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Critical Thinking test

This Critical Thinking test measures your ability to think critically and draw logical conclusions based on written information. Critical Thinking tests are often used in job assessments in the legal sector to assess a candidate's  analytical critical  thinking skills. A well known example of a critical thinking test is the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal .

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The test comprises of the following five sections with a total of 10 questions:

Instructions Critical Thinking test

Each question presents one or more paragraphs of text and a question about the information in the text. It's your job to figure out which of the options is the correct answer.

Below is a statement that is followed by an argument. You should consider this argument to be true. It is then up to you to determine whether the argument is strong or weak. Do not let your personal opinion about the statement play a role in your evaluation of the argument.

Statement: It would be good if people would eat vegetarian more often. Argument: No, because dairy also requires animals to be kept that will have to be eaten again later.

Is this a strong or weak argument?

Strong argument Weak argument

Statement: Germany should no longer use the euro as its currency Argument: No, because that means that the 10 billion Deutschmark that the introduction of the euro has cost is money thrown away.

Overfishing is the phenomenon that too much fish is caught in a certain area, which leads to the disappearance of the fish species in that area. This trend can only be reversed by means of catch reduction measures. These must therefore be introduced and enforced.

Assumption: The disappearance of fish species in areas of the oceans is undesirable.

Is the assumption made from the text?

Assumption is made Assumption is not made

As a company, we strive for satisfied customers. That's why from now on we're going to keep track of how quickly our help desk employees pick up the phone. Our goal is for that phone to ring for a maximum of 20 seconds.

Assumption: The company has tools or ways to measure how quickly help desk employees pick up the phone.

Conclusion: Some snakes hatch their eggs themselves.

Does the conclusion follow the statements?

Conclusion follows Conclusion does not follow

(Continue with the statements from question 5.)

Conclusion: Some animals that lay eggs only have one lung.

In the famous 1971 Stanford experiment, 24 normal, healthy male students were randomly assigned as 'guards' (12) or 'prisoners' (12). The guards were given a uniform and instructed to keep order, but not to use force. The prisoners were given prison uniforms. Soon after the start of the experiment, the guards made up all kinds of sentences for the prisoners. Insurgents were shot down with a fire extinguisher and public undressing or solitary confinement was also a punishment. The aggression of the guards became stronger as the experiment progressed. At one point, the abuses took place at night, because the guards thought that the researchers were not watching. It turned out that some guards also had fun treating the prisoners very cruelly. For example, prisoners got a bag over their heads and were chained to their ankles. Originally, the experiment would last 14 days. However, after six days the experiment was stopped.

The students who took part in the research did not expect to react the way they did in such a situation.

To what extent is this conclusion true, based on the given text?

True Probably true More information required Probably false False

(Continue with the text from 'Stanford experiment' in question 7.)

The results of the experiment support the claim that every young man (or at least some young men) is capable of turning into a sadist fairly quickly.

Conclusion: One can assume that no Dutch flag will fly at government buildings at night, unless it is illuminated by spotlights on both sides.

Does the conclusion follow, based on the given text?

(Continue with the text from 'Dutch flag protocol' in question 9.)

Conclusion: If the protocol is followed, the orange pennant will always be longer than the horizontal bands/stripes of the flag.

Please answer the questions below. Not all questions are required but it will help us improve this test.

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Critical Thinking Tests

Critical thinking tests, sometimes known as critical reasoning tests, are often used by employers. They evaluate how a candidate makes logical deductions after scrutinising the evidence provided, while avoiding fallacies or non-factual opinions. Critical thinking tests can form part of an assessment day, or be used as a screening test before an interview.

What is a critical thinking test?

A critical thinking test assesses your ability to use a range of logical skills to evaluate given information and make a judgement. The test is presented in such a way that candidates are expected to quickly scrutinise the evidence presented and decide on the strength of the arguments.

Critical thinking tests show potential employers that you do not just accept data and can avoid subconscious bias and opinions – instead, you can find logical connections between ideas and find alternative interpretations.

This test is usually timed, so quick, clear, logical thinking will help candidates get the best marks. Critical thinking tests are designed to be challenging, and often used as part of the application process for upper-management-level roles.

What does critical thinking mean?

Critical thinking is the intellectual skill set that ensures you can process and consider information, challenge and analyse data, and then reach a conclusion that can be defended and justified.

In the most simple terms, critical reasoning skills will make sure that you are not simply accepting information at face value with little or no supporting evidence.

It also means that you are less likely to be swayed by ‘false news’ or opinions that cannot be backed with facts – which is important in high-level jobs that require logical thinking.

For more information about logical thinking, please see our article all about logical reasoning .

Which professions use critical thinking tests, and why?

Typically, critical thinking tests are taken as part of the application process for jobs that require advanced skills in judgement, analysis and decision making. The higher the position, the more likely that you will need to demonstrate reliable critical reasoning and good logic.

The legal sector is the main industry that uses critical thinking assessments – making decisions based on facts, without opinion and intuition, is vital in legal matters.

A candidate for a legal role needs to demonstrate their intellectual skills in problem-solving without pre-existing knowledge or subconscious bias – and the critical thinking test is a simple and effective way to screen candidates.

Another industry that uses critical thinking tests as part of the recruitment process is banking. In a similar way to the legal sector, those that work in banking are required to make decisions without allowing emotion, intuition or opinion to cloud coherent analysis and conclusions.

Critical thinking tests also sometimes comprise part of the recruitment assessment for graduate and management positions across numerous industries.

The format of the test: which skills are tested?

The test itself, no matter the publisher, is multiple choice.

As a rule, the questions present a paragraph of information for a scenario that may include numerical data. There will then be a statement and a number of possible answers.

The critical thinking test is timed, so decisions need to be made quickly and accurately; in most tests there is a little less than a minute for each question. Having experience of the test structure and what each question is looking for will make the experience smoother for you.

There are typically five separate sections in a critical thinking test, and each section may have multiple questions.

Inference questions assess your ability to judge whether a statement is true, false, or impossible to determine based on the given data and scenario. You usually have five possible answers: absolutely true, absolutely false, possibly true, possibly false, or not possible to determine.


In this section, you are being assessed on your ability to avoid taking things for granted. Each question gives a scenario including data, and you need to evaluate whether there are any assumptions present.

Here you are given a scenario and a number of deductions that may be applicable. You need to assess the given deductions to see which is the logical conclusion – does it follow?


In the interpretation stage, you need to read and analyse a paragraph of information, then interpret a set of possible conclusions, to see which one is correct. You are looking for the conclusion that follows beyond reasonable doubt.

Evaluation of Arguments

In this section, you are given a scenario and a set of arguments that can be for or against. You need to determine which are strong arguments and which are weak, in terms of the information that you have. This decision is made based on the way they address the scenario and how relevant they are to the content.

How best to prepare for a critical thinking test

The best way to prepare for any type of aptitude test is to practice, and critical thinking tests are no different.

Taking practice tests, as mentioned above, will give you confidence as it makes you better understand the structure, layout and timing of the real tests, so you can concentrate on the actual scenarios and questions.

Practice tests should be timed. This will help you get used to working through the scenarios and assessing the conclusions under time constraints – which is a good way to make sure that you perform quickly as well as accurately.

In some thinking skills assessments , a timer will be built in, but you might need to time yourself.

Regular practice will also help you to identify if there are any sections of the critical thinking test that you need to work on. Most tests will provide an explanation to each answer, as in the examples above.

Publishers of critical thinking tests

The watson glaser critical thinking test.

The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (W-GCTA) is the most popular and widely used critical thinking test. This test has been in development for 85 years and is published by TalentLens .

The W-GCTA is seen as a successful tool for assessing cognitive abilities, allowing recruiting managers to predict job success, find good managers and identify future leaders. It is available in multiple languages including English, French and Spanish.

The test itself can be used as part of an assessment day or as a screening assessment before an interview. It consists of 40 questions on the 5 sections mentioned above, and is timed at 30 minutes. Click here for more information on Watson Glaser tests .

SHL critical reasoning test

SHL is a major aptitude test publisher, which offers critical thinking as part of its testing battery for pre-employment checks.

SHL tests cover all kinds of behavioural and aptitude tests, from logic to inference, verbal to numerical – and with a number of test batteries available online, they are one of the most popular choices for recruiters.

Cornell critical thinking test

The Cornell critical thinking test was made to test students and first developed in 1985. It is an American system that helps teachers, parents and administrators to confidently predict future performance for college admission, gifted and advanced placement programs, and even career success.

Prepare yourself for leading employers


5 Example critical thinking practice questions with answers

In this section, you need to deduce whether the inferred statement is true, false or impossible to deduce.

The UK Government has published data that shows 82% of people under the age of 30 are not homeowners. A charity that helps homeless people has published data that shows 48% of people that are considered homeless are under 30.

The lack of affordable housing on the sales market is the reason so many under-30s are homeless.

The information given does not infer the conclusion given, so it is impossible to deduce if the inference is correct – there is just not enough information to judge the inference as correct.

