Thousands of eager students applying to nursing school take the SLE admissions test every year. The Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam is a cognitive ability test designed to assess whether you have the basic skills you’ll need to handle nursing school.

While the test isn’t difficult per se, it is tricky, and you could easily get confused if you haven’t prepared ahead of time. That’s why we’re going to explain exactly what you need to know. From top scores to best tips, we’ll tell you everything you’ll need to know.

What is the SLE Test for Nursing School?

The SLE Test for nursing school is a standardized admissions test used in career-oriented and vocational schools across the country. Known officially as the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam, this test is a quick online assessment you’ll take as part of the admissions process.

The test contains 50 multiple-choice questions and lasts a total of 12 minutes. While the test is taken on the computer, you’ll have to complete it in a proctored assessment center.

It is, very simply, an IQ test. Designed to assess “cognitive ability,” this exam will present you with logic puzzles, math problems, and word games to test how well you can think critically and creatively under pressure.

Why Do I Need to Take the SLE Test for Nursing School?

Nurses are under an immense amount of pressure while working in the hospital. They have to consult with doctors, communicate with families, administer tests, support patients through treatment and recovery, and cover any other tasks that might arise on the job.

Not only do nurses need to communicate clearly with patients and other staff members, but they also have to make difficult decisions with the information they’re given. Whether they’re giving medications or vaccinations, nurses need to be precise–meticulous even–in all of their actions. A small mistake could really have disastrous repercussions.

This test is to make sure that the students applying to the institution have what it takes to complete their coursework and build a successful career. Without basic verbal and mathematical skills, students aren’t going to be able to handle the many challenges that arise both in the classroom and in the emergency room.

Last but not least, the school has a stake in your success. They want to know that the students they admit will graduate and find jobs. Not only do they care about their industry, but they also want to attract more students. Graduation rates reflect back on the institution, and so they want to know they’ll be able to secure donations and ultimately maintain a certain reputation.

How Should I Prepare for the SLE Test for Nursing School?

However, the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam probably isn’t like any exam you’ve ever taken before. With a total of 12 minutes, you’ll have less than 15 seconds for each question. While the questions themselves aren’t particularly difficult, you’ll have to come up with creative ways to answer them quickly and effectively.

You won’t have time to check your work, and you won’t have time for trial and error. So if you’re not on the ball, you’re going to fall behind.

In fact, only 2% of test takers even have the chance to read and answer all of the questions before time runs out.

All of this is to say that opening up your old geometry textbook probably won’t get you very far. You need to know more than just how to calculate percentages to succeed on the Wonderlic.

You need to know how to take the Wonderlic.

You can’t replace test prep with vocabulary review. While vocabulary might help you here and there, unless you actually take a peek at the exam itself, you won’t really know what to expect.

If you want to know how to beat the Wonderlic at its own game, you’ll have to spend some time learning how different questions are written, where the test writers are trying to trick you, and how you can avoid wasting your time unnecessarily.

That’s why we’re offering students a free Wonderlic SLE practice test. There’s no better way to prepare for nursing exams than a practice test, and ours are designed by psychometric professionals that have read and analyzed the test forward, backward, and inside-out.

That’s not all we’re offering though.

When you’re done with the practice exam, you’ll want to take some time to check over your wrong answers. Then, you can skip over to the “Online Courses” page to view the first four video modules of our course completely free of charge.

In these videos, we’ll go through the test question by question. We’ll show you the proven techniques and exclusive strategies that have helped thousands of students raise their score up to 10 points.

So if you’re ready to test your skills with a real diagnostic, then click on the button below to start the test right away.


What’s on the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam?

The Wonderlic contains 50 multiple choice questions, most of which have 5 answer choices. The questions focus on language, numerical reasoning, basic logic, and general knowledge.


-Defining Words

-Unscrambling Sentences

-Differentiating Between Similar Words

Basic Logic:

-Stating the Certainty of a Conclusion Given Two Premises

-Manipulating Three-Dimensional Figures

-Completing Analogies

General Knowledge:

-Giving Information About Weeks, Months, and the Calendar Year in General

Numerical Reasoning:

-Word Problems

-Comparing Rates, Proportions, and Percentages

-Working With Fractions

What’s the Wonderlic (SLE-Q)?

There are actually two official versions of the Wonderlic test. The first, and standardized version, is the test we’ve been discussing. The second is a shorter version known as the Quicktest. The Quicktest is unique in the following ways:

  • There are 30 questions instead of 50
  • You have only 8 minutes to finish the test instead of 12
  • Some of the math questions are short response
  • Each question is worth more points
  • This is an unproctored exam that may be completed at home
  • Most successful candidates will be asked to come in to take the full exam afterward

Can I Use a Calculator?

No, you may not use a calculator. If you need to solve a math problem, you may use the sheet of scrap paper provided. However, note that using scrap paper will take up time you could use to answer more questions.

In our course, we’ll actually show you advanced techniques for rounding numbers and mapping out problems that will allow you to arrive at the answer without ever putting pen to paper.

What is a Good Score on the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam?

Each school, and even each program, has its own standards. The more competitive the school, the higher you’ll have to score. While some institutions only ask for a 12 or 14, others want scores well over 20.

The score you’ll need will also depend on your program. If you’re applying to train as a nurse’s assistant, for instance, you won’t need the same score you would need for a nurse practitioner’s program.

You’ll need to check the admissions page of your desired school. Most of the time they’ll list their requirements there. If they don’t, you can always feel free to call the office and ask. The information isn’t classified, and they should offer it freely.

If you still can’t find any specific number, you should aim for a 30. A 30 on the Wonderlic SLE should be more than sufficient, and while it is a difficult score to obtain, you can get there if you really take the time to prepare well.

What if I Fail the Exam?

Actually, many nursing students fail the Wonderlic SLE on their first try. Thankfully, most institutions will allow you multiple attempts. Usually, you’ll have a maximum of three attempts.

Sometimes they’ll allow you to take the test twice in the same day, but in other cases, you’ll have to wait at least 24 hours before trying the test again.

Helpful Tips:

  1. Don’t Expect to Return:You’re welcome to skip difficult questions, but given the time limit, you shouldn’t expect to return to them. It’s better to mark down an answer to the question when you encounter it so you don’t forget about it later.
  2. Don’t Skip Around Too Much:The questions on the Wonderlic aren’t listed in any particular order, so you’re welcome to answer them any way you please. However, scrolling through the questions takes a lot of time. Try not to skip questions on your first pass if you think you can solve them within a reasonable amount of time.
  3. Don’t Think About Your Score:The Wonderlic is a psychological test as much as it is a cognitive one. Try not to calculate your score before you’ve finished the exam. Just stay focused on the questions at hand, and don’t allow doubt to affect your performance.

*Note: Wonderlic Inc. and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with Wonderlic Test Prep or this website.