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Wonderlic Tests: Read Our Guide + Sample Questions + Explanations + Get Top Scores

Wonderlic Tests: Read Our Guide + Sample Questions + Explanations + Get Top Scores

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Practice Wonderlic Test

The Wonderlic tests are a popular range of cognitive assessments used early in the recruitment process to reduce a large number of applicants down to the most suitable candidates for the job.

The most commonly used Wonderlic test is the Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT-R) which has three sections: cognitive, personality and motivation. The most up-to-date version of this test is the cloud-based WonScore.

Created by Wonderlic Inc., the test assesses factors such as:

The Wonderlic test is administered online, supervised and taken at an approved site, such as an assessment center. Test fees are paid by the employer.

Wonderlic tests are regularly used by the US military and the National Football League (NFL).

Find out more about aptitude tests.

What Are Wonderlic Tests Assessing?

Should you face a Wonderlic test as part of the recruitment process, this will generally be the WPT-R which consists of three sections: cognitive, personality and motivation.

The three tests in combination will arrive at an overall score for each candidate that reflects their suitability for the job they have applied for.


The cognitive section of the WPT-R consists of 50 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 12 minutes.

There is also a shortened version, the QuickTest (WPT-Q), consisting of 30 questions and an eight-minute time limit.

This section measures whether you have the correct level of mental ability to effectively carry out a specific job. For instance, your basic math, problem-solving skills, language comprehension and how well you work under pressure will be assessed.

Scoring is not based only on right and wrong answers, but also considers your response pattern and the level of difficulty of each question.

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The personality section features 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately an hour and a half to finish.

This section measures whether your personality, behaviours and predicted performance are a good match for the job you have applied for.

This assessment is carried out using the Five Factor Model which considers:

  • Cooperation (whether you are trusting or suspicious of others)
  • Dependability (how reliable and conscientious you are)
  • Stress tolerance (how well you work under pressure and stress)
  • Sociability (how you interact with others; extraversion or introversion)
  • Open-mindedness (how open you are to experiencing the world around you)

Learn why employers are interested in who you are as a person in the article, Personality Tests.


The motivation section consists of 58 questions and generally takes 20 minutes to finish.

This section uses the six RIASEC model characteristics to assess the type of work the candidate prefers to do and thus what their motivating factors are:

  • Practical
  • Investigative
  • Artistic
  • Supportive
  • Enterprising
  • Traditional

Free Sample Questions

It should be noted that, while there are definite correct answers for questions in the cognitive section, questions in the personality and motivation sections do not have a right or wrong response.

Instead, you should answer honestly, and without exaggeration or modesty.


1. Identify the two missing numbers in the following sequence:

1 – ? – 15 – 22 – ?

a) 9 and 23
b) 8 and 29
c) 10 and 30
d) 8 and 25
e) 6 and 29

The correct answer is: b) 8 and 29. Each number in the sequence increases by the value of 7.

2. DOG is to KENNEL as HUMAN is to ?

a) Car
b) House
c) Garden
d) Shed
e) Cat

The correct answer is: b). It is the place of residence.


3. I enjoy attending large parties.

a) Strongly disagree
b) Disagree
c) Neutral
d) Agree
e) Strongly agree

4. I like my daily routine to be predictable.

a) Strongly disagree
b) Disagree
c) Neutral
d) Agree
e) Strongly agree

Wonderlic Tests: Read Our Guide + Sample Questions + Explanations + Get Top Scores
Wonderlic Tests: Read Our Guide + Sample Questions + Explanations + Get Top Scores


5. Which of these three tasks would you prefer to do?

a) Make a piece of jewellery
b) Research how to make a piece of jewellery
c) Design a piece of jewellery

6. Which of these three tasks would you prefer to do?

a) Take minutes at a meeting
b) Lead a meeting
c) Contribute to a meeting

How to Get Top Scores on a Wonderlic Test

The first factor you should consider is that there is no overall top score for every Wonderlic test taken.

What qualifies as a top score will depend on the specific job that you have applied for.

For instance, the top score (including cognitive ability, personality aspects and motivating factors) for an accountant will be very different to the top score for a graphic designer.

The best way to do well on the day is to prepare beforehand with the following six methods.