The removal of the five-substitution rule in British football will benefit clubs with a smaller roster.

Clubs with more money would prefer the five-substitute rule to continue.

Assumption Not Made

This is an example of a fallacy that could cause confusion for a candidate – it encourages you to bring in any pre-existing knowledge of football clubs.

It would be easy to assume the assumption has been made when you consider that the more money a club has, the more players they should have on the roster. However, the statement does not make the assumption that the clubs with more money would prefer to continue with the five-substitute rule.

critical thinking tests

All boys love football. Football is a sport, therefore:

In this section we are looking for the conclusion that follows the logic of the statement. In this example, we cannot deduce that girls do not love football, because there is not enough information to support that.

In the same way the conclusion that all boys love all sports does not follow – we are not given enough information to make that assumption. So, the conclusion that follows is 3: boys are more likely to choose football than any other sport because all boys like football.

The British Museum has a range of artefacts on display, including the largest privately owned collection of WWII weaponry.

There is a larger privately owned collection of WWII weaponry in the USA.

Conclusion Does Not Follow

The fact that the collection is in the British Museum does not make a difference to the fact it is the largest private collection – so there cannot be a larger collection elsewhere.

The Department for Education should lower standards in examinations to make it fairer for less able students.

In this case, we need to assess which argument is most relevant to the statement. Both 1 and 4 refer to students in particular situations, which isn’t relevant to the statement. The same can be said about 2, so the strongest argument is 3, since it is relevant and addresses the statement given.

critical thinking assessments

Within two hours of practice I have improved my score from 50% correct to 88%.

Critical Thinking Tests FAQs

What are the basics of critical thinking.

In essence, critical thinking is the intellectual process of considering information on its merits, and reaching an analysis or conclusion from that information that can be defended and rationalised with evidence.

How do you know if you have good critical thinking skills?

You are likely to be someone with good critical thinking skills if you can build winning arguments; pick holes in someone’s theory if it’s inconsistent with known facts; reflect on the biases inherent in your own experiences and assumptions; and look at problems using a systematic methodology.

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Critical Thinking Tests Tips

The most important factor in your success will be practice. If you have taken some practice tests, not only will you start to recognise the way questions are worded and become familiar with what each question is looking for, you will also be able to find out whether there are any parts that you need extra practice with.

It is important to find out which test you will be taking, as some generic critical thinking practice tests might not help if you are taking specific publisher tests (see the section below).

2 Fact vs fallacy

Practice questions can also help you recognise the difference between fact and fallacy in the test. A fallacy is simply an error or something misleading in the scenario paragraph that encourages you to choose an invalid argument. This might be a presumption or a misconception, but if it isn’t spotted it can make finding the right answer impossible.

3 Ignore what you already know

There is no need for pre-existing knowledge to be brought into the test, so no research is needed. In fact, it is important that you ignore any subconscious bias when you are considering the questions – you need logic and facts to get the correct answer, not intuition or instinct.

4 Read everything carefully

Read all the given information thoroughly. This might sound straightforward, but knowing that the test is timed can encourage candidates to skip content and risk misunderstanding the content or miss crucial details.

During the test itself, you will receive instructions that will help you to understand what is being asked of you on each section. There is likely to be an example question and answer, so ensure you take the time to read them fully.

5 Stay aware of the time you've taken

This test is usually timed, so don’t spend too long on a question. If you feel it is going to take too much time, leave it and come back to it at the end (if you have time). Critical thinking tests are complex by design, so they do have quite generous time limits.

For further advice, check out our full set of tips for critical thinking tests .

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Reviews of our Watson Glaser tests

What our customers say about our Watson Glaser tests

Jozef Bailey

United Kingdom

April 05, 2022

Doesn't cover all aspects of Watson-Glaser tests but useful

The WGCTA uses more categories to assess critical thinking, but this was useful for the inference section.

April 01, 2022

Just practicing for an interview

Good information and liked that it had a countdown clock, to give you that real feel in the test situation.

Jerico Kadhir

March 31, 2022

Aptitude test

It was OK, I didn't understand personally whether or not the "cannot say" option was acceptable or not in a lot of the questions, as it may have been a trick option.

Salvarina Viknesuari

March 15, 2022

I like the test because the platform is simple and engaging while the test itself is different than most of the Watson Glaser tests I've taken.

Alexis Sheridan

March 02, 2022

Some of the ratios were harder than I thought!

I like how clear the design and layout is - makes things very easy (even if the content itself is not!)

Cyril Lekgetho

February 17, 2022

Mental arithmetic

I enjoyed the fact that there were multiple questions pertaining to one passage of information, rather than multiple passages. However I would've appreciated a more varied question type.

Madupoju Manish

February 16, 2022

Analytics are the best questions

I like the test because of its time schedule. The way the questions are prepared makes it easy to crack the original test.

Chelsea Franklin

February 02, 2022


I haven't done something like this for ages. Very good for the brain - although I certainly experienced some fog whilst doing it.

[email protected]

January 04, 2022

Population/exchange rates were the hardest

Great test as it felt a bit time pressured. Very different types of questions in terms of difficulty.

faezeh tavakoli

January 02, 2022

More attention to detail + be more time conscious

It was asking about daily stuff we all deal with, but as an assessment it's scrutinising how we approach these problems.

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Aptitude Test

Critical Thinking Test

A Critical Thinking test, also known as a critical reasoning test, determines your ability to reason through an argument logically and make an objective decision. You may be required to assess a situation, recognize assumptions being made, create hypotheses, and evaluate arguments. What questions can I expect? Questions are very likely to be based on the Watson and Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal model, which contains five sections specially designed to find out how good an individual is at reasoning analytically and logically. The five sections are: Arguments: In the argument section you are tested on your ability to distinguish between arguments that are strong and arguments that are weak. For an argument to be strong, it must be both important and directly related to the question. An argument is weak if it is not directly related to the question, of minor importance, or it confuses correlation with causation (which is incorrectly assuming that just because two things are related, they are the cause of each other). Assumptions: An assumption is something we take for granted. People make many assumptions which may not necessarily be correct; being able to identify these is a key aspect of critical reasoning. An assumption question will include a statement and a number of assumptions. You are required to identify whether an assumption has been made or not. Deductions: In deduction questions you have to draw conclusions based on only the information given in the question and not your own knowledge. You will be provided with a small passage of information and you will need to evaluate a conclusion made based on that passage. If the conclusion cannot be drawn from the information given, then the conclusion does not follow. Interpretation: In these questions you are given a passage of information followed by a proposed conclusion. You are to regard the information you are given as true and decide whether the proposed conclusion logically and beyond doubt follows. Inferences: Inference is a conclusion drawn from supposed or observed facts. It is information that does not appear directly in the given information, but is drawn from it. If, for instance, we go to a public restroom and find the door locked, we will assume/make the inference that it is occupied. Where are Critical Thinking tests used? These tests are used in graduate, professional, and managerial recruitment. They are very common in the legal and banking sector.

Critical Thinking Test Preparation

Practice Critical Thinking Test

Try a free Critical Thinking Test. This test is a short practice test, the test contains 10 test questions and has a time limit of 6 minutes.

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Practice on 150 Critical Thinking questions and a total of 950 verbal aptitude questions with detailed description and score statistics.

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Supplement to Critical Thinking

How can one assess, for purposes of instruction or research, the degree to which a person possesses the dispositions, skills and knowledge of a critical thinker?

In psychometrics, assessment instruments are judged according to their validity and reliability.

Roughly speaking, an instrument is valid if it measures accurately what it purports to measure, given standard conditions. More precisely, the degree of validity is “the degree to which evidence and theory support the interpretations of test scores for proposed uses of tests” (American Educational Research Association 2014: 11). In other words, a test is not valid or invalid in itself. Rather, validity is a property of an interpretation of a given score on a given test for a specified use. Determining the degree of validity of such an interpretation requires collection and integration of the relevant evidence, which may be based on test content, test takers’ response processes, a test’s internal structure, relationship of test scores to other variables, and consequences of the interpretation (American Educational Research Association 2014: 13–21). Criterion-related evidence consists of correlations between scores on the test and performance on another test of the same construct; its weight depends on how well supported is the assumption that the other test can be used as a criterion. Content-related evidence is evidence that the test covers the full range of abilities that it claims to test. Construct-related evidence is evidence that a correct answer reflects good performance of the kind being measured and an incorrect answer reflects poor performance.

An instrument is reliable if it consistently produces the same result, whether across different forms of the same test (parallel-forms reliability), across different items (internal consistency), across different administrations to the same person (test-retest reliability), or across ratings of the same answer by different people (inter-rater reliability). Internal consistency should be expected only if the instrument purports to measure a single undifferentiated construct, and thus should not be expected of a test that measures a suite of critical thinking dispositions or critical thinking abilities, assuming that some people are better in some of the respects measured than in others (for example, very willing to inquire but rather closed-minded). Otherwise, reliability is a necessary but not a sufficient condition of validity; a standard example of a reliable instrument that is not valid is a bathroom scale that consistently under-reports a person’s weight.

