What Is a Critical Thinking Test?
Critical thinking tests are a form of aptitude tests (also known as psychometric tests). They have been used for recruitment for jobs such as lawyers or bankers. The test has a variety of questions, most of which start with a paragraph and then have some follow up statements.
Thus, critical thinking tests are analytical and measure a candidate’s ability to infer and understand information. Critical thinking tests are usually divided into five parts: assumptions, analysing arguments, deductions, inferences and interpreting information.
Critical thinking tests are important for employers because they give an indication of the candidate’s intelligence, ability to think logically and identify mistakes or inconsistencies. Subjects who score highly on critical thinking tests are often good at problem solving. They may also be able to come up with creative solutions and predict consequences, which is useful for businesses. Critical thinking tests are also often used for management positions.
Types of Critical Thinking Tests
There are a number of different types of critical thinking tests. To start with, some are shorter and others are longer and more thorough. Both tend to be timed. A candidate who can complete a critical thinking test faster would be considered to be ‘better’, provided they still got correct answers.
The most common type of critical thinking test is the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal. This is sometimes referred to as WGCTA. It has been around for 85 years and gets regular updates. It is suitable for anyone over the age of 16. There is also the Cornell Critical Thinking Assessment, which is most frequently used for education. The Cornell Critical Thinking has one version for children and one for adults.
There is also the General Management Aptitude Test, or GMAT. Business schools use GMAT because it specifically uses business-related scenarios. Next, the SHL Critical Reasoning Test Battery, which has different levels of difficulty for candidates. Finally, there is the Verbal and Numerical Critical Reasoning, which specifically tests the candidate’s literacy or numeracy levels and applies this to their critical thinking skills.
How to Prepare for a Critical Thinking Test
Like anything, the best way to prepare for a critical thinking test is to practise. There are lots of critical thinking tests available online. These are usually multiple choice, so they are marked and the candidates immediately receive their scores. Candidates should also look up how the tests work and read some general advice. Firstly, they should make sure to thoroughly read the questions. They should only reference the information given rather than bring any of their own knowledge into their answers. Finally, prospective candidates can read an analysis of the answers. This will help them to understand where they went wrong and prevent future errors from occurring.
Candidates may also want to practise with some abstract reasoning tests. These encourage a candidate to spot patterns and rules between diagrams. Abstract reasoning tests are also used as part of the selection process for educational establishments and jobs. Doing this will help candidates develop their attention to detail, a key skill for critical thinking tests.
Critical thinking has many real-world applications. Candidates could find that their results improve if they interact with non-fiction literature. They can also listen to debates with politicians or read newspaper articles from a variety of different publications. Discussing different viewpoints may help them identify strong or weak arguments.
What Questions Can I Expect?
As discussed above, the type of question varies between different types of tests. Tests often include questions on arguments, assumptions, deductions, inferences, and interpretations.
Tests are broken up into sections to focus on each of these individually, but the basic formatting is the same. Tests are multiple-choice and the topics often stretch over a few questions.
Where Are Critical Thinking Tests Used?
Like abstract reasoning tests, critical thinking tests are often used to supplement interviews for jobs or educational placements. As discussed above, some critical thinking tests are used in specific situations because of the skills they focus on.
Others, like Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, are more generic and are more common. As discussed above, law firms and banks often use critical thinking tests while recruiting new employees. Prospective employees should also have relevant work experience and qualifications.
Critical thinking tests are also used in jobs that work directly and specifically with people. These jobs might include office managers and human resource managers. They would need good interpersonal skills.
Subjects who perform well in these tests are likely to be able to analyze interactions between staff members. This will help them solve disputes and come up with creative solutions to ease tensions and increase productivity.