Chartered Industrial Psychologists

Critical Thinking Tests

Critical Reasoning is a skill middle and senior executives need to have to enable them to think strategically and solve particularly complex problems often in an environment with a high level of uncertainty. Strong critical thinking is about being able to make logical decisions about information irrespective of your opinions on topics.

Critical Thinking tests

At Niche we offer the following online critical thinking tests, but we also have the long form Watson Glaser™ II test available:

Watson Glaser™ III Critical Thinking Test (W-G III)

The Watson-Glaser™ III or W-G III is the revised version of the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal® II. This ability test provides a breakdown of a person’s critical thinking and decision-making processes.

The W-G III is useful for assessing an individual’s ability to recognise assumptions, evaluate arguments, and draw conclusions. Critical thinking ability is an important ability in roles requiring an individual to work with business information, draw logical conclusions, determine strategy, reduce risk and maximise organisational performance.

The three W-G III sub tests are:

  1. Recognise Assumptions - Assumptions are statements that are assumed to be true in the absence of proof. Identifying assumptions helps reveal information gaps and enrich perspectives on an issue. Assumptions can be unstated or directly stated. Being aware of assumptions and directly assessing their appropriateness to a situation improves the quality and comprehensiveness of critical thinking.
  2. Evaluate Arguments - Arguments are assertions that are intended to persuade someone to believe or act a certain way. Evaluating arguments is the process of analysing assertions objectively and accurately. Analysing arguments helps to determine whether to believe something or not, and how to respond accordingly. Evaluating arguments requires the ability to overcome a confirmation bias, which is the tendency to look for and agree with information that confirms prior beliefs. Emotion plays a key role in evaluating arguments as well; a high level of emotion can cloud objectivity and the ability to accurately evaluate arguments.
  3. Draw Conclusions - Drawing conclusions consists of arriving at conclusions that logically follow from the available evidence. It includes evaluating all relevant information before drawing a conclusion, judging the likelihood of different conclusions being correct, selecting the most appropriate conclusion, and avoiding overgeneralisation beyond the evidence.
Critical and strategic thinking skills

This test can be administered online and unsupervised. The test is 30 minutes in length and has 40 test items. Most often this test is used at the middle to senior management level but also for some specialist roles. There are quite few different norms (28) for this test and they come from Australian, UK and US samples.

Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory – HBRI

The test makers claim the HBRI is an ability test designed to evaluate Critical Reasoning, Strategic and Tactical Reasoning using three categories of business data.

These business data categories are:

  1. Verbal information based on conversations, e-mails, and written reports.
  2. Quantitative information that comes from tables, data in financial reports and statistical analyses.
  3. Graphic information that comes from charts, graphs, and figures. .

The Strategic and Tactical Reasoning constructs work to explain an individual’s capacity to process many kinds of dense and complex information that may be found in the real world (Critical Reasoning).

This HBRI has no time limit which in our view is a drawback as there is no analysis of the difference time pressure makes to a person’s testing result. For instance, if two people get exactly the same score however we could find out one person took 4 hours to complete the assessment and the other took only 20 minutes, the testing result does not reflect this difference between the candidate’s abilities. There is no indication given by the test maker of the time taken by the candidate to complete the test. Without a time limit it is not possible to check the speed of critical thinking as the candidate can take as long as they need to answer the items.

This test has 36 items and can be done online unsupervised. It is most suitable for middle management assessment and has a NZ norm.