Assessing dispositions is difficult if one uses a multiple-choice format with known adverse consequences of a low score. It is pretty easy to tell what answer to the question “How open-minded are you?” will get the highest score and to give that answer, even if one knows that the answer is incorrect. If an item probes less directly for a critical thinking disposition, for example by asking how often the test taker pays close attention to views with which the test taker disagrees, the answer may differ from reality because of self-deception or simple lack of awareness of one’s personal thinking style, and its interpretation is problematic, even if factor analysis enables one to identify a distinct factor measured by a group of questions that includes this one (Ennis 1996). Nevertheless, Facione, Sánchez, and Facione (1994) used this approach to develop the California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory (CCTDI). They began with 225 statements expressive of a disposition towards or away from critical thinking (using the long list of dispositions in Facione 1990a), validated the statements with talk-aloud and conversational strategies in focus groups to determine whether people in the target population understood the items in the way intended, administered a pilot version of the test with 150 items, and eliminated items that failed to discriminate among test takers or were inversely correlated with overall results or added little refinement to overall scores (Facione 2000). They used item analysis and factor analysis to group the measured dispositions into seven broad constructs: open-mindedness, analyticity, cognitive maturity, truth-seeking, systematicity, inquisitiveness, and self-confidence (Facione, Sánchez, and Facione 1994). The resulting test consists of 75 agree-disagree statements and takes 20 minutes to administer. A repeated disturbing finding is that North American students taking the test tend to score low on the truth-seeking sub-scale (on which a low score results from agreeing to such statements as the following: “To get people to agree with me I would give any reason that worked”. “Everyone always argues from their own self-interest, including me”. “If there are four reasons in favor and one against, I’ll go with the four”.) Development of the CCTDI made it possible to test whether good critical thinking abilities and good critical thinking dispositions go together, in which case it might be enough to teach one without the other. Facione (2000) reports that administration of the CCTDI and the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) to almost 8,000 post-secondary students in the United States revealed a statistically significant but weak correlation between total scores on the two tests, and also between paired sub-scores from the two tests. The implication is that both abilities and dispositions need to be taught, that one cannot expect improvement in one to bring with it improvement in the other.

A more direct way of assessing critical thinking dispositions would be to see what people do when put in a situation where the dispositions would reveal themselves. Ennis (1996) reports promising initial work with guided open-ended opportunities to give evidence of dispositions, but no standardized test seems to have emerged from this work. There are however standardized aspect-specific tests of critical thinking dispositions. The Critical Problem Solving Scale (Berman et al. 2001: 518) takes as a measure of the disposition to suspend judgment the number of distinct good aspects attributed to an option judged to be the worst among those generated by the test taker. Stanovich, West and Toplak (2011: 800–810) list tests developed by cognitive psychologists of the following dispositions: resistance to miserly information processing, resistance to myside thinking, absence of irrelevant context effects in decision-making, actively open-minded thinking, valuing reason and truth, tendency to seek information, objective reasoning style, tendency to seek consistency, sense of self-efficacy, prudent discounting of the future, self-control skills, and emotional regulation.

It is easier to measure critical thinking skills or abilities than to measure dispositions. The following eight currently available standardized tests purport to measure them: the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (Watson & Glaser 1980a, 1980b, 1994), the Cornell Critical Thinking Tests Level X and Level Z (Ennis & Millman 1971; Ennis, Millman, & Tomko 1985, 2005), the Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test (Ennis & Weir 1985), the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (Facione 1990b, 1992), the Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment (Halpern 2016), the Critical Thinking Assessment Test (Center for Assessment & Improvement of Learning 2017), the Collegiate Learning Assessment (Council for Aid to Education 2017), the HEIghten Critical Thinking Assessment (, and a suite of critical thinking assessments for different groups and purposes offered by Insight Assessment ( The Critical Thinking Assessment Test (CAT) is unique among them in being designed for use by college faculty to help them improve their development of students’ critical thinking skills (Haynes et al. 2015; Haynes & Stein 2021). Also, for some years the United Kingdom body OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) awarded AS and A Level certificates in critical thinking on the basis of an examination (OCR 2011). Many of these standardized tests have received scholarly evaluations at the hands of, among others, Ennis (1958), McPeck (1981), Norris and Ennis (1989), Fisher and Scriven (1997), Possin (2008, 2013a, 2013b, 2013c, 2014, 2020) and Hatcher and Possin (2021). Their evaluations provide a useful set of criteria that such tests ideally should meet, as does the description by Ennis (1984) of problems in testing for competence in critical thinking: the soundness of multiple-choice items, the clarity and soundness of instructions to test takers, the information and mental processing used in selecting an answer to a multiple-choice item, the role of background beliefs and ideological commitments in selecting an answer to a multiple-choice item, the tenability of a test’s underlying conception of critical thinking and its component abilities, the set of abilities that the test manual claims are covered by the test, the extent to which the test actually covers these abilities, the appropriateness of the weighting given to various abilities in the scoring system, the accuracy and intellectual honesty of the test manual, the interest of the test to the target population of test takers, the scope for guessing, the scope for choosing a keyed answer by being test-wise, precautions against cheating in the administration of the test, clarity and soundness of materials for training essay graders, inter-rater reliability in grading essays, and clarity and soundness of advance guidance to test takers on what is required in an essay. Rear (2019) has challenged the use of standardized tests of critical thinking as a way to measure educational outcomes, on the grounds that  they (1) fail to take into account disputes about conceptions of critical thinking, (2) are not completely valid or reliable, and (3) fail to evaluate skills used in real academic tasks. He proposes instead assessments based on discipline-specific content.

There are also aspect-specific standardized tests of critical thinking abilities. Stanovich, West and Toplak (2011: 800–810) list tests of probabilistic reasoning, insights into qualitative decision theory, knowledge of scientific reasoning, knowledge of rules of logical consistency and validity, and economic thinking. They also list instruments that probe for irrational thinking, such as superstitious thinking, belief in the superiority of intuition, over-reliance on folk wisdom and folk psychology, belief in “special” expertise, financial misconceptions, overestimation of one’s introspective powers, dysfunctional beliefs, and a notion of self that encourages egocentric processing. They regard these tests along with the previously mentioned tests of critical thinking dispositions as the building blocks for a comprehensive test of rationality, whose development (they write) may be logistically difficult and would require millions of dollars.

A superb example of assessment of an aspect of critical thinking ability is the Test on Appraising Observations (Norris & King 1983, 1985, 1990a, 1990b), which was designed for classroom administration to senior high school students. The test focuses entirely on the ability to appraise observation statements and in particular on the ability to determine in a specified context which of two statements there is more reason to believe. According to the test manual (Norris & King 1985, 1990b), a person’s score on the multiple-choice version of the test, which is the number of items that are answered correctly, can justifiably be given either a criterion-referenced or a norm-referenced interpretation.

On a criterion-referenced interpretation, those who do well on the test have a firm grasp of the principles for appraising observation statements, and those who do poorly have a weak grasp of them. This interpretation can be justified by the content of the test and the way it was developed, which incorporated a method of controlling for background beliefs articulated and defended by Norris (1985). Norris and King synthesized from judicial practice, psychological research and common-sense psychology 31 principles for appraising observation statements, in the form of empirical generalizations about tendencies, such as the principle that observation statements tend to be more believable than inferences based on them (Norris & King 1984). They constructed items in which exactly one of the 31 principles determined which of two statements was more believable. Using a carefully constructed protocol, they interviewed about 100 students who responded to these items in order to determine the thinking that led them to choose the answers they did (Norris & King 1984). In several iterations of the test, they adjusted items so that selection of the correct answer generally reflected good thinking and selection of an incorrect answer reflected poor thinking. Thus they have good evidence that good performance on the test is due to good thinking about observation statements and that poor performance is due to poor thinking about observation statements. Collectively, the 50 items on the final version of the test require application of 29 of the 31 principles for appraising observation statements, with 13 principles tested by one item, 12 by two items, three by three items, and one by four items. Thus there is comprehensive coverage of the principles for appraising observation statements. Fisher and Scriven (1997: 135–136) judge the items to be well worked and sound, with one exception. The test is clearly written at a grade 6 reading level, meaning that poor performance cannot be attributed to difficulties in reading comprehension by the intended adolescent test takers. The stories that frame the items are realistic, and are engaging enough to stimulate test takers’ interest. Thus the most plausible explanation of a given score on the test is that it reflects roughly the degree to which the test taker can apply principles for appraising observations in real situations. In other words, there is good justification of the proposed interpretation that those who do well on the test have a firm grasp of the principles for appraising observation statements and those who do poorly have a weak grasp of them.

To get norms for performance on the test, Norris and King arranged for seven groups of high school students in different types of communities and with different levels of academic ability to take the test. The test manual includes percentiles, means, and standard deviations for each of these seven groups. These norms allow teachers to compare the performance of their class on the test to that of a similar group of students.

