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In today’s fast-paced business world, hiring managers are looking for candidates who possess critical thinking skills. These skills are essential for problem-solving, decision-making, and innovation. Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information, evaluate evidence, and logically arrive at a conclusion. It involves the use of cognitive skills such as analysis, interpretation, inference, evaluation, and explanation. Critical thinking is crucial in the workplace because it enables employees to make informed decisions, solve complex problems, and innovate.

Hiring managers look for critical thinking skills in job candidates because they want to hire employees who can think independently, identify problems, and propose solutions. Critical thinkers can adapt to change, understand different perspectives, and communicate effectively. These skills are essential in today’s business environment, where employees need to be agile and adaptable. But how do you measure critical thinking skills in candidates? This guide will provide tips and tricks for measuring critical thinking in the hiring process.

Understanding Critical Thinking Assessment Tests

Critical thinking assessment tests are tools that measure an individual’s ability to think critically. These assessments come in various forms, including multiple-choice questions, essays, and problem-solving tasks. The purpose of these tests is to evaluate a candidate’s ability to analyze information, make sound judgments, and arrive at logical conclusions. There are several types of critical thinking assessments and tests, including the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, the Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment, and the Cornell Critical Thinking Test. Each of these tests evaluates different aspects of critical thinking, such as deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, and problem-solving.

How to Measure Critical Thinking Skills in Candidates?

Measuring critical thinking skills in candidates involves using various assessment tools and techniques. The first step is to identify the specific critical thinking skills that are necessary for the job. This can be done by analyzing the job description and identifying the essential skills required for the job.

Once the skills have been identified, the next step is to select the appropriate assessment tool. This can be done by consulting with experts in the field or by using online resources that provide information on different assessment tools.

The assessment tool should be valid and reliable, meaning that it measures what it claims to measure and produces consistent results. The assessment should also be standardized, meaning that it is administered and scored consistently.

Which Fields Utilize Critical Thinking Tests, and Why?

Critical thinking tests are utilized in a variety of professions to assess a candidate’s ability to analyze information objectively and make a reasoned judgment. These skills are essential in many fields, as they allow professionals to make informed decisions, solve problems, and understand and implement strategies You’ll probably need to show solid critical thinking and sound logic the further up you are on the organizational ladder.

The primary industry that employs critical test evaluations is the legal sector; making conclusions about legal problems requires making fact-based decisions devoid of opinion and intuition.

The critical thinking assessment test is a quick and efficient technique to evaluate applicants. A candidate for a legal position must demonstrate their intellectual abilities in problem-solving without prior knowledge or unconscious bias.

Critical thinking tests are occasionally included in the recruiting process for graduate and managerial roles across a variety of industries.

Types of Critical Thinking Tests for Employment

Several types of critical thinking assessment tests can be used in the hiring process. These include:

  • The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal: This test measures a candidate’s ability to analyze information, evaluate arguments, and draw conclusions.
  • The Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment: This test evaluates a candidate’s ability to think critically in real-world situations.
  • The Cornell Critical Thinking Test: This test measures a candidate’s ability to evaluate information and draw conclusions based on that information.

Among these various tests, The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal is used commonly to measure the critical thinking ability of a candidate. The Watson Glaser format is used in the majority of other critical thinking skills tests. Over 90 years of expertise have resulted in numerous revisions and enhancements to the test.

The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal is commonly considered a good predictor of job efficiency and a good predictor of applicants with a high potential to become leaders and other senior members of staff. The most recent edition of the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test has improved its validity, made it more appealing to companies by focusing on business-relevant topics, switched to IRT (Item Response Theory) scoring, revised norm groups, and incorporated anti-cheat measures by including an online retest that can be used to validate outcomes.

A critical thinking test for employment evaluates your skills in the five essential categories listed above: assumptions, arguments, deductions, inferences, and information interpretation and each section may have multiple questions.


This section measures a person’s ability to identify unstated assumptions or presuppositions in statements or assertions. The candidate must assess the scenario and determine whether any assumptions are present. The statement beneath the scenario may or may not support the statement, and the answer choice will be based on whether or not the stated assumption is made in the scenario.


This measures the ability to distinguish between strong and weak arguments, specifically whether an argument is relevant and strong enough to justify a conclusion. In this portion, the candidate is given a scenario and an argument that may be in favor of or against the scenario. The candidate must determine if the argument is weak or powerful. This must be judged on the scenario’s relevancy and if it appropriately addresses the question.


This skill involves determining if certain conclusions necessarily follow from information in given statements or premises. For this type of question, the information supplied will be a set of factual assertions, and the candidate must decide whether or not the deduction applies. This is a top-down activity in which all information is offered and must be read in the order it is delivered.


This skill involves reaching a conclusion based on evidence and reasoning. It tests the candidate’s ability to deduce outcomes or effects given certain facts or information. Following a paragraph of evidence-based material, the candidate will be presented with an inference and must decide whether it is true, perhaps true, absolutely untrue, or it is not feasible to reach a decision. An inference is a conclusion that can be drawn from facts using logical reasoning. Although all of the evidence to support (or refute) the inference is provided in the section, it is not evident or explicitly stated, making the inference more difficult to conclude.


This assesses the ability to understand the weight or degree of truth of a given proposition based on the provided information. When given information, the applicant must determine whether a certain conclusion is correct based on the evidence presented. For the sake of the exam, we must think that all of the information in the paragraph is true, even if we disagree with the statement’s validity.

Tips for Creating a Successful Critical Thinking Assessment

Creating a successful critical thinking assessment involves several steps. The first step is to identify the specific necessary thinking skills that are essential for the job. This can be done by analyzing the job description and identifying the skills required for the job.

