If you’re reading this, you may have recently applied for a job and have been asked by the employer to take the Wonderlic test.

This is very common – the Wonderlic is used by thousands of companies around the world to help them screen job applicants and to ensure that the person that they are hiring will be a good fit for the job role and the company.

The Wonderlic is also used by colleges, trade schools, and other educational institutions to evaluate individuals who have applied to their programs. These institutions typically use a slightly different version of the Wonderlic test, known as the Wonderlic SLE (Scholastic Level Exam), but the questions asked are fairly similar to the standard Wonderlic test.

Know What Type of Wonderlic Test You are Taking

There are several different types of Wonderlic tests administered and it is important to know (if possible) the type of Wonderlic test that you will be taking and the format of the test.

The main differences between the various Wonderlic tests are the time limits, number of questions asked, and whether it is a pen and paper test taken at the testing location. The types of questions asked between the different types of tests are generally the same.

The Wonderlic is either offered in its full 50 question test that must be completed in 12 minutes or as a “quick test” of 30 questions that must be completed in 8 minutes.

Traditionally, the Wonderlic has been administered on paper at the location of the test administrator. As of late, companies have been moving towards a digital format of the test that allows candidates to take the Wonderlic on a computer – either at the test administers location or at home.

Wonderlic Scoring

Each question on the test is worth one point, so a person that answers 25 correct questions out of 50 would have a Wonderlic of 25. Scores from the quick test are adjusted to the full test, so a person who answers 15 out of 30 questions correctly would also have a Wonderlic score of 25.

While it may sound low, the mean or average score of the Wonderlic is designed to be 20 – similar to how the average score of an IQ test is designed to be 100. A Wonderlic score of 30 or higher would generally be considered to be excellent and less than 1% of individuals who take the Wonderlic score 38 or higher.

Determining what is a good Wonderlic score depends on the type of job that you are applying for. You can refer to this guide on Wonderlic scores and what constitutes a “good” score.

Understand the Questions

The types of questions found on the Wonderlic are fairly similar to what you might find on an IQ test. The types of questions are structured quite differently, but they are generally related to skills acquired from language arts, mathematics, and logic solving.

Here’s are a few example the different types of questions that may appear on a Wonderlic test.

An example of a word matching question:

Are the following two words similar, contradictory, or not related? Competent | Inept

  1. Similar
  2. Contradictory
  3. Not Related
An example of a mathematics question:

A store buys eggs from their supplier at a price of 33 cents per egg. How much would a dozen eggs cost the store?

  1. $3.66
  2. $3.96
  3. $4.12
  4. $4.48
An example of a general logic question:

If the first two statements are true, the third statement is true? false? unknown?

#1: A man works at Dan’s Gardening Center.

#2: All the employees at the gardening center wear green shirts.

#3: The man wears green shirts.

  1. True
  2. False
  3. Unknown

Know the Time Limit

When people “fail” the Wonderlic test, it is usually not because they incorrectly answer questions but because they do not have enough time to complete the entire test. In fact, the majority of people who take the Wonderlic test say that they run out of time and are not able to fully complete the test.

The clock is definitely not your friend, so it is critical to know exactly how much time you have to answer each question.

If you are taking the standard 50 question test that must be completed in 12 minutes, you only have 14.4 seconds to answer each question. If you are taking the quick test (30 questions in 8 minutes) you have a bit more time with 16 seconds per question. If you are not able to solve a question in that period of time, it is best to guess on the question and move on.

If you do find during the test that you are about to run out of time, make sure to answer every question on the test – even if you have to guess. You do not get penalized for answering questions incorrectly like on the SAT test. Again, this situation should be avoided, but the worst thing you can do is to leave questions unanswered.

Take Practice Tests

You can get a sense of both the questions asked on the Wonderlic and the time limit by taking a Wonderlic practice test. You can find many free Wonderlic practice tests on various websites. Most do not require a fee for taking their practice tests. Take as many practice questions as you can and try to get a sense of the types of questions asked.

If you are taking practice tests that do not have an automatic timer, be sure to use your phone or a clock to time yourself during the test. Again, the clock is not your friend on the test, so it is best to get used to the speed at which you need to answer the questions.

Use a Calculator – If You Can

Technically calculators are not allowed to be used on the Wonderlic, but you may be able to use one if you are taking the Wonderlic test in the privacy of your own home. Often times the employers are the ones that are supposed to specify if a calculator can or cannot be used while taking the test.

With the number of math problems on the test, having a calculator available can be a big help. Try to find out in advance if you will be able to use a calculator while taking the test. Pencil and paper are always allowed – if you know that you will not be allowed to use a calculator, make sure to take practice tests only using pencil and paper to solve the math questions.

Be Mentally and Physically Prepared

Like any test, you should be ready to go both mentally and physically on the day of your test. The basics of good test preparation apply to the Wonderlic:

  • Try to get a good night’s sleep the night before the test
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • Eat a healthy meal prior to your test
  • Use the restroom before taking the test
  • Stick to your normal routine – don’t plan other big events or tasks for the day that may leave you mentally distracted
  • Drink your regular amount of caffeine – don’t drink a ton of coffee before the test if you are not a big coffee drinker
  • Wear comfortable but appropriate attire
  • Have a healthy snack available for if you need it
  • Give yourself enough time to get mentally prepared for the test – don’t show up late to the testing room or try to squeeze the test into a busy schedule

All in all, try to relax. The test will be over in just a few minutes and no one answers every question correctly. If you take the time to do your research, take practice tests, and mentally and physically prepare for the test, you will be far more prepared than most people who take the Wonderlic test. 

Written By
Ashley Grader is a freelance career writer and the founder of Free Wonderlic Test, which provides practice tests and guidance for those who need to take the Wonderlic for employment or academic purposes.
Human Resources Today