Apr 23, 2020

Written By Jack Denton

Watson Glaser - The Lawyer’s Test

Apr 23, 2020

Written By Jack Denton

Strictly speaking, Watson Glaser isn’t the lawyer’s test all, but it is widely used by law firms as a way of screening out candidates. Indeed, many law firms believe the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test is the best way to measure someone's ability to take in information and draw conclusions from them, which are key skills for a lawyer.

What does it test exactly?

The test is supposed to be able to measure your ability to solve problems, use different types of logic (such as deductive and inductive reasoning) and draw conclusions. You need to read the questions carefully and then work out the correct answer quickly without any mistakes.

In particular, the Watson Glaser will see if you’re able to evaluate arguments and interpret them. It also tests if you can draw conclusions, make deductions, infer things correctly and spot if there are any assumptions made in statements.

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What is the format and how long does it take?

The test takes 30-50 minutes to complete and is typically made up of around 40 questions. This gives you around one minute per question. The questions are multiple-choice.

Have you got any examples?

Yup! There are a couple below.

Here is an example of deductive reasoning:

All cats have a good sense of balance. Missy is a cat.

Therefore, deductive logic would tell us that Missy has a good sense of balance.

And this is an example of inductive reasoning:

A sun hat stops you from getting sunstroke on a sunny day. Abeke took her sun hat out with her and didn’t get sunstroke.

Inductive reasoning would tell us that the hat protected Abeke from getting sunstroke. However, your conclusion might not be accurate, as Abeke might not have got sunstroke anyway, because it might not have been sunny that day.

How can I prepare for it?

The best way to practise is to do practice tests online. Once you get your head around what is being asked of you, they aren’t too difficult, but if you are applying to a firm you really want to work at, it is an easy way to get ejected from the recruitment process; not because you can’t do it, but because you have never practised before.

If you are lucky enough (about 7% of you) and went to a private school, then you might be able to access practice tests via your old careers service. However, for the rest of us, it might be necessary to invest in your career.

You’ve already spent tens of thousands on your tuition, so spending a few hundred pounds to improve your employability to get through the final hurdle is a worthwhile investment and many practice tests are around the cost of a decent textbook.

What is a good score?

You will be benchmarked against other people who took the test at the same firm that year so it will vary, but most firms we have spoken to see scores in excess of 75% as a common benchmark. Some will be higher, some a bit less. It depends on the year and quality of the other candidates. Obviously, though, you will want to get the very best score you can.

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Selection & Assessment