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Critical Thinking Test

Critical Thinking tests measure your candidates’ ability to conceptualise, apply, analyse and evaluate information in order to reach a meaningful conclusion.

This critical thinking test contains  4 questions. You will have  4 minutes  to answer each question set.

This example test should not be used in recruitment. It is only intended as an example to candidates.

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Consequential Validity: Using Assessment to Drive Instruction

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critical thinking assessments

Critical Thinking Testing and Assessment

The purpose of assessment in instruction is improvement. The purpose of assessing instruction for critical thinking is improving the teaching of discipline-based thinking (historical, biological, sociological, mathematical, etc.) It is to improve students’ abilities to think their way through content, using disciplined skill in reasoning. The more particular we can be about what we want students to learn about critical thinking, the better can we devise instruction with that particular end in view.

critical thinking assessments

The Foundation for Critical Thinking offers assessment instruments which share in the same general goal: to enable educators to gather evidence relevant to determining the extent to which instruction is teaching students to think critically (in the process of learning content). To this end, the Fellows of the Foundation recommend:

that academic institutions and units establish an oversight committee for critical thinking, and

that this oversight committee utilizes a combination of assessment instruments (the more the better) to generate incentives for faculty, by providing them with as much evidence as feasible of the actual state of instruction for critical thinking.

The following instruments are available to generate evidence relevant to critical thinking teaching and learning:

Course Evaluation Form : Provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students perceive faculty as fostering critical thinking in instruction (course by course). Machine-scoreable.

Online Critical Thinking Basic Concepts Test : Provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students understand the fundamental concepts embedded in critical thinking (and hence tests student readiness to think critically). Machine-scoreable.

Critical Thinking Reading and Writing Test : Provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students can read closely and write substantively (and hence tests students' abilities to read and write critically). Short-answer.

International Critical Thinking Essay Test : Provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students are able to analyze and assess excerpts from textbooks or professional writing. Short-answer.

Commission Study Protocol for Interviewing Faculty Regarding Critical Thinking : Provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, critical thinking is being taught at a college or university. Can be adapted for high school. Based on the California Commission Study . Short-answer.

Protocol for Interviewing Faculty Regarding Critical Thinking : Provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, critical thinking is being taught at a college or university. Can be adapted for high school. Short-answer.

Protocol for Interviewing Students Regarding Critical Thinking : Provides evidence of whether, and to what extent, students are learning to think critically at a college or university. Can be adapted for high school). Short-answer. 

Criteria for Critical Thinking Assignments : Can be used by faculty in designing classroom assignments, or by administrators in assessing the extent to which faculty are fostering critical thinking.

Rubrics for Assessing Student Reasoning Abilities : A useful tool in assessing the extent to which students are reasoning well through course content.  

All of the above assessment instruments can be used as part of pre- and post-assessment strategies to gauge development over various time periods.

Advertisements if(typeof ez_ad_units != 'undefined'){ez_ad_units.push([[250,250],'criticalthinking_org-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_5',122,'0','0'])};__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-criticalthinking_org-large-mobile-banner-1-0'); Consequential Validity

All of the above assessment instruments, when used appropriately and graded accurately, should lead to a high degree of consequential validity. In other words, the use of the instruments should cause teachers to teach in such a way as to foster critical thinking in their various subjects. In this light, for students to perform well on the various instruments, teachers will need to design instruction so that students can perform well on them. Students cannot become skilled in critical thinking without learning (first) the concepts and principles that underlie critical thinking and (second) applying them in a variety of forms of thinking: historical thinking, sociological thinking, biological thinking, etc. Students cannot become skilled in analyzing and assessing reasoning without practicing it. However, when they have routine practice in paraphrasing, summariz­ing, analyzing, and assessing, they will develop skills of mind requisite to the art of thinking well within any subject or discipline, not to mention thinking well within the various domains of human life.

For full copies of this and many other critical thinking articles, books, videos, and more, join us at the Center for Critical Thinking Community Online - the world's leading online community dedicated to critical thinking!   Also featuring interactive learning activities, study groups, and even a social media component, this learning platform will change your conception of intellectual development.

Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Tests

Complex and challenging critical thinking tests, including the Watson-Glaser, are used mostly by law firms.

Page contents:

About critical thinking tests and how they work, free practice critical thinking tests, the watson glaser critical thinking appraisal, what is measured by a watson glaser critical thinking test, what should i know before taking a watson glaser critical thinking test, major publishers' critical thinking tests, advice for all critical thinking tests, assessmentday's practice tests can help you to prepare for a critical thinking test, one final point, other test publishers.

Updated: 08 September 2022

Critical thinking tests, or critical reasoning tests, are psychometric tests used in recruitment at all levels, graduate, professional and managerial, but predominantly in the legal sector. However, it is not uncommon to find companies in other sectors using critical thinking tests as part of their selection process. This is an intense test, focusing primarily on your analytical, or critical thinking, skills. Some tests are still conducted by paper and pen, but, just like other psychometric tests, critical thinking tests are mostly administered online at home or on a computer at a testing center.

The questions are multiple choice, and these choices and the style of questions are explained in more detail further down the page. The tests will often follow these two common timings:

Critical Thinking can be defined in many ways and an exact description is disputed, however, most agree on a broad definition of critical thinking, that 'critical thinking involves rational, purposeful, and goal-directed using certain cognitive skills and strategies.' An absence or lack of critical thinking skills at times may lead us to believe things which aren't true, because we haven't sufficiently analysed and criticized the information we've received or used this to formulate and independently test our own theories, arguments and ideas. These are all examples of critical thinking skills put into practice. Glaser (An Experiment in the Development of Critical Thinking, 1941) stated that to think critically involved three key parts:

Note: AssessmentDay and its products are not affiliated with Pearson or TalentLens. Our practice tests are for candidates to prepare for the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal; we do not sell tests for employers to select candidates.

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Free Critical Thinking Test

Here, we have a full critical thinking test for you to practice for free. You can dive straight in and practice the full test (in blue at the bottom), or tackle each individual section one at a time.

All answers and explanations are included at the end of the test, or alternatively you can download the Solutions PDF. Each test has been given a generous time limit.

Critical Thinking Test 1

Critical Thinking Test 2

Critical thinking test 3, critical thinking test 4.

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TalentLens' Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) is the most common critical thinking test. You can visit their official site here: Watson Glaser . Most other critical thinking tests are based on the Watson Glaser format. More than 90 years' of experience have led to many modifications and improvements in the test.

The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal is widely regarded as a good predictor of work productivity and at identifying candidates with a good potential to become managers and occupy other positions as a senior member of staff. The latest edition of the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test has improved its validity, appealed more to businesses by focusing on business-relevant topics, switched to the Item Response Theory (IRT) for its scoring, updated norm groups, and integrated anti-cheat measures by having an online retest, which can be used to validate results.

Developed by Goodwin Watson and Edward Glaser, the Watson Glaser test is favored by law firms , keen to measure people's abilities to reason, reach conclusions and know when leaps in logic have been made. Skills which are required in the legal sector. The questions in each of the 5 sections aims to evaluate the candidate's ability to:

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Did You Know

The most recent revision of the W-GCTA was published in 2011 with notable improvements being better face validity and business-relevant items, scoring based on Item Response Theory (IRT), updated norm groups, and an online retest which can be used to validate a paper and pencil test result.

A Critical thinking tests assesses your ability in 5 key areas mentioned above; assumptions, arguments, deductions, inferences and interpreting information. Often in this order. A short paragraph of text a few sentences long or a single sentence is used as a starting point. This passage will contain information which you will base your answer to the question on. Another sentence is then presented to you and you will be asked to judge something about this sentence based on the information in the short paragraph. The five sections are explained in more detail here:

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If a watson glaser critical thinking test is used in the early stages of the application process it's likely to be used as a screening tool. This puts some pressure on candidates to meet a minimum pass mark, which will allow them to be selected to go on to the next stage of the selection process. If it's used at a later stage in the process, the results from this will be combined with performance in other assessments, tests, exercises and interviews. All the information you need to answer the questions will be in the test. Below the details of a few companies' critical thinking tests are pointed out.

Here is a list of critical reasoning tests on the market at present, which candidates may be likely to encounter for recruitment, selection or development.

Here is some general advice to help you perform to the best of your ability for your critical reasoning test.

The practice tests that we have cover all of the sections of the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking test and these overlap with many of the variations in Critical Thinking tests produced by major publishers. practice helps to increase your confidence, gives you a chance to learn from your mistakes in a risk-free environment, and can reduce stress before an exam.

The best place to get advice on taking a critical thinking tests is the test publisher's website, for example this one for the Watson Glaser .

If you have already successfully passed a few initial stages of the application process, it's unlikely that companies will focus solely on your results in the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking test when deciding whether or not to hire you. This type of selection by results on one test is more likely if it is part of the early stages of the process. However, towards the later stages the company will look at your results across interviews, group exercises, other aptitude tests and your résumé and will collate all of this information before reaching a decision. If you have been invited to undertake a critical reasoning test then the organisation clearly has an interest in hiring you, let that fact inspire confidence and perform to the best of your ability on your test, good luck!

