What is the Wonderlic Test?

Learn more about the Wonderlic assessment and everything it includes. If you need to get a top score, consider our Wonderlic test prep course.

There are many tests employers may give to prospective employees to learn whether they are a good fit for the job or not. A lot of these tests will check your personality and your cognitive thinking abilities. One of these tests is called the Wonderlic test.

The first thing you need to know is that the company Wonderlic, Inc. creates many different tests to help employers. The main test this article will focus on is called the Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT) or the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test.

When people ask “What is the Wonderlic test,” they are usually referring to the WPT or Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test. We will review what this test is below.

What Does the Wonderlic Test?

In total, there are 3 different Wonderlic assessments your employer may give you. The most common is the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test, which is also known as the Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT).

Types of Wonderlic Assessments

The first is the Wonderlic Contemporary Cognitive Ability Test, created by E. F. Wonderlic in 1936. The Wonderlic test functions as a basic IQ test and lets an employer learn more about a prospective employee’s cognitive ability for mathematics, reasoning, and vocabulary. Test-takers are challenged to adapt quickly and think on their feet.

This Wonderlic test breaks down like so:

  • English knowledge: 38%
  • Mathematics: 24%
  • Logic: 20%
  • General knowledge/quick recognition: 18%

The second type is the Wonderlic Personality Test. This gives a future employer insight into how you will behave on the job and whether you will be a good fit or not. There are five areas for your employer to measure with this Wonderlic test:

  • Cooperation
  • Dependability
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Sociability
  • Open-mindedness

It is important to answer questions as honestly as possible with this test as there are no right or wrong answers.

The third test is called the Wonderlic Motivation test. This is the most straightforward test as it allows an employer to ask about your interests and see what motivates you the most. Six characteristics make up your results:

  • Practical
  • Investigative
  • Artistic
  • Supportive
  • Enterprising
  • Traditional

There are also no right or wrong answers in this test, so be as honest as possible.

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Wonderlic Test and Employers

So, what does testing these areas tell your future employer about you? First of all, it gives your employer a good idea of how well you will perform on the job. If you are applying for a mathematically-based career, your employer would expect you to do well on the mathematic questions on the test.

For non-subject-based jobs, your employer can still learn a lot about who you are as an employee. The cognitive challenge of the test lets your employer see how well you adapt to the demands of the job, follow instructions, solve problems, learn, and handle the mental challenges of the job.

How Many Questions are on the Wonderlic?

The Wonderlic test is much different from most IQ tests or other standardized tests for jobs or college. While other tests are long, the Wonderlic assessment is very short in comparison.

Test Time Allotted Length
Quick Wonderlic Test 8 minutes 30 questions
Full Wonderlic Test 12 minutes 50 questions
IQ Tests 1 to 2 hours 25 to 50 questions
ACT 2 hours and 55 minutes 215 questions
SAT 3 hours 154 questions

Leaving Questions Unanswered

You are certainly allowed to leave questions unanswered (and only 2-3% of people answer all 50 questions in time). Know that any questions you leave unanswered will count against you in the end as you cannot get points for unanswered ones.

It is almost impossible to get all 50 questions correct, so be judicious in which ones you choose to skip.

What is a Good Wonderlic Test Score?

The Wonderlic test may be one of the most straightforward in terms of scoring. For each of the 50 questions on the Wonderlic test, takers are awarded one point for a correct answer. Therefore, the highest score you can get on the Wonderlic is 50 and the lowest is 0.

You may be wondering, what is a good score for the Wonderlic test? The average score is 20. Read our guide on Wonderlic scores for more information and data.

How Can I Pass the Wonderlic test?

The first thing you need to know is that it doesn’t operate on a pass/fail basis. Your employer will likely have a minimum score you should achieve.

However, even people who get good grades in school and are reasonably intelligent may struggle with a test like the Wonderlic. While it exists to test your logic and reasoning skills, it is best to think of the test as more of a game that can be beaten.

