The Wonderlic Test is a test for cognitive ability that helps employers determine whether a job candidate is likely to succeed in their position. It’s used by companies to measure, evaluate, and benchmark candidates in terms of problem-solving and aptitude skills, as well as to give an idea of how fast they can think and solve problems.
The Wonderlic Test is a popular and well-known intelligence test that’s been around for more than 70 years and is used by a variety of companies across all industries, including software companies like Apple and Microsoft.
The Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT) was first developed in 1939 by E.F. Wonderlic, Jr., a graduate student at Northwestern University in Illinois. Wonderlic believed that an employee’s cognitive ability could be measured through a simple pencil-and-paper test that would predict job performance.
The WPT is divided into four different types of questions:
The WPT consists of 50 questions that must be answered in 12 minutes. Each question has five answer choices with point values ranging from one to five points each. The possible total score range is 0-50 points, but most people will score between 10 and 25 points when taking the test for the first time without preparation.
The Wonderlic Test does not measure general intelligence the same way an IQ test does. Neither does it identify aptitude in any field. Instead, it measures how quickly you can solve problems in a specific context, such as working with numbers.
The test taker may be able to get a high score without being able to apply those same skills outside of the context in which they were tested.
A person’s score on this type of intelligence test is sometimes referred to as “fluid” intelligence and is separate from “crystallized” intelligence, which refers to knowledge accumulated over time and expertise developed through experience.
The questions on the Wonderlic Test are designed to be simple, but they’re not always easy to answer. They require you to think quickly and process information as quickly as possible.
If you find yourself struggling with a question, it’s best to:
The Wonderlic Test mostly consists of multiple-choice and true/false or yes/no questions. However, there are also some fill-in-the-blank questions that require short answers.
The questions are meant to encourage on-the-spot thinking and quick reasoning. Questions fall into four categories, each designed to measure a specific type of thinking.
The General Knowledge section of Wonderlic asks you to order dates and patterns. This section tests your ability to think on your feet and make decisions based on limited information.
If you’re applying for a job that requires quick thinking and problem-solving, this section may be particularly important.
The questions in this section ask you to think critically and use logic to come up with an answer. You will be asked questions about shapes, angles, lines, and patterns, as well as other topics similar in nature. For example, you might be asked to identify which two shapes do not belong together in a group of six shapes.
The questions on this section of the Wonderlic Test are designed to measure your ability to analyze abstract relationships between objects or ideas, identify a pattern within a series of numbers or words, and solve problems using logic and reasoning.
The Verbal Reasoning section of the Wonderlic Test is designed to measure your verbal reasoning skills by asking questions about analogies, antonyms, synonyms, sentence completions, and comprehension.
Look for keywords in each question, like “if” or “although,” that can point you toward the answer. If there are no keywords, use your best judgment and select the answer that makes sense in context with other options on the page.
The Numerical Reasoning section of the Wonderlic Test is made up of multiple-choice questions that test your ability to solve problems and make calculations. You will be given a number of multiple-choice questions, each with four possible answers.
The problems come from different mathematical areas, including arithmetic, elementary algebra, geometry, and data interpretation.
There are many ways to prepare for the Wonderlic Test. You can spend time studying for it, or you can take practice tests.
Practice tests will give you an idea of how well you’re doing with the questions and how long it takes you to complete them. This will help you figure out how much time to allocate for each section and which ones need more attention.
If you’ve never taken a standardized test before, a diagnostic test is a good place to start. It will give you an idea of what types of questions are on the exam and how difficult they are by comparing your results with average scores for people who have taken the exam before.
A good diagnostic test should include sample questions from all four sections — general knowledge, abstract reasoning, verbal reasoning, and numerical reasoning — so that it accurately reflects the problems on the actual exam.
The Wonderlic Test is a popular cognitive ability test used by employers to assess job candidates. It’s often given as part of the selection process, and it can be used as a qualifying exam for certain positions, including for military or police officers.
While you can’t study for the Wonderlic Test, there are ways you can improve your score by preparing yourself mentally for the exam.
Coupled with our ability to source qualified candidates, Cowen Partners uses scientifically proven methods to test for personality, behavior, company objectives, and culture in order to find the best candidates for our clients. No more wasted time on subjective screening and inherent bias’, our screening process lets you focus on the best people for the job.
As leaders among the nation’s best executive recruiters, we have experience working with private, public, pre-IPO, and non-profit organizations. Clients are typically $50 million in revenue to Fortune 1000 companies or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion.
Successful placements span the entire C-Suite – CEO, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, CHRO, CMO, and include vice president sales and marketing, general counsel, and other director-level leadership roles.
Check out our industry-leading resources to see why Cowen Partners is a leader among the best executive search firms in St. Louis, Milwaukee, Anchorage, New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and beyond:
Cowen Partners is proud to provide the highest quality executive recruitment services to all major and minor industries, including (but not limited to):
Accounting, Advertising, Aerospace & Defense, Biotechnology, Banking, Credit Unions, Board and CEO Services, Computer Hardware, Construction, Consulting, Consumer Products, Computer Software and Hardware, Education, Energy & Utilities, Entertainment & Sports, Finance, Financial Services, Food Products, Government, Human Resources, Health Care, Hospitality & Tourism, Insurance, Industrial, Internet & New Media, Legal, Tax, Crypto, Bitcoin, Private Equity, Journalism & Publishing, Marketing, Manufacturing, Medical Device, Non-Profit, Pharmaceutical, Private Equity, Real Estate, Retail & Apparel, Sales, Technology, Telecommunications and Transportation.