What Your Wonderlic Test Score Says About You

What Your Wonderlic Test Score Says About You

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The Wonderlic test is a popular cognitive ability assessment used by many organizations and institutions worldwide. Often employed in hiring processes, educational settings, and even sports, the Wonderlic test provides insights into various aspects of your mental aptitude. But what does your Wonderlic Test score specifically say about you? In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll explore what different score ranges signify, how the test is structured, and why it’s become such an indispensable tool for many industries.

What Is The Wonderlic Test?

Before diving into what your score means, it’s important to understand what the Wonderlic test is. Developed by industrial psychologist Eldon F. Wonderlic in 1936, the test is designed to measure general cognitive ability in areas such as mathematics, vocabulary, and reasoning. The most commonly used version, the Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT), comprises 50 multiple-choice questions to be completed in 12 minutes.

The Scoring System

The Wonderlic test scores range from 0 to 50, with each correct answer earning one point. While it may sound simple, the test’s time constraint and diverse question types make achieving a high score quite challenging. The average score tends to hover around 20-21, but this can vary depending on the specific population being evaluated.

Score Interpretation

Scores 0-10: Below Average

A score in this range typically indicates below-average cognitive ability. However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t automatically mean a person is incapable or unintelligent. Various factors such as test anxiety, educational background, and familiarity with the test format can contribute to a lower score. People in this range may find certain types of problem-solving and analytical tasks challenging but could excel in more hands-on, practical roles.

Scores 11-20: Low Average

Scores in this bracket suggest low average cognitive ability. People scoring in this range may need extra time or support when dealing with complex tasks but can still perform effectively in roles that don’t demand high levels of analytical thinking. These individuals are often suited for occupations that value consistency and reliability over rapid problem-solving skills.

Scores 21-30: Average

A score in the 21-30 range signifies average cognitive ability. Individuals scoring within this bracket are generally well-rounded, capable of understanding and analyzing various types of information, and can effectively manage tasks that require basic problem-solving skills. This is the range where most people fall, making these individuals well-suited for a broad array of professions.

Scores 31-40: Above Average

Scoring in this range indicates above-average cognitive abilities. People who achieve these scores are often quick learners and adept at solving complex problems. They are likely to excel in roles that require critical thinking, strategic planning, and decision-making. Professions that demand high cognitive abilities, such as engineering, computer science, or managerial roles, are well-suited for individuals in this category.

Scores 41-50: Superior

Scores in this range indicate superior cognitive ability. Achieving a score above 40 is relatively rare and suggests that the individual possesses exceptional problem-solving skills, quick thinking, and a high capacity for learning. These individuals often excel in highly specialized or intellectually demanding roles and are likely to hold leadership positions in their respective fields.

The Significance in Different Domains

In Education

Educational institutions sometimes use the Wonderlic test as an admissions criterion or a measure to identify students who may need additional educational support. A high Wonderlic score can enhance a student’s application, while a lower score may prompt further evaluation or supplementary instruction.

In Employment

Many employers utilize the Wonderlic test as part of their hiring process to gauge a candidate’s suitability for a particular role. Positions that require high levels of problem-solving and cognitive ability often have higher Wonderlic score requirements. Conversely, roles emphasizing manual skills or routine tasks may not weigh Wonderlic scores as heavily.

In Sports

Believe it or not, the Wonderlic test is also used in professional sports, particularly in the NFL. Teams use these scores to evaluate the mental readiness and quick decision-making ability of potential draft picks. While a high score is not the sole criterion for athlete selection, it provides valuable data to assess a player’s overall capability.

Factors Influencing Your Score

Test Environment

The conditions under which you take the Wonderlic test can significantly affect your score. A quiet, comfortable environment can help you focus better compared to a noisy, distracting setting.

Familiarity with the Test

Individuals who have taken the Wonderlic or similar tests before tend to score higher due to familiarity with the format and types of questions.

Educational Background

A strong educational background can aid in achieving a higher score, as the test assesses general knowledge, vocabulary, and problem-solving skills.

Test Anxiety

Anxiety or stress during the test can impair your performance, leading to a lower score. Techniques for managing test anxiety can be beneficial in improving your score.

How to Improve Your Score

If you’re aiming to improve your Wonderlic test score, preparation is key. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

Practice Tests

Numerous online resources offer practice tests that mimic the structure and timing of the Wonderlic test. Taking these can help you become more comfortable with the format and time constraints.

Study Guides

Books and online guides tailored to Wonderlic test preparation can provide useful tips and strategies.

Focus on Weak Areas

Identify the types of questions you struggle with the most and focus your study efforts on improving in these areas.

Time Management

Improving your time management skills can help you navigate through the test more efficiently, reducing the likelihood of running out of time before answering all questions.


Understanding what your Wonderlic test score says about you can provide valuable insights into your cognitive abilities and potential career paths. While the score is an important metric, it’s crucial to remember that it’s just one of many factors that can influence your success. Whether you score high or low, there are always ways to improve and develop your cognitive skills.

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Whether you’re preparing for an upcoming Wonderlic test or simply curious about what your score means, we hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with all the information you need. Best of luck!