How to Pass the Wonderlic Test and Land the Job

You’ve been looking for a new job for a while, and though you’ve been scanning the regular job boards for a few weeks, nothing even remotely relevant has appeared. Finally, a job description of your ideal position pops up out of nowhere. You quickly compile your documents together, write a stellar cover letter, and send in your application.

The hiring manager read your email almost immediately, and within the hour he called you explaining that he would love to hear more from you. You excitedly agree, but when he sends you the follow-up email he had promised, you notice something strange.

“Take Wonderlic Personnel Test”

If you’ve been asked to take the Wonderlic Personnel Test, then congratulations. Clearly, the hiring manager liked your resume and wants to hear more about you. However, before you come in to the office for an interview, you’re going to have to pass a standardized screening assessment.

This psychometric test was designed to help employers weed out ill-equipped applicants and ultimately save the HR department some time. Though your score on the exam will have little impact on the boss’s final hiring decision, a passing score will help move you to the next stage in the hiring process.

Here at Wonderlic Test Prep, we believe that anyone should be able to succeed on the Wonderlic. Though the exam is notorious for its severe time limit and very low scores, you shouldn’t worry. With our simple guide, you’ll learn how to pass the Wonderlic test and ultimately land the job of your dreams.

First of All…How Do You Pass the Wonderlic Test?

Each of the fifty questions on the Wonderlic is worth one point, and the maximum score is 50 though the average score is only 21. That being said, before we talk about how to pass the Wonderlic test, we should specify what we mean by pass: What exactly is a passing score?

The Wonderlic is a pass/fail exam, and unless your drafting into the NFL, you’ll probably never see your test result. Companies use this online screening exam as a standardized part of their hiring process for entry-level graduate positions all the way up to senior-level executives. As long as you receive at least the passing grade, you’ll be invited for an in-office interview.

Each company sets its own minimum score, and average scores vary by profession. Scores can range anywhere from 14 for janitorial work all the way past 30 for advanced engineering. Make sure that you know what score you should be shooting for before you start studying for the exam.

Know What You’re Up Against (Hint: It’s Not What You Think!)

Eldon Wonderlic designed and distributed the original Wonderlic exam on the basis that basic cognitive ability could predict success better than any other metric. While experience and training is, of course, important, the theory states that individuals with a higher intellect learn new skills more quickly, adapt more easily to changing circumstances, and approach new initiatives more creatively.

Whether this is true or not is up for debate. We’re not here to tell you what role intelligence plays in long-term professional success. We are here to tell you that standardized tests, and in particular the Wonderlic, don’t do a great job of testing overall intelligence.

There’s no end to the list of problems with standardized tests. To what degree all of these complaints are true is up for debate. That being said, in more cases than not, assessments like the Wonderlic simply test your ability to master a certain set of exercises, and they make a good deal of money for the test manufacturer in the meantime.

All of this is to say that even though the Wonderlic exam may have been based on sound psychological principles, we can teach you how to improve your Wonderlic score quite easily. You don’t have to be particularly bright to score well on the exam, and with our free Wonderlic study guide video modules we’ll even show you exactly how to prepare for the Wonderlic Personnel Test question by question.

So before you even put pen to paper, know that careful preparation will help you bump up your score and greatly improve your odds of securing the job.

Practice Efficiently

You probably already know how to pass the Wonderlic test. Just like with any other standardized tests, you’re going to need to practice. As they say, practice makes perfect.

Rather than reviewing random topics from numerical reasoning and verbal literacy though, you should start directly with practice tests designed specifically for the Wonderlic.

Though you can always go back and review your answers more carefully, there’s no substitute for practice tests when preparing for a standardized exam. Doing timed trials will help you familiarize yourself with the format of the test and will allow you to develop good time-management skills.

Review All of Your Answers

You’re going to want to make sure you’re reviewing your answers. According to Bhavin Parikh, CEO of Magoosh, studying efficiently makes a huge difference in your overall score. When studying, he explains, you need to make sure to focus on your mistakes. Even if you only made two simple mistakes on a practice test, those two questions could mean two more points on the exam. Your job isn’t finished when you’ve scored the practice exam. Take the time to read the Wonderlic test answer key, dissect each question, and understand where you went wrong.

Secondly, while you should also review the questions you answered correctly, you’ll want to prioritize your weaknesses. It can be easy to spend your time focusing on logic or verbal reasoning if those happen to be your strong suits. However, because your results are reported as one composite score, you should really make sure to invest your time improving your weakest areas.

