You’ve probably heard of it from a friend, colleague, or maybe even just from your classmates or relatives, but nearly no matter what you want to do, whether it be choosing a college of your liking, applying for a job, and even trying for a team at the NFL, you will probably have to take a Wonderlic test of sorts.

Used by numerous organizations ranging from educational, military, medical, and professional sports groups as a means to measure a potential member’s cognitive abilities, the Wonderlic assessments can be notoriously difficult despite its simple format and included subjects.

In fact, even those who already took the Wonderlic test previously still have a hard time despite knowing what to expect in the exam.

Now imagine how difficult it is for someone who has never encountered or heard of the Wonderlic before and didn’t prepare for it at all.

Considering that there are various Wonderlic tests as well, each with their own formats and stipulations, it would be in your best interest to know which one that you have to take so that you can know how to prepare for it effectively.

So, let’s take a look at the main types of Wonderlic tests, how they work, and what things you can do to ace them.

  • The Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test

This is known as the ‘base’ or most common version of the Wonderlic due to it being used in the admissions and hiring process of many educational and corporate institutions.

Respectively, these are known as the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam (SLE) and the Wonderlic Personnel Test.

The two exams follow the same format: you are tasked with answering 50 questions of various difficulty from four main subjects within a 12-minute time limit.

The subjects included here are listed as such:

Verbal Reasoning – which includes: grammar, vocabulary, word order, synonyms, antonyms, spelling, word usage.

Numerical Reasoning – which includes: percentages, word problems, ratio, basic operations, some algebraic expressions.

Logical and Deductive Reasoning – which includes: 3D cubes analysis, clock hands analysis, logical reasoning questions, deductive reasoning questions.

Graphical and Data Interpretation – which includes: statistical data analysis, graph analysis, month-related questions.

  • Top tips on how to ace the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test

For the Wonderlic SLE, the questions here are usually adjusted to mimic that of senior high-to-college level difficulty while the Personnel Test is strictly focused on having college-level difficulty questions. 

However, in recent years, the difficulty has spiked to the point that even a number of colleges offering the SLE are also using college-level or Personnel Test-level questions in an attempt to make sure that only the best of the best are able to join them.

  • Do not be ashamed to ‘guess’ your answers.

Considering the strict time limit and the number of questions contained in both exams, it is exceptionally rare for test-takers to complete the 50-item, much less get all of them correct.

In fact, barely 10% of test-takers are able to finish the Wonderlic, and there’s only a handful of people who managed to get a perfect score too.

tips on how to ace the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test

This means that if you want to get the most out of your Wonderlic attempt, you will have to compromise by making an educated guess on questions that you are having trouble with so that you can get to questions that are easier or you are more familiar with and can secure points on.

  • Be wary of ‘time trap’ questions.

These questions are the reason why many test-takers fail Wonderlic.

As part of its design, the test developers of the exam include questions that are absolutely difficult to answer within a small period of time and serve no purpose other than to make the test-taker fail by making them waste precious seconds or even minutes on an item that only gives one point like the rest.

Be wary of ‘time trap’ questions.

Ideally, investing this much time on a single question, for a single measly point, is not worth it, as there are other easier questions that you can encounter later on in the exam.

  • Other types of Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Tests

There are two other ‘types’ that you can encounter.

These are:

The Wonderlic Personnel Quicktest – A ‘shortened’ version of the Wonderlic Personnel Test where instead of 50 questions, you only have to answer 30 questions but with only 8 minutes.

Depending on the question bank that you encounter, as time traps are also present in this version of the Wonderlic, there is a chance that this version will be easier or harder to answer due to the fewer number of questions and possibly lower minimum passing score needed for it.

The Wonderlic Basic Skills Test (WBST) – A specialized version of the Wonderlic test that aims to measure the test-taker’s basic skills specifically.  Here, you will be given a test containing two sections, one revolving around mathematics and the other being verbal reasoning.

Both of these sections are adjusted to be rudimentary high school-level in terms of difficulty.

In total, there will be 90 questions, 50 of these will focus on reading and language and the remaining 40 will be for the math questions. 

You have 40 minutes to answer the entirety of the WBST, meaning you only have 20 minutes each for both sections.

Like the normal version of the Wonderlic test, the best way to overcome the WBST is through good time management skills because getting as many points as you can within the time limit.

Fortunately, considering that the WBST contains only two major subjects, this lessens the number of things that you have to study about and you can focus on practicing and trying to overcome its strict time limit with good test-taking strategies.

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