How to use critical thinking tests in the hiring process

Critical thinking test

The renowned theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein, once said: “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer”. Analyzing a problem from different angles to reach the most accurate conclusion can change the way people think, work, and live. However, the true meaning of critical thinking and the benefits it brings are often overlooked.

Critical thinking is a person’s capacity to analyze things objectively and evaluate issues to form a sound judgment of them. By using critical thinking skills, individuals can conceptualize, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate empirical information.


What is a critical thinking test?

Also known as a critical reasoning test, a critical thinking test is a psychometric test that measures a person’s ability to draw logical conclusions from information presented to them. These types of tests are a common part of job assessments.

During a critical thinking assessment, people are required to recognize assumptions, make hypotheses, and evaluate the veracity of statements. Critical thinking tests are widely used at all levels of recruitment.

What is a cognitive test for employment?


What are the basics of critical thinking testing?

The main goal of critical thinking testing is to measure an individual’s ability to reason through arguments logically and reach objective decisions. Test-takers must show their capacity to ask the right questions, gather information, reach truthful conclusions, and effectively communicate them.

During a critical thinking test, a person is asked to analyze the information provided to them and identify the strength of the arguments. To succeed in a critical thinking test, an individual must show they can avoid subconscious biases and opinions. Rather, they must make logical connections between ideas and find alternative interpretations of information that could easily be taken at face value.

Critical thinking tests are timed. This means that test-takers are rewarded for making quick, clear, and logical decisions. Moreover, these types of tests are designed to pose a considerable challenge for those who take them. Due to this, critical thinking tests are often used as part of the job recruitment process for upper-management-level positions.

The Watson and Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal model has been used as a basis for critical thinking tests throughout most of the 20th century. However, more recent assessments of the Watson Glasel test model question its validity. Initially developed in the 1930s, nowadays, this test model is considered to have ambiguous, unclear, and misleading assignments. People with an enhanced knowledge of formal and informal logic are discriminated against by the Watson Glasel model, making the test counter-intuitive. (source)

Employers tend to use critical thinking tests during the recruitment process for jobs where advanced judgment, analysis, and decision-making skills are highly desirable. For instance, critical thinking testing is common in the legal and banking industries.


Why is critical thinking testing so important?

Critical thinking abilities enhance creative thinking

People with critical thinking dispositions are also capable of thinking creatively. Because creativity is a crucial component of modern collaborative work, people who leverage their critical thinking skills to have creative ideas are a major asset to any contemporary business.

Creative individuals are constantly challenging assumptions about many subjects. The potential to be creative is inherent in every individual and is deeply tied to empathy and sensitivity. Thinking creatively to resolve issues and tasks denotes a desire to reach constructive outcomes.

Creativity is a substantial source of innovation in business, marketing, and professional environments. Companies that take a creative approach when designing products and advertisement campaigns become leaders in global marketplaces. Therefore, embracing creativity and its potential to enhance product value can help businesses increase revenue, regardless of their market segment and target audience.

Critical thinkers are curious by nature

Curiosity is paramount in people with critical thinking dispositions. Not only does it give us a better understanding of our environment and the world around us, but it also helps us notice the details that impact our experiences.

Driven by their curiosity, critical thinkers acquire knowledge about a vast range of subjects and tend to have broad interests. Their inquisitive nature helps them learn about people, places, events, and ideas and find a deeper appreciation for foreign cultures, beliefs, and worldviews. As lifelong learners, curious people are always ready to apply their critical thinking skills during their everyday lives.

For example, some critical thinking questions asked by curious people are:

  • Why is this thing important? Who is being affected by it?
  • What information am I missing? Why is it hidden and why is it important?
  • Where does this thing come from? How can I be sure of it?
  • Who is the person who made this statement? Why should I pay attention to them?
  • Is there something that we haven’t considered yet?

Critical thinking tests assess a person’s problem-solving ability

Critical thinkers are also problem solvers who have the patience and commitment to consider an issue from every angle. This capacity prepares them to solve complex problems that would stagger less observant individuals. Because today’s hectic business environments often demand imaginative solutions, critical thinkers are better suited to handle the decision-making process.