You may also be interested in these popular tests sections.

critical thinking assessments

Critical Thinking Test Information & Example Questions

More and more employers are administering critical thinking assessment tests during their hiring process. Prepare for critical thinking tests and assessments with JobTestPrep's resources. Our study materials include test information, practice tests, detailed answer explanations, score reports, and more. Start preparing for critical thinking tests today to ensure your success.

What Is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking, also known as critical reasoning, is the ability to assess a situation and to consider and understand various perspectives, all while acknowledging, extracting, and deciphering facts, opinions, and assumptions.

Why Is the Critical Thinking Test Important to Employers?

Critical thinking, or critical reasoning, is important to employers because they want to see that when dealing with an issue, you are able to make logical decisions without involving emotions. Being able to look past emotions will help you to be open-minded, confident, and decisive—making your decisions more logical and sound.

Looking for a new job? Upload your CV into our AI, data-based CV Analyzer System, and get offers specifically tailored to your skillset and experience!

When Is Critical Thinking Used?

Critical thinking is used in several stages of the problem-solving and decision-making process:

Critical thinking tests can have several sections or subtests that assess and measure a variety of aspects.

In this section, you are asked to draw conclusions from observed or supposed facts. You are presented with a short text containing a set of facts you should consider as true. Below the text is a statement that could be inferred from the text. You need to make a judgement on whether this statement is valid or not, based on what you have read. Furthermore, you are asked to evaluate whether the statement is true, probably true, there is insufficient data to determine, probably false, or false. For example, if a baby is crying and it is his feeding time, you may infer that the baby is hungry. However, the baby may be crying for other reasons—perhaps it is hot.

Recognizing Assumptions

In this section, you are asked to recognize whether an assumption is justifiable or not. Here you are given a statement followed by an assumption on that statement. You need to establish whether this assumption can be supported by the statement or not. You are being tested on your ability to avoid taking things for granted that are not necessarily true. For example, you may say, "I’ll have the same job in three months," but you would be taking for granted the fact that your workplace won't make you redundant, or that that you won’t decide to quit and explore various other possibilities. You are asked to choose between the options of assumption made and assumption not made.

This section tests your ability to weigh information and decide whether given conclusions are warranted. You are presented with a statement of facts followed by a conclusion on what you have read. For example, you may be told, "Nobody in authority can avoid making uncomfortable decisions." You must then decide whether a statement such as "All people must make uncomfortable decisions" is warranted from the first statement. You need to assess whether the conclusion follows or the conclusion does not follow what is contained in the statement.


This section measures your ability to understand the weighing of different arguments on a particular question or issue. You are given a short paragraph to read, which you are expected to take as true. This paragraph is followed by a suggested conclusion, for which you must decide if it follows beyond a reasonable doubt. You have the choice of conclusion follows and conclusion does not follow.

Evaluation of Arguments

In this section you are asked to evaluate the strength of an argument. You are given a question followed by an argument. The argument is considered to be true, but you must decide whether it is a strong or weak argument, i.e. whether it is both important and directly related to the question.

Watson Glaser

Another popular critical thinking assessment,  Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) is a well-established psychometric test produced by Pearson Assessments. The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal is used for two main purposes: job selection/talent management and academic evaluations. The Watson Glaser test can be administered online or in-person.

For free Watson Glaser practice questions   click here !

Critical Thinking Examples

As there are various forms of critical thinking, we've provided a number of critical thinking sample questions.

Example 1 – Underlying Assumptions

Proposed Assumption: Asking for a raise at her current place of work is not the best way to increase the wife's income.

A. Assumption made

B. Assumption not made

The correct answer is (B), Assumption not made. 

Answer explanation: 

The conclusion of the wife's statement: Soon we will increase our joint income.  The evidence supporting this conclusion: I will begin to work an additional part-time job. The underlying assumption/s that must be true for the conclusion to be true: A part-time job will provide me with extra money. The proposed assumption: "Asking for a raise at her current place of work is not the best way to increase the wife's income" is not necessary for the conclusion to be true.

Example 2 – Interpreting Information

Proposed Assumption: Harold’s wife doesn’t feel unhappy.

A. Conclusion follows

B. Conclusion does not follow

The correct answer is (B), Conclusion does not follow.

Answer explanation: Harold’s wife is not mentioned in the passage, and, therefore, you cannot presume any information regarding her feelings.

Example 3 – Inferences 

Proposed Assumption: There is more to the management's announced intentions than those mentioned by them in the passage.

B. Probably true

C. Insufficent data

E. Probably false

The correct answer is (B), Probably true.

Answer explanation: The text begins by introducing the management's announcement as a reaction to a negative trend—reduction in the number of student applications. While the announcement explicitly addresses both the college's staff and its students, it is likely that the issue at hand is not only a wish to achieve academic excellence but, in fact, a means to resolve the issue of reduced applications and college reputation, which has implications on the college's future. Therefore, the correct answer is probably true.

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:

Prepare for Critical Thinking and Critical Reasoning Assessments

The Critical Thinking PrepPack™ is designed to provide you with an inclusive critical thinking preparation experience, as our test questions, study guides, and score reports are all aimed at improving your skills. Start preparing today and ensure 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.

Critical Thinking Tests

Critical Thinking Tests

Updated January 24, 2023

Nikki Dale

What Is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the ability to scrutinize evidence using intellectual skills. Reflective skills are employed to reach clear, coherent and logical conclusions – rather than just accepting information as it is provided.

Critical thinking tests measure the candidate’s understanding of logical connections between ideas, the strength of an argument, alternate interpretations and the significance of a particular claim.

A major facet of critical thinking is the ability to separate facts from opinions and work against any subconscious bias.

In critical thinking tests, employers are looking for people who can think critically about information, showing they are open-minded, good problem-solvers and excellent decision-makers.

Who Uses Critical Thinking Tests and Why?

Critical thinking tests assess how well a candidate can analyze and reason when presented with specific information.

They are used as part of the application process in several industries, most commonly for professions where employees would need to use advanced judgment and analysis skills in decision-making.

For example:

Academic applications – In some instances, critical thinking tests are used to assess whether prospective students have the skills required to be successful in higher education.

Law – Critical thinking assessments are often used in the legal sector as part of the application process. In many law positions, facts are more important than opinion, subconscious bias or pre-existing ideas so an applicant needs to be skilled in critical thinking.

Finance – In financial institutions, decisions often need to be made based on facts rather than emotion or opinion. Judgments made in banking need to be skilled decisions based on logic and the strength of data and information – so to be successful, candidates need to demonstrate that they will not accept arguments and conclusions at face value.

Graduate roles – In some sectors, critical thinking tests are used in graduate recruitment because they are considered to be predictors of ability.

With several different tests available, suited to different industries, many top-level jobs are likely to include critical thinking assessments as part of the application process.

Critical Thinking Tests Explained

Critical thinking tests are usually presented in a similar format no matter who the publisher is. A paragraph of information and data is given, with a statement that is under scrutiny.

Multiple-choice answers are presented for each statement, and there may be more than one question about the same paragraph.

While each question is presented in the same way, different aspects of critical thinking are assessed throughout the test.

Assessing Assumptions

For this type of question, there may be something ‘taken for granted’ in the information provided – and it might not be explicitly stated.

The candidate needs to evaluate the scenario and conclude whether any assumptions are present. The statement below the scenario may or may not support the statement and the answer selection will be about whether the stated assumption is made or not made in the scenario.

Example Question for Assessing Assumptions

Practice Critical Thinking Test with JobTestPrep

The mainstream media presents information that is supported by the political party in power.

Assumption: The information that the mainstream media presents is always correct.

a) Assumption made b) Assumption not made

Determining Inferences

Following a paragraph of information containing evidence, you will be presented with an inference and need to assess whether the inference is absolutely true, possibly true, possibly false, absolutely false, or it is not possible to reach a decision.

An inference is a conclusion that can be reached based on logical reasoning from the information. Although all the evidence to support (or not support) the inference is included in the passage, it will not be obvious or explicitly stated, which makes the inference harder to conclude.

Example Question for Determining Inferences

It has been snowing all night and there is thick snow on the ground. Today’s weather is sunny and bright.

Inference: The snow will melt today.

a) Possibly true b) Absolutely true c) Possibly false d) Absolutely false e) Not possible to reach a decision

Making Deductions

For this type of question, the information presented will be a set of factual statements and the candidate will need to decide if the deduction applies or does not apply.

This logical thinking is a top-down exercise where all the information is provided and needs to be read in the order it is presented.

If statement A = B, does B = C? There should be no grey areas – it either does or does not follow.

Example Question for Making Deductions

All plants have leaves. All leaves are green.

Proposed deduction: All plants are green.

a) Deduction follows b) Deduction does not follow

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Interpretation of Conclusions

Presented with information, the candidate needs to assess whether a given conclusion is correct based on the evidence provided.

