“What is a good Wonderlic score?”
Unfortunately this question is more complicated than it seems.
The Wonderlic Personnel Test is a notoriously difficult psychometric exam administered to job seekers across the country as a part of the hiring process.
You’ll be relieved to know though the assessment may be difficult, you don’t have to get a perfect score to land an interview.
Because most employers use the Wonderlic simply as a pre-employment screening test, you shouldn’t feel pressured to perform exceptionally. Average scores range from 14 all the way to 31 out of a total of 50 points.
Below, you’ll learn what score you’ll be expected to achieve for your job specifically, how Wonderlic score percentiles are calculated, and how you can compare a Wonderlic score to an I.Q. score.
Average Wonderlic Scores:
According to Forbes Magazine, a bad hire could cost a company thousands upon thousands of dollars in revenue not only as a result of low productivity, but also because of disengagement. As you can imagine, hiring managers are always on the search for new, original ways to streamline the hiring process and identify promising candidates whether they be graduates or senior executives.
Wonderlic administers two separate cognitive ability tests–one with 30 questions and the other with 50 questions–and though both have a maximum score of 50, they are graded on different scales.
The Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT-R) contains 50 questions and is the more commonly administered exam. Each question is worth 1 point, and no points are deducted for incorrect answers. On the Wonderlic Personnel Test-Quicktest (WPT-Q) though, there are only 30 questions, and each question is worth 1 points making for a maximum score of 30 points.
That being said, any candidate who takes the Quicktest will be asked to take the full-length test if he receives a passing score.
According to Wonderlic Inc., the 50 and 30 question Wonderlic test score is, on average, 21 out of a total possible 50. So, if you answer the majority of the questions correctly, you’ve performed better than half of the general population.
Plus, only 2-3% of those who take the assessment actually finish all of the questions within the given time limit. So, don’t overreact if you receive a low score on a Wonderlic test sample. Even chemists and engineers rarely receive higher than a 70% on average.
Average Wonderlic Score by Profession:
The Wonderlic is, theoretically, supposed to imitate an IQ test, and according to the company, it officially measures a person’s mental ability:
“The Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT-R) helps measure general mental ability, widely accepted as being one of the single best predictors of job success.
It helps measure a candidate’s ability to understand instructions, learn, adapt, solve problems and handle the mental demands of the position.”
Essentially, Eldon F. Wonderlic, who created and distributed the exam in 1936 while he was a graduate student at Northwestern University, intended to design a psychometric assessment for businesses based on the traditional I.Q. test. He believed that the test would assess someone’s problem-solving skills, abstract reasoning, and overall performance.
You can see, then, why an attorney, politician, or even a professional athlete would be expected to achieve higher scores than, say, a waitress.
So, what is a good Wonderlic score?
As mentioned above, average Wonderlic scores range anywhere from 14 all the way to 31. A janitor and a warehouseman, who rarely interact with other people and whose jobs demand very little judgment whatsoever, have an average Wonderlic score of 14.
Salesmen, investment analysts, accountants, and teachers, while not highly skilled, are expected to have had a decent education. Plus, they encounter obstacles on a regular basis and need to know how to solve them quickly and effectively.
Chemists, engineers, and programmers generally receive scores of 29 and above. Because their work is highly technical, employees in these fields need to demonstrate a critical acumen. Not only do these professionals need to be very precise in their work, but they also need to address complex, delicate issues with attention and care.
The NFL also happens to administer the test to prospective new football players. While football players don’t need to remember much high school math while they’re on the field, they do need to be able to coordinate complex plays at a breakneck pace. Whether the Wonderlic for NFL players really predicts long-term success is up for debate. That being said, the average Wonderlic score for Super Bowl championship quarterbacks was a stunning 31.7 even though the mean score for average NFL quarterbacks is only 26, which is still 5 points higher than average.
Wonderlic Test Score Charts:
You’ll see here that the Wonderlic online score report sent to hiring managers for the Wonderlic Personnel Test displays results for each candidate with a color-coded bell-curve chart. The minimum score is shown on the right, and the colored vertical bars tell the hiring manager where the applicant falls in relation to company standards.
Anyone who scores within the green section should be invited to an in-person interview. Applications of anyone whose results are within the red zone are generally discarded, and candidates whose marks fall within the yellow zone may be considered depending on the scores of the other candidates.
In the example, Angelo Lopez met the minimum requirement set for this position and will likely be asked in for an interview. However, if he had gotten a score between 24 and 26, his application would have been considered a lower priority. If he had scored below 24, his resume probably would have been discarded.
Wonderlic allows employers to filter candidates according to different standards preset by the company themselves. The company will simply type the job title into their search bar and click on the most fitting position in the Wonderlic database. Then when applicants take the test, their scores will be stored in the file associated with the respective position.
Wonderlic offers three pre-employment exams: The Wonderlic Personnel Test, the Motivational Test, and the Personality Test. Not every company chooses to purchase all three exams, but those who do will see the composite score, or the Wonscore, when they scroll through the list of applicants.
Nevertheless, because most companies choose to keep scores secret, you’ll probably never know your official Wonderlic score. If you meet the company’s minimum standard, then they’ll contact you about further action, but they generally won’t reveal your score to you.
Wonderlic Score Percentiles:
It’s difficult to tell what a good Wonderlic score is without looking at the percentile. Because Wonderlic scores are somewhat skewed, it can be difficult to visualize the results. Below, you’ll find the test results displayed according to their percentile rank.
Wonderlic Score to I.Q.:
The Wonderlic Personnel Test, was designed to generally gauge an applicant’s intelligence level, educational achievement, and professional potential.
According to modern psychology, IQ is, in fact, a very good predictor of professional success. Because highly intelligent people acquire new skills very easily, they generally advance more quickly than their peers.
Though the findings are mixed, there are psychologists who believe that the Wonderlic does, on the whole, measure I.Q. within a small margin of error as shown in the Wonderlic to I.Q. chart above.
However, I.Q. just measures potential. There are plenty of highly intelligent people who never fulfill their potential either because they’re lazy and don’t apply themselves or because other obstacles prevent them from investing themselves completely in their work.
We here at Wonderlic Test Prep don’t believe that anyone should be held back from the job of their dreams because they performed poorly on an exam. While a Wonderlic to I.Q. formula may exist, your work ethic, experience, personality and determination are at least just as important as your Wonderlic test answers.
The Wonderlic exam is a test, and just like most other tests, your score will improve with practice. That’s why we teach our students that preparation is of crucial importance. If you take the time to learn critical Wonderlic test tips and you review practice questions before heading out to the assessment center, then your score will almost certainly improve.
“So, what is a good Wonderlic score, anyway?”
As you can see, there’s no universally accepted Wonderlic score. While the Wonderlic has been shown to be at least loosely related to I.Q., companies rarely hire based on test results alone. Each company sets a different threshold for their job opening, and most of the candidates who reach that score will receive an invitation for an in-office interview.
If you’d like to improve on your Wonderlic test score, than you can take our free practice test by clicking on the button below.
Then you can go to our online course page to start watching our first few video modules for free.