yourself and allocate a specific amount of time to each question.
  1. Review Your Answers: If time allows, revisit your answers, particularly for questions that were challenging. This helps catch errors or misinterpretations you may have made.

Get ahead with your critical thinking assessment prep with our example critical reasoning test question and answer below!

Back to Contents

Example Critical Reasoning Test Question

In this Watson Glaser-style critical reasoning test question example, you are given a passage followed by two statements. You are asked to determine whether the statements are true, probably true, probably false, or false.


In twentieth-century physics, there are two pillars upon which everything is based: Einstein’s theory of general relativity and quantum mechanics, yet the two have very little in common. 

Quantum mechanics also goes by the name of quantum theory, and it’s used to understand all that is happening when we zoom in to the atomic and subatomic level, where atoms and particles reside. It has not only brought us insight into our universe; it’s also led to significant breakthroughs in computing. However, for most of us, quantum mechanics is a mysterious and nearly incomprehensible field of study. Quantum mechanics got its official start in 1900 when the German physicist Max Planck was studying electrical fields. 

When trying to simplify a calculation, Planck decided to represent energy as being in the form of small packets with distinct values. This way, the energy in electrical fields had to assume specific values, rather than move along a continuous spectrum. 

Much to his surprise, Planck’s calculations began to work with astonishing precision. As it turned out, these energy packets were indeed a very real thing. Five years later, Einstein would further confirm it by proving how light is made up of the packets of energy we call photons.


The field of quantum mechanics has allowed physicists to define the structure and composition of today’s universe.

Explanation: The passage mentions that quantum mechanics is used to understand what happens at the atomic and subatomic level, where atoms and particles reside. Therefore, the statement is true.

Answer: True


Prior to Planck’s discovery, energy was viewed as a quantitative capacity that moved from an object with a level of force.

Explanation: The passage mentions Max Planck’s discovery in 1900, where he represented energy as small packets with distinct values. Before Planck’s discovery, energy was indeed commonly viewed as a quantitative capacity that could move from one object to another with a certain level of force.

Answer: True

Ready to sharpen your critical thinking skills with more Watson-Glaser practice questions? Gain access to more Watson-Glaser practice questions from GF today!

And with that, we’ve covered all you’ll need to know for your next critical reasoning test. 

But wait!

Before you ace your next critical thinking test, check out our FAQ section below to find more answers to frequently asked questions concerning critical thinking assessments.

Back to Contents

Critical Reasoning Tests FAQs

How do you improve critical reasoning?

How do you improve critical reasoning?

  1. Actively engage with written and verbal information
  2. Ask questions
  3. Analyse arguments
  4. Challenge assumptions
  5. Practice logical reasoning exercises

What's a good score on the Watson Glaser Test?

Generally, scoring 75% or higher is considered a strong performance, increasing your likelihood of advancing in the recruitment process. However, various employers and recruiters determine what their threshold mark is for various roles.

How are critical reasoning tests scored?

Scoring methods vary but often involve assigning points for correct answers such as with the Watson-Glaser test, whilst other tests use a percentile ranking to compare your performance to a reference group, such as the SHL tests.

What to expect in a critical thinking test?

In a critical thinking test, you can expect multiple-choice questions that assess your ability to evaluate arguments, recognize assumptions, make inferences, and draw logical conclusions based on provided information. Questions may vary in complexity due to employers’ preferences.

Practice and Register with GF to ace your Critical Reasoning Tests, first time.

Do you want to pass your critical reasoning tests first time? Sign up for tools offered by GF, the only assessment practice test experts that provide tests to over 150 UK universities and their students, and also across Asia and continental Europe.

Go to GF now and select from the range of products we offer at no risk. We offer a comprehensive premium package with a full set of assessment tools for candidates (numerical, logical, verbal reasoning, situational judgement tests, assessment centre tests and more). Buy with peace of mind without commitment to a full 100% money back guarantee if you do not pass your assessment tests.