For the purposes of the test, we need to believe that all the information provided in the paragraph is true, even if we have opinions about the correctness of the statement.

Example Question for Interpretation of Conclusions

When cooking a meal, one of the most important things to get right is the balance between major food groups. Satisfaction from a good meal comes from getting the most nutrition and can therefore be attributed to a wide variety of flavors, including vegetables, a good source of protein and carbohydrates. A balanced diet is about more than just everything in moderation and should be considered a scientific process with measuring of ingredients and efficient cooking methods.

Proposed conclusion: The best meals are those that are scientifically prepared.

a) Conclusion follows b) Conclusion does not follow

Evaluation of Arguments (Analysis of Arguments)

In this analysis section, the candidate is presented with a scenario and an argument that might be in favor of the scenario or against it.

The candidate needs to evaluate whether the argument itself is weak or strong. This needs to be based on the relevance to the scenario and whether it accurately addresses the question.

Example Question for Evaluation of Arguments

Should all drugs be made legal?

Proposed argument: No, all drugs are dangerous to everyone.

a) Argument is strong b) Argument is weak

Most Common Critical Thinking Tests

Watson glaser test.

Watson Glaser is the most commonly used test publisher for critical thinking assessments and is used by many industries.

When sitting a Watson Glaser test, your results will be compared against a sample group of over 1,500 test-takers who are considered representative of graduate-level candidates.

The test is usually 40 questions long, with 30 minutes to answer, but there is a longer version that asks 80 questions with a time limit of an hour.

Who Uses This Test?

The Watson Glaser Test is used in a wide variety of industries for different roles, especially in the legal and banking sectors. Some employers that use the Watson Glaser Test are:

What Is the RED model?

The Watson Glaser Test is based on something called the ‘RED model’. The questions in the test are based on:

The science behind the Watson Glaser Test shows that candidates who show strong critical thinking skills in these areas are more likely to perform well in roles where logical decisions and judgments have to be made.

Where to Take a Free Practice Test

Watson Glaser Tests have a specific layout and format. If you are going to be completing one of the assessments as part of your application, it’s best to practice questions that match the test format.

You can find Watson Glaser practice tests at JobTestPrep as well as a prep pack to give you all the tips, tricks and information you need to make the most of your practice time.

Take a Practice Watson Glaser Test

SHL Critical Reasoning Battery Test

The SHL Critical Reasoning Battery Test includes questions based on numerical, verbal and inductive reasoning. This test is usually used for managerial and supervisory roles, and can include mechanical comprehension if needed for the job role (usually in engineering or mechanical roles).

You can find out more on JobTestPrep’s SHL Critical Reasoning Battery pages .

Take a Practice SHL Test

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is an online adaptive test – using sophisticated algorithms to adjust the difficulty of the questions according to the answers already provided.

Questions include integrated, quantitative and verbal reasoning as well as an analytical writing assessment. The GMAT is widely used to predict performance in business or management programs in more than 1,700 universities and organizations.

Take a Practice GMAT

How to Prepare for a Critical Thinking Test

Preparation is key to success in any pre-employment assessment. While some people think critical reasoning is not a skill you can practice, there are some steps you can take to perform at your best.

Critical thinking tests are straightforward but not necessarily easy.

Step 1. Consider Buying a Preparation Pack

If you can determine who the publisher is for the test you will take, it may be worthwhile investing in a prep pack from that particular publisher.

JobTestPrep offers prep packs for many major test publishers. These packs include realistic practice tests as well as study guides, tips and tricks to help you build your own question-solving strategies.

Step 2. Use Practice Tests

Even if you decide not to purchase a prep pack, taking practice tests will help you focus on the areas where you need to improve to be successful.

It is important to find out the publisher of the test you will take because not all critical thinking tests are at the same level and they may not follow the same structure. Timings, answering methodologies and the number of questions will vary between publishers.

You can usually find out the test publisher before you take the assessment by asking the recruiter or searching online.

Step 3. Practice Under Test Conditions

Critical thinking tests are timed. To give yourself the best chance of achieving a high score, you need to answer the questions quickly and efficiently.

Practicing under test conditions – including the time limit – will help you to understand how much time you need to spend on each question and will help you to develop efficient time management skills for the assessment.

Practicing under test conditions will also help you focus so you can make the most of the session.

Step 4. Practice Abstract Reasoning

Abstract reasoning is a form of critical thinking that uses logic to form a conclusion. Some abstract reasoning tests are presented as word problems.

Practicing these is a good way to flex critical thinking muscles. You can find practice questions on the Psychometric Success website .

Step 5. Practice Critical Thinking in Everyday Life

Reading widely, especially non-fiction, is a good way to practice your critical thinking skills in everyday life.

Newspaper articles, scientific or technical journals, and other sources of information present an opportunity to think about:

Step 6. Revise Logical Fallacies

Knowledge of logical fallacies will help you to judge the effectiveness of an argument. Fallacy describes ‘faulty reasoning’ in an argument and is often seen in hyperbole or opinion pieces in newspapers and magazines.

There are many types of fallacy that you might come across, such as:

There are many others, including red herrings, appeal to authority and false dichotomy. Learning these will help you to identify a weak argument.

Step 7. Focus on Long-Term Practice

Cramming and panicking about a critical thinking assessment is rarely conducive to great performance.

If you are looking for a career in a sector where critical thinking skills are necessary, then long-term practice will have better results when you come to be assessed. Make critical thinking a part of life – so that every day can be a chance to practice recognizing assumptions.

Key Tips for Critical Thinking Test Success

Understand the format of the test and each question type.

Familiarity is important for any assessment, and in critical thinking tests, it is essential that you can recognize what the question is looking for. As mentioned above, this is usually one of the following:

Practice tests will help you become comfortable with the structure and format of the test, including ways to answer, and will also demonstrate what the question types look like.

Read Test Content Carefully

Taking time to read and understand the content provided in the question is important to ensure that you can answer correctly.

The information you need to determine the correct answer will be provided although it might not be explicitly stated. Careful reading is an important part of critical thinking.

Only Use the Information Provided

While some of the information provided in the critical thinking test might be related to the role you are applying for, or about something that you have existing knowledge of, you mustn't use this knowledge during the test.

A facet of critical thinking is avoiding subconscious bias and opinion, so only use the information that is provided to answer the question.

Look Out for Facts and Fallacies

Throughout the critical thinking test, look out for facts and fallacies in the information and arguments provided.

Identifying fallacies will help you decide if an argument is strong and will help you answer questions correctly.

Final Thoughts

Critical thinking tests are used as pre-employment assessments for jobs that require effective communication, good problem-solving and great decision-making, such as those in the legal sector and banking.

These tests assess the ability of candidates to question and scrutinize evidence, make logical connections between ideas, find alternative interpretations and decide on the strength of an argument.

All critical thinking tests are not the same, but they do have similar question types. Learning what these are and how to answer them will help you perform better. Practicing tests based on the specific publisher of your test will give you the best results.

Free Critical Thinking Test Practice: 2023 Prep Guide

Few hours of practice make all the difference.

Ace that Test!

Critical thinking tests assess your skills in examining and evaluating reasoning. Such reasoning can be on any subject and can use both verbal and numerical material. The skills of critical thinking include being able to analyze the sequence of claims in reasoning, to assess the strength of reasoning, to interpret meaning, to find implicit claims in reasoning, and to evaluate the possible significance of claims (including evidence).

These tests can be used for selection for higher education courses, and in the employment world as a pre-employment screening tool and as a personnel development tool.

Did you know?

Critical Thinking Tests  measure a number of skills, including your ability to (1) recognize assumptions (2) evaluate arguments and (3) draw conclusions. Critical thinking tests are  commonly used by academic institutions and in pre-employment testing.  Thinking through questions logically and understanding what is being asked are two characteristics of people who do well on these types of tests.

Critical Thinking Questions Types

The sections below review the most common types of questions included in critical thinking tests and provide examples of question scenarios, answers, and solutions. Additional critical thinking sample questions for you to practice can be found on the free practice tab.

Judging Inferences

In this category, you are given a short passage containing evidence, and some inferences drawn from it. Your task is to judge degrees of truth or falsehood in relation to given inferences that have been drawn from the passage. The degrees range from “true” at one end to “false” at the other, with “probably true” and “probably false” within the range. In addition, there is a possible response of “insufficient data” which fits when none of the other judgments can be made. Though there are five possible options, since the same passage will be used for only two or three questions, not all of them will apply to the inferences that are given.

A worldwide study shows that there are behavioral shifts among consumers. 41% said that they are “increasingly looking for ways to save money.” Consumers are largely brand-loyal but shop around for the best prices. Only 12% of consumers have traded-down to buy cheaper brands (such as bottled water), with 11% trading up (with products such as cosmetics). There has been a big shift towards online shopping. 

Proposed inference:

Not all consumer behavior is concerned with saving money.