The next step is to select the appropriate assessment tool. The tool should be valid, reliable, and standardized. The assessment should also be designed to measure the specific critical thinking skills required for the job.

The assessment should be clear and concise, with instructions that are easy to follow. The questions should be relevant to the job and should be presented in a logical and organized manner. The assessment should also be timed appropriately, with enough time for candidates to answer all the questions.

Critical Thinking Assessment Best Practices

Several best practices should be followed when administering critical thinking assessments. These include:

  • Ensuring that the critical thinking skills test is standardized and administered in a consistent manner
  • Providing clear and concise instructions for completing the assessment
  • Ensuring that the assessment is timed appropriately
  • Using a variety of assessment tools to measure different aspects of critical thinking
  • Providing feedback to candidates on their performance
  • Maintaining confidentiality and privacy of assessment results

How to Interpret and Evaluate Critical Thinking Test Results?

Interpreting and evaluating critical thinking assessment test results involves analyzing the data and drawing conclusions about the candidate’s critical thinking skills. The first step is to look at the overall score to determine how well the candidate performed on the assessment.

The next step is to analyze the individual scores for each section of the assessment. This can provide insight into the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in different areas of critical thinking.

It is also important to compare the candidate’s scores to the scores of other candidates who have taken the same assessment. This can provide a benchmark for evaluating the candidate’s performance.

The Impact of Critical Thinking in the Workplace

Critical thinking skills tests have a significant impact on the workplace. Employees who possess these skills are better able to solve problems, make informed decisions, and innovate. They are also better able to communicate their ideas and collaborate with others.

  • Problem-Solving: Critical thinking helps employees identify problems, gather information, evaluate potential solutions, and make informed decisions. This can significantly improve efficiency and productivity.
  • Decision Making: Critical thinking is essential for decision-making processes. It enables employees to evaluate all aspects of a situation, anticipate potential challenges, and make decisions that are most beneficial to the organization.
  • Teamwork and Collaboration: In a collaborative environment, critical thinking can foster open-mindedness and respect for different viewpoints. It helps team members evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different ideas, leading to more effective collaboration and innovation.
  • Risk Management: By applying critical thinking to risk assessment, employees can better identify potential issues that may pose risks to the organization, then develop and implement strategies to mitigate those risks.
  • Innovation: It also promotes curiosity, creativity, and open-mindedness, which are all key components of innovation. It helps employees challenge existing norms and come up with new ideas that can drive the business forward.
  • Ethical Considerations: Critical thinking is essential for considering the ethical implications of business decisions. It helps employees consider the potential impact of actions on stakeholders and society at large, which is crucial for maintaining ethical standards.
  • Conflict Resolution: It allows employees to objectively analyze and understand different viewpoints, which is crucial in resolving conflicts productively.

How to Choose the Right Critical Thinking Test for your Organization?

Choosing the right critical thinking test for your organization will depend on several factors. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Job Requirements: Consider the nature of the job and the critical thinking skills it requires. For instance, a position requiring extensive problem-solving may necessitate a test focused on problem identification and solution evaluation. A job involving a lot of strategic decisions may benefit from a test that emphasizes deductive reasoning, evaluation of arguments, and inference.

Test Validity and Reliability: Ensure that the test you choose has a track record of validity (it measures what it’s supposed to measure) and reliability (it provides consistent results).

Ease of Use and Interpretation: The test should be straightforward for candidates to take and for hiring managers or HR professionals to interpret. Some tests provide detailed reports and interpretive guides, which can be helpful.

Legal Compliance: The test should comply with employment laws in your country or region. It should be non-discriminatory and fair to all candidates.

Feedback from Others: Consider seeking feedback from other organizations that have used the test. They can provide insights into the test’s effectiveness and potential challenges.

Benefits of Measuring Critical Thinking in Hiring

Organizations can measure critical thinking during the employment process in a variety of ways. Here are some significant benefits:

Identifying High-Potential Applicants: Critical thinking skills test aid in the identification of applicants with high analytical and problem-solving abilities. These people are more likely to adapt to new issues, think creatively, and come up with novel solutions, making them essential assets to the organization.

Better Decision Making: Hiring individuals with good critical thinking abilities improves the organization’s decision-making processes. They can assess information efficiently, consider multiple points of view, and make solid judgments, resulting in more informed and effective decision-making at all levels.

Reduced Biases and Misconceptions: Critical thinking assessment can aid in the reduction of biases and assumptions during the recruiting process. Organizations can make more unbiased and fair judgments by concentrating on objective evaluations of talents and reasoning abilities, fostering diversity and inclusion.

Enhanced Team Performance: Collaboration and teamwork require critical thinking skills. Hiring people with good critical thinking skills can improve team performance by encouraging open-mindedness, supporting varied perspectives, and promoting effective communication.

Best Practices for Administering and Scoring Critical Thinking Tests

Administering and scoring critical thinking tests for employment involves several best practices. 

  • The assessment should be standardized and administered consistently. 
  • The instructions should be clear and concise, and the assessment should be timed appropriately.
  • The scoring should be objective and consistent, with clear criteria for scoring each question. 
  • It is also important to provide feedback to candidates on their performance and to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of assessment results.


Measuring critical thinking in the hiring process is essential for identifying candidates who possess the skills necessary for success in today’s business environment. Employers should use valid and reliable assessment tools that are designed to measure the specific critical thinking skills required for the job.

Employers should also provide candidates with clear instructions and feedback on their performance. They should avoid common pitfalls, such as bias and cultural insensitivity. By implementing critical thinking assessment using pre-employment tools like SkillRobo in the hiring process, employers can identify candidates who possess the skills necessary for success and drive positive business outcomes. Implement a critical thinking assessment test in your hiring process to identify candidates with the skills necessary for success in today’s business environment.

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