Use Practice Tests

Familiarity with the type of questions you will face can improve both your confidence and your performance.

There are plenty of Wonderlic test practice resources available online. Some are free online tests and sample questions, while you will have to pay for others either as a one-off purchase or via a subscription model.

The vast majority of practice resources are for the cognitive section of the test. This is actually to your advantage, as that section of the test is the most challenging, with its short time limit and variety of question types.

Practice tests and sample questions can be sourced from the following websites:

Use Timed Practice

Familiarity with the format of the test questions will be a great help, but you should also use timed practice to understand how best to manage your time during the Wonderlic test.

Some online practice resources provide a timed element, but taking a sample test at home under the restraint of the stopwatch app on your phone can be just as helpful.

Timed practice will not only help you manage your time more effectively, but it will build your confidence too.

Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses

You may already be aware of your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the test and your overall talents, but using practice tests can flag up areas where more practice is required.

For instance, you might excel at the cognitive ability questions but find that your performance is hampered by the time limit. Your weakness is working at speed and under pressure. Timed practice will help with that.

Alternatively, you may find it easy to work at speed and under pressure, but your math ability needs attention.

Consider what your strengths and weaknesses might be before you begin practice tests, then cross-reference those thoughts with your practice test results.

Then, reassess. Work on your weaknesses. Take another practice test to see if you have improved.

Identify Shortcuts and Strategies

Familiarity with the type of questions you will face in the Wonderlic test provides you with the opportunity to develop shortcuts and strategies to speed up your response rate.

For instance, in a vocabulary-related question, use a process of elimination to quickly cut the number of likely answers.

Learn how to identify the key points of a question to avoid silly mistakes, such as answering what you think the question has asked for instead of what it actually wants to know.

You are not allowed to use a calculator in the test, so practice your mental math and use a paper and pen for calculations.

If the answer to any of the cognitive questions evades you, move on to the next. You are allowed to go back to unanswered questions within the test time limit.

Research the Role and Company

Research the job you have applied for to discover what skills, experience and behavioural aspects are suitable.

Even though it is never recommended that you lie, exaggerate or downplay your response in the personality and motivation sections of the test, it will be of value to you to know how these questions relate to the job you have applied for.

Research the company too, specifically the company culture and what they value in an employee.

Look After Yourself

To provide yourself with the best chance possible of a good test performance, make sure you look after yourself in the run up to the day.

Get enough sleep, even some early nights. Maintain a nutritionally healthy diet and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Do things that relax and de-stress you to combat any pre-test nerves.

How to Do Well on the Day

Once the day of the Wonderlic test arrives, you can further support your chance of a good test performance by:

  • Making sure you arrive in good time with everything you need
  • Reading each question carefully
  • Moving on from questions you cannot answer – you can always return to that question later
  • Ensuring you answer the questions in the personality and motivation sections honestly

Other Wonderlic Tests

Beyond recruitment, Wonderlic also provides tests to help educational establishments with their student admission process.

In the same way that the Wonderlic personnel test can be used to pinpoint the best candidates to take forward to interview, the student admissions tests can reduce the number of course applicants by choosing those most likely to succeed in their studies.

There are four Wonderlic tests relevant to student admissions:

  • The Scholastic Level Exam assesses the student’s cognitive abilities. It comes in both a standard and shortened version.

  • The Wonderlic Basic Skills Test assesses whether the student has the basic levels of English and math needed for an entry level job.

  • The Wonderlic Ability-to-Benefit Test is aimed at students who do not have a high school diploma and assesses whether they have the basic skills needed to succeed on the course.

  • The General Assessment of Instructional Needs evaluates the student’s levels of English and math before admission, but can also be used as a progress tool to discover how the student’s skills have developed and what their ongoing educational needs are.

Final Thoughts

The Wonderlic personnel test is a popular choice among employers to identify which candidates have the best potential for succeeding in a specific role with the company.

With the tight time limit of the cognitive section and the extensive number of questions in the accompanying personality and motivation sections, the Wonderlic test can be challenging for any candidate.

However, with the right preparation, you can improve your chances of a successful performance on the day by:

  • Doing practice tests
  • Using timed practice
  • Identifying shortcuts and strategies
  • Researching the role and employer
  • Practicing self-care

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