Advice

Should I get someone to sit the Watson Glaser test on my behalf?

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‘Are they even a true test of lawyerly ability?’

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one student struggling to pass law firm critical thinking tests asks for readers’ advice.

“I’m a final year undergraduate student studying law while applying for training contracts. I started applying (like most law students) in my penultimate year of study but didn’t get very far. I’m on track for a high 2:1 but I can’t quite seem to hack the online critical thinking tests most law firms require, particularly the Watson Glaser.

The topic came up in conversation with a close friend during lectures. She recently received a training contract offer from one of my dream firms and let slip that she got her boyfriend to sit hers (he also has a training contract). I’m now contemplating his help. Before I do I want to know:

1. Is this common practice but just kept on the down-low? Afterall, these tests are taken online, often in the comfort of your own home and at a time of your convenience.

2. Some law firms state candidates will be tested again at a later stage of the process (usually the assessment centre). Has anyone experienced this?

3. Are they even a true test of lawyerly ability? I understand law firms receive thousands of applications for very few places and aptitude tests, though tedious, are one way to filter candidates. But deciphering which squiggle comes next in a series of patterns is challenging — especially under time constraints!

Any guidance is much appreciated.”

If you have a career conundrum, email us with it to careers@legalcheek.com.

62 Comments

Anonymous

It’s the equivalent of farming work out to counsel. You’ll make a fine solicitor!

(68)(2)

The Court of Pie Powders

Though its easier to get away with, doing this is really no better than sending in a fake CV or someone else to take an interview for you. It’s not up to you to unilaterally judge what a law firm ‘should’ base its selection process on. It’s up to them because they are offering the chance of employment, and you are depriving them of that choice.

Thus:

Should you: No, not if you think using fraud to get a job is wrong.
Will you get caught: Unlikely, but a very slim chance.
What happens if the test taker rats you out: You could get fired and possibly struck off.

(40)(6)

Anonymous

Yes you could be subject to blackmail in many years to come.

(22)(0)

Anonymous

Original post banter was lost on you mate.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Nonsense. Typical law students. You are all such a bunch of risk averse losers.

(5)(2)

Anonymous

‘Are they even a true test of lawyerly ability?’

Of course they aren’t, but firms don’t have the resources or motivation to filter 1500-3000 applications by hand.

(38)(0)

Anonymous

If you have anything amounting to a conscience, you might later regret cheating to get a job. Also, if you’re asked to sit one in person later in the process, you might feel more confident if you’ve passed an earlier test yourself. There are many books about these tests – with practice you should have a good chance of passing.

(12)(2)

Anonymous

No you should not. This would hang over your head forever, knowing that the person who took it for you could ruin your entire career and probably your life by just telling the SRA (or, in fact, anyone else who could themselves tell the SRA). You would get struck off with 100% certainty. This is lying and cheating and goes against the most fundamental principal of being a solicitor.

As for whether they mean anything – someone at my firm told me they predict better than any other measurement how likely someone is to progress to partnership. That might be bullshit of course, but frankly it’s not very hard and if you can’t pass it you may not be bright enough to be a solicitor at the kind of City firm that uses it.

(20)(11)

Anonymous

It is true – it’s a stronger predictor of performance in the job than academic performance (school and degree), and much stronger than interviews which are typically awful predictors of on-the-job performance.

These assessments have their flaws, but most recruitment tools/processes are worse.

(5)(7)

Anonymous

Anybody seriously upvoting this comment needs a lobotomy.

The person who took it for you could ruin your life?! You would get struck off with 100% certainty?! LOL with what proof. Get the fuck out of here.

And someone at your firm told you an elementary level multiple choice test is a yardstick for likelihood of making partner?? Do you work in an asylum? That is the biggest pile of cow dung I have ever heard.

(39)(4)

Anonymous

Erm, so what do YOU think the SRA’s response would be when it turned out you’d had someone else sit a test for you? I hope you’re not even an LPC student yet.

Re the rest – I said it might be bollocks but if it’s so easy then why are you so triggered at the suggestion someone shouldn’t fake it? And by the assertion people who can’t do it aren’t good enough to work at a real law firm?