Practice Tests

On of the best ways to learn about the Wonderlic test is by taking timed practice tests. You have approximately 14 seconds per question when taking the real Wonderlic test, so it is best to practice with the time you would have for the real test.

You can try out our free Wonderlic practice test for more help.

Relearn Calculation

Though the Wonderlic test does involve a lot of mathematics-based questions, you will not be allowed to use a calculator on the test. It’s important to review how to do basic calculations with pen and paper or even using mental math skills.

You could see questions involving:

  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Ratios
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Basic algebra

Brushing up on your skills in these areas will greatly help you prepare for the test. Use our Wonderlic prep course to brush up on those skills.

Review Wrong Answers

If you decide to take practice tests, it is important to review the questions you missed and figure out where you went wrong. The whole point of practice tests is to get better for the real test. If you aren’t learning how to correct your mistakes, your score will never improve.

Track and Reward Progress

One of the best things to do is record the progress you make in your studying. Even if it is something as small as completing one more question than you did last time or remembering how to do an equation you’ve been struggling with, progress is progress.

Rewarding yourself for your progress is a great way to train your brain to do better.

Learn Strategies

As we said before, the Wonderlic test is more of a game meant to be beaten. To get better scores on the test, figuring out the strategies that work best is the way to go.

One tip we suggest is skipping questions you don’t know the answers to. You only have 14 seconds per question, so if you are going to waste multiple minutes figuring out one question it’s best to move on to the next one. You can always circle back at the end if you have time left.

It’s better to answer questions you know quickly rather than sitting there trying to answer one question as time ticks by.


If a question stumps you on the Wonderlic assessment, it doesn’t hurt to guess. Though you may not get it right in the end, you have increased your odds of getting it right by picking an answer. You do not get penalized for choosing the wrong answer (especially because leaving it blank gives you 0 points anyway).

Wonderlic Assessment Strategies

You can (and should) practice multiple times in the weeks, and possibly months, leading up to taking the Wonderlic test. Once you’re actually at the test, there are a few things you can do to help yourself.

  • Sleep and eat well before the test: It’s never a good idea to go into any test tired and with an empty stomach. Try to get at least six hours of sleep before the test and eat a wholesome breakfast so your mind is sharp.
  • Arrive early: You will likely be nervous to take the Wonderlic test whether you also have to interview with a company that day too or not. If you show up early, you will give yourself plenty of time to shake off some of those nerves.
  • Read carefully: Misunderstanding what a question is asking is one of the easiest ways scores begin to plummet. Read through the questions thoroughly to ensure you know what it is asking.
  • Take it one question at a time: Don’t worry about all of the possible questions on the Wonderlic test while trying to answer one of them. If you remain in the present and focus on the question in front of you, it will likely seem easier.
  • Try to answer quickly: Again, you have about 14 seconds per question. If you need to skip or guess at a question you don’t know and move on to the next, that is fine.

What is the Wonderlic Test – FAQs

What kinds of questions are on the Wonderlic?

It depends on which Wonderlic test you are taking, but the most common Wonderlic test (Cognitive Ability Test) has questions that fall into 4 different categories:

1. English Knowledge
2. Logic
3. General Knowledge/Quick Recognition
4. Math

What’s the purpose of the Wonderlic test?

The Wonderlic test exists to let a future employer learn more about your mental capabilities before hiring you for a job.

What do I need to know for the Wonderlic test?

The Wonderlic test operates on a lot of basic knowledge, but it is good to brush up on grammar rules and long-hand math as you cannot use a calculator on the test.

The timing aspect of the Wonderlic assessment is the most challenging aspect for a lot of people. Taking practice exams beforehand will really help. You can take our Wonderlic practice test to start your preparation.

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Authored By: BoostPrep Team

This article was crafted by a member of the BoostPrep team who specializes in Wonderlic test prep.

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