Wonderlic Test and its History

Wonderlic test is one of the most widely used intelligence tests worldwide, and is based on your cultural background. It is often referred to as the quick IQ test as it is designed to screen job applicants in a very short time. The focus of the test is measuring your spatial, verbal, and numerical skills but the focus depends on the specific requirements of the organization giving the test.

Psychologist David Wonderlic created the personnel test in 1939 to measure the intelligence of his friends. From something so frivolous, it quickly became popular because of its effectiveness and ingenuity.

Employers are turning to Wonderlic to help test prospective employees more and more today. They rely on Wonderlic test results to help get the full picture about those applying to join their organizations. While once a resume with recommendations and an interview were sufficient for employers, hiring the wrong staff is costly so using the Wonderlic test is another assessment tool used to find out all they can about prospective employees.

Every year more than 2.5 million people sit the Wonderlic test as part of a job application process. Additionally, more than a million people also use this test to analyze their own strength and weaknesses as part of looking for work or changing careers. By testing your own intelligence, it gives you a head start searching for work.

While the Wonderlic IQ test is popular, there is a lack of evidence to support that its results are valid. Despite that, the test is available worldwide and has been translated into 12 languages. Today, besides government and private organizations, many colleges use the Wonderlic test as an entry level assessment of student’s abilities.

Test Features

The Wonderlic test average score is 21, as opposed to the Alfred Binet and WAIS-IV average of 100. It is a short, quick test completed in a total of 12 minutes and has only 50 questions. Here are some more of the Wonderlic test features:

Easy Questions are First: As with many intelligence tests, the Wonderlic test starts with easy questions that gradually get harder. You will find the last handful of questions the hardest.

No Penalties for Wrong Answers: There are no penalties for getting an answer wrong. If you are having a problem with answering a question, make the best guess you can as you will not lose any points and you have everything to gain if you get it right.

No Outside Help: You cannot take any tools, such as a dictionary or calculator, into the Wonderlic test to help you answer the questions. You can use a pencil and scrap piece of paper to help you work out the answers. •

Types of Wonderlic Tests

There are two main Wonderlic tests used during the hiring process:

• Wonderlic Basic Skills Test

• Wonderlic Personnel Test

Wonderlic Basic Skills Test

The Wonderlic Basic Skills Test measures your basic mathematical and language skills. You will take it as part of the hiring process under supervision of the organization’s human resource department. There are two parts to the test; quantitative and language tests.

You will either take both tests together or just one of them. This depends on what the organization needs but the results are often used to compare a candidate’s quantitative and language skills along with the requirements of the job opening. Tests are often individually adapted to meet the specific requirements of organizational needs.

The purpose of the basic skills test is to match people with jobs that suit individual skill levels. Every job has a minimum maths and verbal requirement and the basic skills test measures at what level you are at and that you meet at the very least the minimum standard.

Types of questions to expect on the Wonderlic test include simple arithmetic questions where you need to fill in the blanks, and simple word problems.You will take the test under supervision and the results are either scored using online computer software, an online template, or using Wonderlic’s fax back service.

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Wonderlic Personnel Test

Potential employers have you take the Wonderlic Personnel Test to measure your cognitive ability to see whether you have the actual ability to complete the tasks the job requires. Things a potential employer looks for include:

• how you solve problems

• your ability to learn

• your aptitude for the job you are applying for

• your ability to understand instructions and follow them

• your adaptability

• your ability to take your knowledge and use it in new environments

You can take the Wonderlic test either using pen or paper, a computer, or online.

The Wonderlic personnel test is given during the interview process to match your cognitive ability to the job.This personnel test is a collaboration between Wonderlic and the US government’s Department of Labor to determine what people need to know for what type of job function.

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Problems With Wonderlic Test

The main problem with the Wonderlic IQ test is that it is simply too short to be of much use. Simply put, the Wonderlic test attempts to quickly determine your average intelligence as fast as possible. This fast scoring can and does often lead in incorrect results. For instance, what if an individual is stressed for those twelve short minutes? In a normal IQ test, this is a small portion of the test taking time (most IQ tests are approximately 30 minutes to an hour long). The stress of being subjected to an IQ test on some people will result in a sort of mental block that typically lasts at least a few minutes. This condition is called test anxiety, and many of us experience it whenever we take standardized tests.

Read More on Test Anxiety

In addition, the Wonderlic IQ test does not focus on the main intelligence of a person alone, it also attempts to measure your mathematical abilities. The problem with this is that even a fifth grader can add and subtract- what shows intelligence is breaking a question down into a mathematical problem. Since the Wonderlic test does not allow any tools such as calculators, precious time is wasted performing calculations that frankly most people are not used to doing. How can your true intelligence be tested on a Wonderlic test when you are busy performing calculations that most elementary school students know how to do?

To add further insult to the Wonderlic test, you are also expected to know the definitions of certain words in order to make comparisons between the words’ meanings. How is this bad, you might ask? It’s simple- the Wonderlic test has only fifty questions. You stand against the odds with so little questions, that one or two of the words that you are asked to compare, you might not know the meaning of. What this now means is that not only have you wasted time adding, subtracting, and multiplying- you now are stuck on a question that asks you to compare a word you have not seen before with another word. What the most people do in this situation? They guess the answer, just like they were taught to in school. The Wonderlic IQ test does not punish you for an incorrect answer, it only awards points for correct answers. This means you can guess on questions that you honestly don’t know the answers to.

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