Answer: True This inference can be drawn from the evidence that “Consumers are largely brand-loyal.” The inferential link between the words “largely brand-loyal” and “not all” emphasizes how this inference can be seen as true. It would cease to be true if the inference was given as “All consumer behavior is concerned with making money.”

Recognizing Assumptions

In this type of question, you are looking for what is taken-for-granted or assumed in an argument or in a statement of a position. In other words, though something has not been explicitly stated in an argument or in a position, it is necessary for its author to believe or accept it.

The main justification for taxation is to raise money to increase public welfare rather than to limit the choices available for private spending.

Proposed assumption: 

Choices made by private spending will not maximize public welfare. 

Answer: Assumption made This must be presupposed since, if the main justification for taxation is to increase public welfare, then it must be believed that private spending would not do this to the same degree.

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In these questions, you are asked to consider if a given conclusion  necessarily  follows from given statements. By this, we mean that, if the given statements are true (and, for these questions, we always need to take it that they are), then does a given conclusion have to follow? In other words, we are not dealing with conclusions that, at best,  probably  follow, but those which, given the logic of the argument,  must  follow.

Some economic predictions are accurate for the short-term. All economic predictions that are accurate for the short-term are inaccurate for the long-term. Therefore…

Proposed conclusion:

No economic predictions are accurate for the long-term. 

Answer: The conclusion does not follow The conclusion does not follow since we cannot identify from the statements whether there are any economic predictions that are accurate for the long-term. If we look at the structure of the statements in a simplified form, we get “Some A are B. All B are C.” A logical conclusion to this will be “So some A are C.” Looking at this suggested conclusion in terms of the simplified structure, we see that this would not fit, since it would have to be “No A are D.”

Interpretation of Information

In these questions, you need to use the standard of “beyond reasonable doubt” in order to judge whether a given conclusion follows from the information that is given. (As with deduction, we need to take it that the information is true.) The criterion of “beyond reasonable doubt” is a strong one but it is weaker than the one used in deduction, which is that the conclusion  necessarily  follows, given the logical structure of the statements.

Economic forecasters tend to perform well with three to four-month predictions, but become much less successful beyond this timescale, especially with 22 months or more. The biggest errors occur ahead of economic contractions. This is because, though economies normally have steady but slow growth, when they contract, they do so sharply.

Short-term forecasts (up to four months) of an economy’s performance are normally accurate except when the economy contracts. 

Answer: The conclusion follows This is drawn from the evidence on the normal success of short-term forecasts (“Economic forecasters tend to perform well within three to four-month predictions”) and the reason for the lack of success when the economy contracts (“though economies normally have steady but slow growth, when they contract, they do so sharply”). In this way, the evidence is sufficient for this conclusion to be drawn beyond a reasonable doubt.

Evaluation of Arguments

In these questions, you need to judge the strength or weakness of given arguments. You are given a question in the form of “Should  x  be the case?” and then an argument in the form of “Yes, because  y”  or “No, because y.” The relationship between  x  and  y   is then to be judged by evaluating whether the reason given provides weak or strong support.

Should tax evasion and theft be seen as equivalent crimes?

No; most people who commit tax evasion wouldn’t also commit theft. 

Answer: Weak argument This doesn’t begin to address the issue since it doesn’t make any reference to the issue of equivalence. As a result, it does not provide a relevant reason.

Examining Definitions

In these questions, you are asked to use some information in what is given in a short dialogue in order to clarify how one of the two participants in the dialogue is using a term. There can be a dispute between the participants as to the meaning of the term.

“Are you happy with your investment in ABC Holdings?” asked Frank.

“Very much so – it has been a good investment,” said Mary. “I invested in them five years ago and they have given a good return over a period when other investments have achieved much less.”

Of the following, which is the best way to state Mary’s notion of a good investment?

Answer: The correct answer is 3 This is because it refers to the necessary aspects of the way in which Mary explains her use of the term. It refers to the return as “high” which can be seen to cover her use of the word “good” (since a good return would be seen as a high return). It also refers to the return on investment as being better in relation to returns on other investments, which is another feature of the way in which Mary uses the term. (1) is incorrect. We cannot tell from the way in which Mary uses the term “good investment” whether or not the return on her investment had been predicted as being lower than that which was achieved. (2) is incorrect. Though this captures part of the way in which Mary uses the term “good investment,” it does not make reference to the point that ABC Holdings has done well during a time when other investments have not done so well. In this way, (2) is not sufficiently specific to fit with the way in which Mary uses the term.

Judging Credibility

In questions on credibility, you are asked to judge between the believability of claims that are made about a given scenario. The scenario will be described in such a way that claims about it can be judged against relevant credibility criteria such as expertise, ability to perceive, motive, and reputation. In other words, you are asked to make a credibility judgment between statements, including identifying the possibility that neither statement is more or less believable than the other.

A research study on the language abilities of parrots has been running for a year. The head of the study, Dr. Polly Atkinson, has extensive experience in working on animal communication. She has recently published the first report on the research.

In the following question, two statements are given: (1) and (2). These statements are underlined and the source of them is given. You need to decide which of the two is the more believable but, if you think that neither one is more believable, then mark (3) as your answer.

(1) Parrots were able to use the majority of the words that they were taught (from “Parrots can talk better than young children” in an article based on the report by Dr. Atkins in “Modern Parenting,” a popular magazine). 

(2) The parrots could mimic a large proportion (83.8%) of the words that they were given over a period of 100 days (from an article by Dr. Atkins in the journal “Animal learning and behavior”).

(3) Neither statement is more believable.

Answer: The correct answer is 2 This is more believable than (1) since it comes from the named expert in this research study. Though (1) is “based on” this expert’s report, it could be that it isn’t an entirely correct interpretation of her findings, especially with the word “use” rather than “mimic” and the reference to parrots being able to “talk better than young children” which is both vague and ambiguous (and is not necessarily claimed by Dr. Atkins).

Critical Thinking Test Tips

1.  answer strictly based on the provided info.

Answer each question solely based on the conditions and facts provided in the question, and not by using your own industry knowledge. However, what is not mentioned may also be relevant for disproving a conclusion.

2.  Read each question carefully and don’t skip paragraphs or sentences

You might encounter long questions which you may be tempted to skim through. Don’t! By quickly scanning the question, you may miss valuable information you will need to get the right answer. Read thoroughly and then make your decision.

3.  Try finding logic in the statements

Answering each question requires finding a logical connection between the statements or the sentences of the passage. Analyze these and try to find logic between them.

4.  Learn to manage the time

Since there will be both long and short questions, the time spent on each question is difficult to assess in advance. However, through practice, you should know how to manage time without skipping any question. Learn to pace and compete with time. This tip only applies to the timed version of the test.

5.  Plan and practice

Lastly, to ace any test, precise planning, and continuous practice are a must! Therefore, practice as many questions as you can beforehand.

Critical Thinking Tests for Employment

The results of critical thinking tests reflect on how a job prospect decision making and problem-solving skills and were found to be a good predictor of work performance. Poor critical thinking skills may be costly for any business in terms of higher expenses, loss of revenue, and lower productivity. High scores suggest that the candidate is likely to discover crucial information and problems, evaluate the variables and risks properly, and develop quick and adequate solutions for the benefit of the organization. 

Common Critical Thinking Tests

The following are the most used critical thinking assessments. These are mainly used in the employment field but are also utilized as a personal appraisal of critical thinking skills of candidates in various academic programs as an educational placement tool.

Disclaimer  – All the information and prep materials on iPrep are genuine and were created for tutoring purposes. iPrep is not affiliated with publishers of Critical Thinking tests.

Get to know the most common types of questions in Critical Thinking Assessment Tests. Practice with these sample questions:

Question 1 of 7

First Type – Inference

A worldwide study shows that there are behavioral shifts among consumers. 41% said that they are “increasingly looking for ways to save money.” Consumers are largely brand loyal but shop around for the best prices. Only 12% of consumers have traded down to buy cheaper brands (such as bottled water), with 11% trading up (with products such as cosmetics). There has been a big shift towards online shopping.

Inference: Consumers who are brand loyal are less likely than those who aren’t to look for ways to save money.

The correct answer is Probably False.

The third sentence gives evidence that, although “consumers are largely brand-loyal,” they also “shop around for the best prices.” Together, these two pieces of evidence make it not probable that brand-loyal customers “are less likely than those who aren’t to look for ways to save money.” At one level, you could say that this is an example of insufficient data, but this category applies when the evidence is simply insufficient (very often, it’s completely absent). Here the evidence is sufficient to understand that it makes this inference a “probably false” one.

Question 2 of 7

Second Type – Recognition of Assumptions

Statement: “It’s clear that there will be an exponential speed-up of AI performance, with a correspondingly huge impact on business strategy.”

Proposed Assumption: The greater the speed of AI performance, the bigger the impact is on business strategy.

This assumption is made.

The relationship between AI performance and the impact on business strategy in the statement is such that the faster AI performance increases, the greater the impact on strategy must be. This can be seen if one looks at the original statement together with the negative version of the assumption.