(4)(4)

Anonymous

*facepalm*

“so what do YOU think the SRA’s response would be when it turned out you’d had someone else sit a test for you?”.

Your point is void because there is no way to ascertain that a person did not sit the test. By this logic, people who fail a re-test at assessment centre by a wide margin (suggesting they did not take the original test) might also be at risk of punishment, which is plainly not the case. Furthermore, by this logic, anyone with malevolent intentions against any future trainee could arbitrarily ring up the SRA claiming to have helped them with online tests. Except, this wouldn’t work because it would be impossible to adduce proof and the SRA would hang up the phone.

“I hope you’re not even an LPC student yet.”

I am a trainee solicitor. What is your point? Your hopes bear no relevance to anything.

“why are you so triggered at the suggestion someone shouldn’t fake it? And by the assertion people who can’t do it aren’t good enough to work at a real law firm?”

Evidently, you would fail the Watson-Glaser due to your inability to make logical inferences. Nothing I have said amounts to a suggestion either that (i) people shouldn’t cheat on WG tests (though, for what it’s worth, I couldn’t care less if they do); or (ii) that people who can’t pass WG tests are good enough to work in a law firm (I suspect that many aren’t). The point of my post was that your assertions about the risk involved in not taking your own WG test, and about the broader significance of the test results, are absolutely fucking absurd (or more poetically phrased, ‘the biggest pile of cow dung I have ever heard’).

(10)(7)

Anonymous

Well I hoped you weren’t in the profession given A) you seem so angry about an internet post and B) you couldn’t

The point isn’t the likelihood of them being struck off, it’s that they are creating a way for them to be struck off, however remote, and if they are sane that will hang over their head as a permanent worry. Would you nick a mars bar from Tesco because you almost certainly won’t get caught, despite knowing that if you do you will probably be denied admission? This is equivalent not only to stealing the mars bar but doing it with someone who isn’t even a close friend and relying on them never to mention it. Why would you not only choose to be dishonest but also do it in a way that gives someone power over you?

Anonymous

*you couldn’t understand why this would be an issue.

Anon

Run me through how you see this playing out: Test sitter tells SRA, SRA looks into it, Non-test-taker denies the allegation, SRA disappears with no evidence and leaves non-test-sitter to carry on in their career.

If someone wants to request someone else to take on a test and does so in writing, then more fool them!

(1)(0)

Anon

Your comment has absolutely zero value.

(0)(1)

Confused

^ Your comment has less value.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Hi David

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Hani Hussein: the beginning. First Watson Glaser, then – First Oxford Brooks degree.

(16)(0)

SJ

So you are already considering being dishonest and breaching fundamental professional conduct!

Can you live with the dishonesty on your moral compass?

If you are prepared to be dishonest about that, will you lie to your clients about billing? timescales? etc

You are in the wrong profession in my book.

(16)(3)

Anonymous

yes, i have absolutely no problem doing that. I could even push some one down a fly of stairs for a training contract.

(18)(1)

Anonymous

Ahh yes, another psychopathic aspiring solicitor, exactly what the profession needs!

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Excellent trolling of your readers Legal Cheek!

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Most people assume it’s the WG or online testing that is the issue – it isn’t. It’s more than likely your application that hasn’t made the cut.

(7)(0)

Trainee

100% yes , I usually do it in groups. The threshold for these tests can be 80% , so might aswell. Everyone else does it , so you should to.

The test is absolute BS – CAN GRAD RECRUITMENT even pass the Watson Glaser?

(6)(13)

Anonymous

No wonder you needed someone else to do the test for you with thinking like that…

Grad Rev don’t need to pass it – they aren’t going to be working as lawyers. It’s a bit like asking someone applying for a training contract to do a programming test.

(7)(1)

Anonymous

With legal techs it need be to neccessary to have the coding and program skill requires.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

NSS

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Try practising your English first.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Well, if it isn’t the grammar police coming to f*ck me? How about this – learn to see past some incorrect English and get to the meat and bones of debate. If the other side makes a f*ck up in correspondence or uses poor English, unless you’re in the business of wasting time and client money you aren’t going to faff about and pick on that. You’ll get to the substance behind what they’re saying and address that. You idiot.

