Job Search Tips

How to prepare for the Wonderlic Test

Written by Guest Contributor

As part of the hiring process, employers often ask candidates through a screening process to judge if they will be a good fit for the organization and ascertain their intelligence level. While some companies prefer to use their own in-house testing programs, a huge number of businesses opt to use the Wonderlic Test. These tests can play a significant role when a company is deciding which candidate they should hire.

What is the Wonderlic Test?

The Wonderlic is, quite simply, a cognitive abilities test. According to Wonderlic, Inc., the creator of the test, it is designed to help “measure general mental ability” as well as a candidate’s “ability to understand instructions, learn, adapt, solve problems and handle the mental demands of a position.” Of course, when trying to decide who to hire, knowing more about each candidate’s abilities in these areas can be extremely helpful to a business.

How Long is the Wonderlic?
Though there are a few different versions of the Wonderlic, the most commonly used one features a total of 50 questions. Candidates will have a total of 12 minutes to answer as many questions as they possibly can. It is not at all unusual for candidates to run out of time before they have completed all the questions.

What Kind of Questions are on the Wonderlic?

All 50 questions on the Wonderlic exam are multiple choice. The typical questions fall into four main categories: Logic, verbal reasoning, general facts and rapid recognition, and word-based math questions. Here are some examples.

Logic Questions

The logic questions on the Wonderlic usually include quite a few spatial recognition and deductive reasoning questions. An example question might ask:

What is the next number in this sequence? 65, 50, 60, 45

a) 70

b) 65

c) 55

d) 40

The answer, in this case, would be “55”.

Verbal Reasoning

The Wonderlic also features a variety of verbal reasoning questions on the test. These might include analyzing analogies, comparing proverbs, or identifying antonyms and synonyms. A sample question from this category might read:

Are the following two words similar, contradictory, or not related? Sever, cut.

a) Similar

b) Contradictory

c) Not related

Of course, the answer to this question is “Similar.”

General Facts and Rapid Recognition

Questions about general knowledge and quick identification of dates, times, and patterns are very common on the Wonderlic exam. An example might read:

Which of the following is the earliest date?

a) June 5th, 1886

b) July 1st, 1886

c) June 2nd, 1888

d) July 4th, 1886

e) June 3rd, 1888

The correct answer to this question would be “June 5th, 1886.”

Word-Based Questions

Word problems feature very prominently on the Wonderlic exam. These questions generally require the candidate to calculate percentages, ratios, averages, distances, or times. A sample question from the word problem category would be:

Five friends pool their finances together to invest in a real estate venture. Q invests $30,000, T invests $20,000, R invests $15,000, P invests $25,000, and L invests $35,000. The friends agree to split the profits from their investment in a manner that is proportionate to their original investment. If their investment generates a profit of $75,000, what will P’s share of the $75,000 be?

a) $12,500

b) $20,000

c) $15,000

d) $19,500

e) $11,000

The answer to this question is “$15,000.”

How Can a Candidate Prepare for the Wonderlic?

Given the weight that companies often place on Wonderlic scores, it is always a good idea to thoroughly prepare before taking the test. Candidates have a number of ways to improve their chances of success on the test.

Take Sample Tests

There are a number of sample Wonderlic tests available on the internet for candidates to practice with. This will help to provide the candidate with a better idea of what questions to expect on the test. After taking a couple of practice tests, it’s a good idea to graduate to a timed test to get a feel for what test day will feel like under a time crunch.

Learn the Solving Methods

When taking practice Wonderlic exams, candidates should try to understand not only what the correct answer is but also why it is the correct answer and how the question was solved. By understanding the methods of solving the questions, candidates can easily apply these learned techniques when a similar question arises on the real test.

Understand the Timing

While practicing for the Wonderlic, candidates should try to pay close attention to how much time they are spending on each question. With 50 questions to answer in 12 minutes, to answer each question, the candidate will need to average 14.4 seconds or less on each question. It is important to remember that some questions, such as the rapid recognition ones, are designed to be answered relatively quickly, while other questions, such as the word problems, are meant to be worked on for a little while. By practicing their timing, candidates can ensure that they spend the correct amount of time on each question.

Though the Wonderlic exam can seem a little daunting at first, it doesn’t have to be. By carefully preparing and learning more about the test, anyone can improve their results and maximize their Wonderlic score.

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