“It’s clear that there will be an exponential speed-up of AI performance, with a correspondingly huge impact on business strategy.”

The greater the speed of AI performance, the  less  is the impact on business strategy.

As can be seen, this negative version does not fit at all with the statement, showing that the assumption must be made.

Question 3 of 7

Third Type – Deduction

Premises: All companies use ways to maximize their profits. Some companies use profit-sharing plans; such plans help to retain staff. Retaining staff is a way to maximize a company’s profits. Therefore…

Conclusion: Not all profit-maximizing companies retain staff.

This conclusion follows the premises.

In the diagram below, “A” represents all the profit-maximizing ways; hence, it represents all the companies because according to the first premise, “All companies use ways to maximize their profits.”

The next premises create a link between profiting-sharing plans, retaining staff, and maximizing profits. “B” represents the portion of the companies that follow this mechanism of maximizing profits.

critical thinking assessments

This inference can be drawn from the first premise (“All companies use ways to maximize their profits”) and the significance of the second and the third, which together allow the conclusion that there are profit-maximizing companies that do not retain staff.

Question 4 of 7

Fourth Type – Interpretation

According to a 2018 survey, 76% of the US population considers someone with an annual income of $10,000 to be “poor,” and 56% considers someone with an annual income of $100,000 to be “rich.” The majority of people saw the category of “neither rich nor poor” as including annual incomes from $40,000 to $80,000. Almost equal percentages saw someone with an income of $90,000 as “rich” or “neither rich nor poor.”

Conclusion: To be considered “rich” in the US, someone needs to have an income of at least ten times that of the poor.

This conclusion does not follow beyond a reasonable doubt from the premises.

This neither takes into account the possible percentages for those seen as “poor” in income groups other than $10,000, nor the lack of full agreement on whether an income of $100,000 means that someone is “rich.” As a result, the evidence is insufficient for this conclusion to be drawn beyond a reasonable doubt.

Question 5 of 7

Fifth Type – Evaluation of Arguments

Question: Should tariffs on foreign goods be used as a way of protecting domestic jobs?

Argument: No; some domestic jobs are created as a result of importing foreign goods.

This argument is strong.

This provides both a relevant and important challenge to the question. If the focus is on the protection of domestic jobs, then risking the reduction of foreign imports through tariffs (by consequent price-increases) could reduce the number of jobs in some domestic industries.

Question 6 of 7

Sixth Type – Definition

“That’s an interesting piece of furniture,” said Anna.

“Interesting?” said Mike. “It’s more than interesting. It’s a real antique. It’s been made using a design that is well over 100 years old, using methods that are even older. You certainly don’t get craftsmanship like that anymore.”

“But does that make it an antique?” asked Anna.

Question: Of the following, which is the best way to state Mike’s notion of an antique?

The correct answer is (A).

Mike sees an antique item as having three features: an at least 100 years old design, made according to methods that are older (so also covered by “at least 100 years old”), and the current absence of skills to make it. This definition covers all three of these features.

(B) is incorrect. Mike’s use of the term “antique” does not include the necessity of the item having been made at least 100 years ago.

(C) is incorrect. This includes two of the features of Mike’s use of the term (methods of construction no longer seen and design that is at least 100 years old), but it does not include the reference to the methods being at least 100 years old.

Question 7 of 7

Seventh Type – Credibility

Professor Whitman of the Food Research Laboratory (FRL) has been conducting research on the effectiveness of meal-replacement products in helping people lose weight. Interim results from his research have shown that, so far, Product A has not resulted in any significant weight loss in those who have used it, but that there was evidence of an up to 12.5% weight loss in those who used Product B.

In the following question, two statements are given: (A) and (B). These statements are underlined, and their sources are given. You need to decide which of the two is more believable but if you think that neither one is more believable, then mark (C) as your answer.

The correct answer is C.

Both (A) and (B) are accurate claims made by the same person based on the information given. Since there is no reason to question the credibility of either (A) or (B) (given their sources), this means that neither of them is more believable than the other.

You have completed the Sample Questions section.

The complete iPrep course includes full test simulations with detailed explanations and study guides.


critical thinking assessments

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About the course

Welcome to iPrep’s  Critical Thinking  test preparation course.

This course will help you boost your skills and with it your confidence towards your upcoming test. The course will provide you with the following tools and benefits:

Learning hours

Practice tests

By the end of this course, you will be more knowledgeable and comfortable with critical thinking test questions – Knowledge and familiarity with the test are the two most significant factors that can help you maximize your score and improve your chances of success.

The course is comprised of two parts – guidance and the test simulations. In the guidance section, we will review each type of question, its purpose, and its underlying logical mechanism. You will also have a chance to practice several test-level questions before approaching the test simulation to get a feel for the challenge ahead.

Afterwards, you will proceed to the simulation test. Once done, you will be able to get full question explanations and even see how well you performed in comparison with other people who have taken the test.

Wishing you an enjoyable learning experience!

Skills you will learn

Recognition of Assumptions

Drawing Conclusions

About the author

critical thinking assessments

Dr. Roy van den Brink-Budgen

Co-founder and Director of Studies of the Centre for Critical Thinking

Dr. Roy van den Brink-Budgen has been working in the field of critical thinking for over thirty years. His experience has included the development of various assessments in critical thinking, and teaching the subject to a wide range of groups (students from primary to postgraduate, teachers from primary to college, juvenile offenders, and business managers). He has also written seven books on the subject, many journal articles, and online courses for secondary students and MBA students (as well as having produced a critical thinking card game). He has given presentations to various international conferences on critical thinking and creative thinking.

His work in critical thinking has taken him to many countries (including France, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, the UK, and Singapore – where he is the Director of Studies at the Centre for Critical Thinking). He serves as a consultant on critical thinking to PocketConfidant, an international company that is developing AI for personal coaching. In addition, he runs a company that provides various services in critical thinking – if…then ltd – based in the UK.

Customer Testimonial

critical thinking assessments

I am 100% sure that working through the examples & reading the explanations provided by iPrep has improved my scores!

Mike Walter

June 12, 2019 at 12:37 PM

(10 Ratings)

critical thinking assessments


March 13, 2021 at 4:34 AM

i found it very helpful as it helped me to get clearer understanding of different concepts. Excellent material and information.

Zalma R******

February 14, 2021 at 10:37 PM

Glad I decided to take the course. It gives you great insight into taking a critical thinking test. Glad I invested in this. Thank you!

Kelly K********

January 2, 2021 at 5:12 AM

I feel way more prepared on my test than I ever did before. This program really went into depth on each explanation of the question and why the chosen answer was correct. I would reccomend this for anyone who is in need of preparation for a test with critical thinking or that sort. Great overall experience! Like the program said, you need to put in work to see results, but with the help of iPrep it can be achieved.

September 28, 2020 at 1:45 AM

This course is very well designed for both practicing and testing critical thinking skills. I have enjoyed taking the course, and gained a better understanding of my own current level of critical thing ability. I will use the test results to continue improving my critical thinking skills.

Stuti P*****

September 21, 2020 at 4:53 PM

I did use this practice session for my graduate school interview and I highly recommend this to anyone who are trying to ace their school admissions or their dream job interviews. The course format is effectively organized in a way which is easy to understand by giving real life scenario.

Insight Assessment

What is the best way to assess critical thinking?

Colorful question marks represent FAQs

The most effective way to measure critical thinking is to use a validated critical thinking skills test to assess the skills used to solve problems and make decisions AND to use a critical thinking mindset measure to assess the level of the person’s consistent internal motivation or willingness to use his or her critical thinking skills when it counts in decision making.

Costly mistakes and poor judgments might be the result of deficient thinking skills, but an equally likely cause is a mindset that predisposes the decision-maker to biased, hasty or superficial analysis of the situation at hand.

Critical Thinking Skills

Having the skill to interpret a situation and correctly infer that a problem exists would not be sufficient if we then cannot analyze why the problem continues to exist and then explain and evaluate our attempts to solve the problem.  Interpretation, inference, analysis explanation and evaluation are all critical thinking skills.

Critical Thinking Mindset

Critical thinking mindset determines how disposed a person will be to work to achieve goals and to engage and resolve significant problems.

For a complete assessment of an individual’s thinking, it is essential to measure both skills and mindset.

Strong reasoning skills and thinking mindset are needed for decision strength | Insight Assessment

Insight Assessment test instruments for children and adults include skills and mindset tools that can be paired for the most comprehensive information about the strengths and weaknesses in thinking.  We also offer a variety of two part tests that measure both skills and mindset. Contact us to learn more.

Can critical thinking be assessed with rubrics?

Rubrics are rating forms designed to capture evidence of a particular quality or construct. The quality of the measure obtained from a rubric depends on…

How are Insight Assessment test instruments validated?

At Insight Assessment we take the measurement of reasoning skills and mindset very seriously. Our products measuring reasoning skills and mindset has been studied in…

The most effective way to measure critical thinking is to use a validated critical thinking skills test to assess the skills used to solve problems…

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