Anonymous

You what?

Anonymous

the meat and bones of your statement must have come from a calcium deficient starving poussin.

Anonymous

Some firms do a verification test later on in the process, typically at interview or assessment centre. Have known firms to not offer on the basis the verification test flagged up that there was too much of a difference in test scores that there was high probability the person did not complete both tests.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

I fake my orgasms for my boyfriend, so I can’t see how this is any way immoral.

(11)(0)

Anonymous

Can I watch you and your boyfriend? I will not photograph/video it if you don’t want me to. Up to you really.

(8)(1)

JDP

Outstanding

(4)(0)

Anonymous

I am not sure he will agree. He is a little shy and self-conscious about a birth mark of his. It is located near the top of his arse crack so it looks like he hasn’t wiped properly after going to the toilet. Bless his poor little soul. I think the birth mark is cute.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Hi Mike

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Hi Oli

(0)(0)

Anonymous

F**K you DM

Anonymous

DDD

Anonymous

The Watson-Glaser test is one of the easiest tests you’ll ever sit outside of uni. If you can’t pass it, maybe look at a future career at Burger King

(7)(3)

BK Employee

Literally f*ck off. There is nothing wrong with Burger King.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

What about McDonalds?

(3)(0)

BK Employee

Bunch of c*nts

(3)(0)

Anonymous

McDonald’s poster is just telling whoppers.

I’ll get my coat…

Tim L

I think it’s fine. You have to try to get noticed and ensuring you nail the test is very important. I generally wear a fake moustache and glasses (that I don’t need) to interviews as people have advised that the facial accessories make me look more intelligent and distinguished.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

All jokes aside LC, do you really consider it appropriate to be making up fake conundrums suggesting to students that dishonesty might be appropriate behaviour?

(20)(0)

Anonymous

If you’re a conservative I can!

(4)(0)

Anonymous

When my brother was doing a critical reasoning and numeracy test for his application for accountancy with a big 4 firm, we did it as a family.

He actually missed the firms required A-level grades by one, but they accepted him on the basis that his critical reasoning and numeracy test was amongst the highest of all the applicants.

(5)(6)

Anonymous

Humblebrag alert.

All stories about others must be redirected to my own achievements. I went the spotlight. ME! ME! MEEEEE!

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Your family is weird and your brother is an over-dependent fanny. Do you all get together and put the condom on before he has a shag?

(18)(2)

Anonymous

Yeah, I put it on with my mouth.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Yuck, on your brother?

That is seriously wrong. Even if you are adopted, it is still family. You shouldn’t even be looking at his dick, never mind making contact with your mouth.

You are sick.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

I don’t see any issue at all. I’m just trying to help.

Anonymous

That’s incestuos

Anonymous

the irony is the person who ends up rejecting u based on Watson Glaser , cannot do it themselves

(2)(1)

Anonymous

It’s commonplace for candidates to do this. I also know of others that have done this for the Big 4 accountancy firms.

Fact of life. I don’t necessarily agree it should happen though.

In regards to whether it’s ethical or not – who cares? Lots of questionable, unethical and unfair things happen from undergraduate right up to trainee level and beyond for many people. More significant ethical issues get swept under the rug.

(1)(5)

Anonymous

The predictive validity of the test is limited. At best, as a predictor of course grades in nursing and educational psychology, the Watson Glaser leaves 60% of the variance unexplained. Furthermore the statistical models used by test practitioners to make predictions need to be made public before any judgement can be made about whether, in their practice, the test results have any value whatsoever. Organisations deploying the test should be strongly advised to consider their own critical thinking.

(5)(1)

Matthew Shardlake

I have missed some good jobs because of this awful test. It is rubbish and I have a degree in HR! Get someone to do it for you but – they may then make you have sex with them if you get a job as a result of their help. That may or may not be a blessing.

(2)(0)

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