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The Wonderlic test was formerly known as the Wonderlic Personnel Test and is now known as the Wonderlic Contemporary Cognitive Ability Test.  Essentially, this is a test that helps determine the problem-solving ability of a job candidate; it also tests their cognitive ability. It is an assessment tool created by the Wonderlic Company.

It is used across various companies and industries, to assess a wide range of professionals. This is especially proven in the fact that the NFL has used the Wonderlic test over time. The Wonderlic test has types. There is the Quicktest (during which 30 questions have to be answered in 8 minutes), and the Wonderlic Personnel Test (which has 50 questions to be answered in 12 minutes). The major difference is that the shorter test merely gives an idea of the candidate’s cognitive ability, while the longer test is far more detailed. For cognition, there is also the Wonderlic SLE Test, which is dished out to potential medical and nursing students.

Another variation is the personality test. The Wonderlic has personality tests that serve as a measure of how a candidate’s characteristics are likely to impact their performance on their job. When employers use this test, the aim is usually to hire an employee whose traits naturally fit into the job description. As for the personality tests, the personality profiles of the candidate are created in the sections. This is done in a bid to form the baseline of who they are. Characteristics like openness to experience, extraversion, emotional stability, conscientiousness, and agreeableness are used to create a personality profile.

There is also a 30-item assessment variation that is used to assess the motivation of candidates. It is used to understand the things that interest a particular candidate. This will shed light as to if their responsibilities will naturally motivate them. If they are effortlessly motivated by the responsibilities that come with their job, then they are more likely to succeed in that position. Just like the other variations, there are preparation tools for the Wonderlic Motivation Potential Assessment for Employees.

How is the Wonderlic Test Scored?

Now, when it comes to the scoring of the Wonderlic test, the test referred to is usually the Wonderlic Personnel 50-item test. As for the other variations on personality and motivation, the results are compared to what the company wants. The results are actually determined by what the company is looking for in relation to that role. However, as for the 50-item test, the results can be determined objectively, and this is what we’ll be examining in this section.

Since the test has 50 questions, the highest a person can score is 50, while the lowest they can score on the test is 0. The test lasts for only 12 minutes, so speed determines the score of a person. That being said, the average score is 20; a person that scores 20 is considered to be on an average level (when it comes to cognition). If a person scores 10 and above (but not up to 20), they are said to have a low level of cognition.


While these values are generalized, the average could be higher by occupation. For instance, a cashier’s average score is around 21, while the average score for a chemist is 31. It varies across professions because the requirements for the people handling these roles are simply different. Hence, if a person is seeking a more professional role, it is essential that they prepare to score very high on the test. This would increase their chances of securing the job.

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