Compared to other companies, law and business firms prefer to identify a candidate’s critical thinking skills over their cognitive skills due to a number of reasons.
Some of these are due to the fact that such available positions already require a set of skills or experience, thus proving that they have the necessary skills needed to at least perform the duties and responsibilities of the profession well.
What they don’t know, however, is how good said the applicant is when dealing with problems that are not technical or where the solutions are not immediately apparent.
Such is the purpose of critical thinking tests.
When you hire an employee, you want to make sure that they are not only qualified but are also good problem solvers and can make the right decisions in a timely manner.
This is why companies now require candidates to pass critical thinking test expectations before their application will be given any actual consideration.
To make things worse, a lot of firms, especially those that are well-known or carry prestige with their name or brand, have such a high minimum score requirement that it is not uncommon for more than half of applicants get turned away so early on in the hiring process.
Fortunately, with these top tips, you can prevent this from happening to you and even help with making you present yourself as the best person to pick for the job.
- Set aside any personal knowledge
For those who have yet to take their first critical thinking test, the most common blunder that they can do is including any personal knowledge over a topic or subject used in the questions of the exam.
While some questions may derive passages from real-world topics such as recent events or financial and statistical data, some will tap into minor subjects like animals, food, games, movies, and even ideas.
No matter what information is provided in the question, even if it goes against what you know or what it actually is in the real world, you need to treat it at face value.
This means that if a question or passage mentions that all lions in Africa are blue while those in America are yellow, you have to treat it as if it were real and then judge them based on what information is available.
Remember, you are not trying to figure out if the passage is correct, only if the provided conclusion, inference, assumption, argument, or interpretation of the available details is correct. By trying to include real world knowledge on the topic, you might choose the wrong answers instead.
- Try to only read the passages once
Although critical thinking tests do not usually include a time limit, some companies prefer to administer their exams with one in order to make sure that the candidate that they are hiring truly is the best of the best.
What time you have usually depends on the test and the company. Some will use the standard time limit while others will choose to either have a longer one, if they need a lot of new people, or a shorter one, if there is only a single or a few slots available.
This means that in certain cases, your greatest challenge when taking a critical thinking test will be the time limit instead of the subject matter of the exam.
If you managed to get a high score despite the presence of a strict time limit, then it is very likely that you will land the job because employers will be able to see how sharp your mind is even in a timed environment.
- Learn what ‘probably true’ and ‘probably false’ mean
Primarily seen in the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Test, when you take an inference-type section, there will be five choices: True, Probably True, Not Enough Information, Probably False, and False.
For a number of applicants, the ‘probably true’ and ‘probably false’ choices are the most confusing to understand because it is not commonly used with judging a statement or idea.
Fortunately, there is an easy way around this.
If, at any point in the passage, the information provided in the inference isn’t 100% true or false or doesn’t follow it completely, then it is either one of the ‘probably’ choices.
Let’s take a look at an example:
Let’s say that the inference says ‘78% of employees hated pizza parties’, while somewhere in the passage it says ‘more than half of company employees hated its pizza parties’, then the answer is ‘probably true’.
Why? Well, 78% is definitely MORE than half, so in some way, the inference is true.
However, we do not know if the specific percentage is 78%. Due to this uncertainty, it is ‘probably true’ because it is technically correct but there isn’t enough information to fully confirm it.
The same reasoning can be applied when looking for ‘probably false’ inferences. If you cannot be certain that it is true or false but what’s provided isn’t a perfect fit or completely identical, then it is very likely that the answer is either of the ‘probably’ choices.
- Practice as much as you can and familiarize yourself with the exam
Since critical thinking assessments are still no different from your standard tests, the best way to pass them is to study the subject matter and to be familiar with how it works.
Not only are there a number of online resources that offer mock practice tests that cover every part of the exam itself, some of these also provide expansive study guides as well as in-depth tips and tricks for various question types.
These practice tests are designed to have the same, if not at least nearly the same, questions that you can encounter when you take the real thing on the day of your exam.
By taking advantage of these resources, you are not only eliminating the time pressure factor on test day, but you are also improving your chances of being hired because you will have a greater understanding of how such assessments work and score more points compared to just leaving it all to luck.