After all, there are more points to be earned from these questions. If you already answer most of the math questions correctly because you happen to prefer them, the one or two questions you’ll earn from extra studying is marginal compared to the points you would be earning from subjects with a higher learning curve.

Recognize Patterns

As you study, you’ll want to pay attention to the different types of questions to see if you can recognize any patterns. The easiest way to improve your score on standardized tests in general and certainly the Wonderlic in particular, is to learn about the patterns Wonderlic uses when writing each test. On any given standardized test, there are a set number of question types, and the test will consist of variations of these given examples.

When you go back through the exam to review the Wonderlic test answers, make sure you study the questions you answered correctly as well as the ones you answered incorrectly. Even if you fully understood the question, analyzing each question systematically will help you to understand more about how the test was designed.

If you can categorize each question, when you recognize a similar one on the actual test, you’ll be able to identify and solve it quickly. When test day arrives, none of the questions on the test should look new or strange. Taking the test should simply be a matter of solving as many questions as you can before your time runs out.

Make Each Moment Count

When test day finally arrives, you’ll want to make each moment count. With only 12 minutes to answer 50 questions, you don’t even have a second to spare. It’s important that you budget your time wisely and answer each question as quickly as possible. You’ll need to decide carefully which questions to attempt and which questions to skip and save for later.

Then when you attempt the actual question, you’ll need to avoid writing out complex, multi-step equations. Remember, the difference between a salesman and an engineer is only four points. With the ten seconds that you save skipping around the test, you could save enough time to bring in a couple more points and drastically increase your score.

Read our top 9 tips for saving time on the Wonderlic to learn more about how to shave crucial seconds off of your response time for each question.

Accept that perfection is not the goal

You’ll be scored based on the number of questions that you answer correctly. The maximum score on the full-length Wonderlic Personnel Test is 50 points, but not many people score 50 points; in fact, less than 5% of people even answer all 50 questions!

The average score on the full-length Wonderlic test is just over 21. That means that the average person only answers 42% of the questions correctly.

You’re not striving for perfection here. Your goal is simply to score as many points as possible. Don’t get hung up on trying to get every answer right – you simply don’t have the time to get caught up on a single question.

Answer Every Single Question – Guess If You Have To

On a multiple choice test with five possible answers, you have a 20% chance of guessing each question correctly.

On average, you’ll get 4 out of every 20 questions correct, so even if you can only answer 30 questions you could pick up an extra four points, just by guessing on the remaining 20 questions.

Those four points could be the difference between landing an interview for that high-paying management job or heading back to your cubicle for another day of editing spreadsheets for your boss.

Learn to dodge the traps

Many extremely smart people are embarrassed by their first Wonderlic score, and it’s all because they weren’t prepared to avoid simple, time-sucking traps.

As with any standardized test, you’ll see the same question types again and again on the Wonderlic. Some of those questions are designed to trick you, just to see if you’re paying close attention.

A well-researched training course – like Wonderlic Test Prep’s Rapid Wonderlic Mastery Course – can teach you the traps to look out for and how to avoid them to make your score a more accurate reflection of your ability.

Take Wonderlic practice tests

Research shows that repeated practice tests have a positive impact on standardized test scores.

The intense time demand of the Wonderlic is one of the things that intimidates test takers the most. Practice testing helps you get used to the timing of the exam so that you can move quickly through it without collapsing under the pressure.

Plus, practice tests with real Wonderlic sample questions prepare you for everything you’ll find on the real test. Eliminate the element of surprise to avoid getting thrown off track or wasting precious seconds.

Take a Wonderlic study course from a proven, trusted resource.

You only have one chance to get this right and you don’t have time to waste. Don’t risk your future by trying to piecemeal your Wonderlic training with free resources from unproven sources.

Instead, take an online Wonderlic study course that has trained hundreds of satisfied students, like the Rapid Wonderlic Mastery Course from Wonderlic Test Prep.

The course will show you how to increase your Wonderlic score by as much as 10 points in just a few hours. Ten points are the difference between the average scores for a cashier and a chemist, or the difference between a welder and an investment analyst.

Ten points on the Wonderlic Personnel Test or the Wonderlic SLE is a big deal, and our course will show you how to get there.

Get the first four modules FREE on our Rapid Wonderlic Mastery Course, and get yourself started on the road to success.