Cultivating a broad range of cognitive talents

Critical thinking encompasses a vast number of disciplines and cognitive talents. Even if they are unaware of it, critical thinkers are constantly exercising their brains in a myriad of ways and promoting their self-development.

Key cognitive abilities employed daily by critical thinkers include:

  • Open mindedness;
  • Critical reasoning skills;
  • Logical thinking;
  • Organizational skills;
  • Language skills;
  • Decision making;
  • Self-reflection;
  • Creative visualization.

Critical thinkers can make decisions independently

Independent thinking empowers individuals to think for themselves and become intellectually self-sufficient. By thinking independently, people can learn from mistakes, develop confidence in their abilities, and build successful and productive careers. This competency is a prime indicator that an individual would be a good leader.

Critical thinking tests improve the job recruitment process

A pre-employment critical thinking test can be used to accurately predict the future job performance of potential hires. The use of this type of test helps recruiters find employees who perform substantially better.

It is very hard to assess the critical thinking abilities of candidates through a job interview. In contrast, critical thinking tests make sure that every candidate has to answer carefully formulated reasoning questions, evaluate potential challenges, and formulate reasoned judgments. Critical thinking assessments are scientifically validated and are relied upon by the recruiters of the world’s biggest companies.

By testing the critical thinking skills of potential employees, one can dramatically reduce the time it takes to perform a satisfactory recruitment process. The majority of job seekers have the habit of spamming their CVs without taking into account the required skills or qualifications for a job, making critical thinking tests an effective filter for hiring managers who would otherwise have to go through hundreds of subpar applications.

How to improve your hiring process


What does a critical thinking test measure?

A critical thinking test aims to measure an individual’s capacity to use logic in different scenarios. This includes being able to logically analyze empirical information and interpret it using reason to reach objective conclusions.


Critical thinking test advice and tips

Consider taking a critical thinking practice test

A practice test can help you prepare for the real thing while also helping you notice what critical thinking competencies you need to improve. While timings, answering methodologies, and the number of test questions may vary depending on the test you take, you can still rely on a practice test to get acquainted with how these tests function.

Practice with test conditions in mind

Giving yourself a generous time limit to work on your critical thinking skills may leave you at a disadvantage. Because critical thinking tests are timed, it is important to answer questions as quickly and efficiently as possible. A benefit of timing yourself as you take a practice test is that you will be able to focus better during most of your practice sessions.

Learn about the different types of fallacies

An error in reasoning is known as a deductive fallacy or a formal fallacy. While these are often used in opinion pieces, they lack the logic to make them valid arguments. There are different types of fallacies, and by recognizing them, you will be more likely to find fallacious arguments.

Common types of fallacies are:

  • Straw man argument: An argument is made about a different idea than the one presented by a statement.
  • Appeal to popularity: An argument is supposedly valid only because many people believe it to be true.
  • Appeal to authority: A fallacious argument that is considered to be true because a people in a position of power made it.
  • Ambiguity: An argument is made using a phrase that could have more than one meaning attached to it.
  • False cause: There isn’t a logical connection between an argument and the information it was derived from.

Use critical thinking in your everyday life

There are ample opportunities to practice your critical thinking skills during your day-to-day. You can use critical thinking to assess the news you watch, the articles you read, and the conversations you have with others. Important factors to consider include the perspectives of others, the strength of their arguments, and if drawn conclusions can be supported by the information available.


The best critical thinking test

The ID-Cognitive test is the most complete assessment tool to measure a person’s skills related to general intelligence. Alongside critical thinking skills, the ID-Cognitive test measures other ways to think such as spatial, numerical, and verbal reasoning. Individuals who take this test showcase their problem-solving abilities.

As a pre-employment assessment tool, the ID-Cognitive test can be used by hiring managers to predict job performance, increase organizational efficiency, reduce turnover, and find professionals who are able to handle complex situations without a hitch.

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