You’ve been searching for a job for weeks. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, the perfect job suddenly appears. You send in a resume and a perfect cover letter, and the hiring manager hires you within the hour and is excited to meet you. You’re about to get your suit ready for an interview when suddenly you notice that you have to take a test–the Wonderlic Personnel Test (formerly Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test).
So what is this test all about? What are they testing, and what does the score mean? If you’ve been out of school for a while, are you going to be able to answer the questions?
If these kinds of questions are racing through your head, then don’t worry. Loads of candidates have these questions every single day. We have all the answers for you about the Wonderlic Personnel Test right here. We’ll discuss the structure of the test, the type of questions you can expect, and even provide you with some questions for practice.
What Is the Wonderlic Personnel Test?
The Wonderlic Personnel Test is an online psychometrics exam designed as a pre-employment screening assessment. Edwin Wonderlic, who created the the exam when he was in graduate school at Northwestern University, intended to create an intelligence test specifically for employers.
According to Wonderlic and many other modern day psychologists, intelligence plays a huge role in our overall success. While personality, experience, resources, and opportunities all largely influence our professional trajectory, Wonderlic believed that intelligence had an underratedly large impact on one’s ability to advance and grow within a company.
That’s why he created an exam that resembles a short I.Q. test. Whether or not the test accurately measures I.Q. is up for debate, but in any case, companies around the country have been using the Wonderlic in their hiring process for a stunning 70 years.
The structure of the Wonderlic is fairly straightforward. You’re given 50 five-option multiple choice questions that you must answer within 12 minutes. There’s also a shorter version of the Wonderlic Personnel Test known as the Quicktest or WPT-Q test, which is slightly shorter. The Quicktest only has 30 questions, and candidates have a total of 8 minutes to finish the exam. Typically, the Quicktest is used as a basic screening test. If job-seekers pass the shorter Wonderlic assessment, they’re usually given the longer one afterward.
How Should You Prepare for the Wonderlic Personnel Test?
While the WPT test is supposed to measure intelligence, you can nonetheless improve your score dramatically with a bit of practice. Because the Wonderlic test is a very unique assessment, even many bright, motivated individuals receive low scores. Essentially, if you’re not well prepared for the Wonderlic cognitive test, you’re not going to know how to strategically approach the test, and that makes all the difference.
What Kinds of Questions Should I Expect on the Personnel Test?
You’ll find all sorts of questions on the Wonderlic. Some of the questions will test basic verbal and mathematical ability. You can expect analogies, basic math problems, and arithmetic questions.
You’ll also encounter logic questions that test your abstract reasoning skills. On these, you’ll have to manipulate three-dimensional figures, evaluate number series, and detect errors.
How Does the Wonderlic Personnel Test Break Down?
Because the Wonderlic is designed to test general intelligence, it doesn’t focus on one single topic. Rather it covers a wide range of subjects as you can see below.
40% English (Verbal)
5% Clerical Questions
5% General Knowledge
How Are Wonderlic Personnel Tests Scored?
The Wonderlic Personnel Test is scored as follows. Since there are 50 questions on the exam, each question is worth a single point making for a maximum score of 50 with no points deducted for wrong answers.
8-minute Wonderlic test scoring is slightly different. The 8-minute assessment consists of 30 questions, each of which are worth 1.66 points making for a total of 50 points. A score of 10 is considered the minimum for literacy, the average score is 20-21, and only about 2-3% of job-seekers actually answer all of the questions.
Who Administers the Wonderlic Personnel Test?
Companies from all over the country administer the Wonderlic Personnel Test. Unlike other personality tests and aptitude assessments, the Wonderlic doesn’t target specific individuals. Whether you’re applying for an entry-level graduate position or senior management level position, you might have to take the Wonderlic Personnel Test.
Thankfully, the Wonderlic exam is rarely used as a significant factor in most hiring decisions. Typically, hiring managers use the assessment to filter out unqualified candidates before holding in-person interviews. So, while you should try your best to achieve the highest score possible, you won’t need a perfect score to impress prospective employers.
Wonderlic Personnel Test F.A.Q.
What Is the Format of the Test?
The Wonderlic exam is made up of multiple choice questions. Each question has five possible answers, and you can flip back and forth between the questions answering as you see fit.
How Many Questions Are on the Test?
On the standard Wonderlic Personnel Test, there are a total of 50 questions with a 12-minute time limit. However, many companies choose to administer a shorter, 30-question screening test beforehand. This Quicktest has a time limit of 8 minutes.
Can You Use a Calculator on the Wonderlic?
Calculators are prohibited on the Wonderlic. You are allowed a sheet of scrap paper though, which you can use as you wish. However, be careful to use the scrap paper wisely as writing out calculations will take up time.
Have Any Tips for the Wonderlic Personnel Test?
Don’t waste your time trying to solve difficult questions. With a time limit of 12 minutes, you don’t even have a second to spare. If you’re having difficulty solving a problem, forget about it and move on to the next one. You don’t want to give up easy points just in the hopes of solving one difficult problem. After all, your score doesn’t show which questions you did or didn’t answer anyway.
Free Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test Practice:
Analogies Sample Question:
Closet is to Clothes as Refrigerator is to:
The answer in this case is food. When approaching logic questions like these, it’s important to think about the relationship between the two items. In this case, a closet holds clothes, so therefore we’d write what refrigerators hold as the answer.
General Knowledge Question:
Which month comes after April?
You may be tempted to laugh here, but there are plenty of questions on the Wonderlic just like this. That’s why it’s crucial that you answer questions strategically. If you spend too much time solving multi-step algebraic equations, you’ll miss easy points like these.
Math Word Problems:
Joanne, Johnny, Jean, and Jordan all took the same math test yesterday, and they want to figure out what their average score. Joanne received a score of 70, Johnny scored 75, Jean received an 85, and Jordan got a 90. What was the mean score.
You can calculate this average by adding up all of the numbers and then dividing by four.
It’s worth looking for Wonderlic test prep before heading out to the assessment center. Preparation will not only help to boost your confidence level enormously, but it will also help you to reduce your response time and strategically approach each question. Many candidates actually fail the Wonderlic the first time around simply because they’re not prepared. That’s why we encourage pre-employment test prep as often as we can. A set of practice questions and answers can ultimately help you boost your score and land an interview.