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The Wonderlic test is difficult to pass – Here’s why

Wonderlic test

Recruiters have used the Wonderlic test over and over. This tells us one thing about the test—it is indeed efficient at doing its job. While this test remains an advantage for recruiters, the same cannot be said for applicants. Many applicants fail the test, and recruiters use the test to weed out applicants; to cut down on their numbers.

In the history of employment, the Wonderlic test has indeed remained a hard nut to crack for applicants. It is one of the most difficult tests to pass. That is not because recruiters make it any harder, as it is a standardized test. It doesn’t change the fact that there are certain reasons the Wonderlic test is difficult to pass.

While others keep wondering the difference between the cognitive ability and basic skill test, you have a different question. What you really need to know right now is why the Wonderlic test is so difficult. This article sets out to do exactly that. Here’s why the Wonderlic test is difficult to pass:

Requires solving math problems very well

Many people have not had the opportunity to solve any real mathematics problems since they left high school. It will be a total disaster when such kinds of people are asked to solve mathematics problems on an employment test.

They would undoubtedly see it as difficult and have every reason to fail the mathematics section of that test. It makes the situation even worse if one has not seen the kind of questions on the Wonderlic test before, as they become really confused.

Even if a person is good at mathematics, but only needs some brushing up, the Wonderlic test given during the recruiting process does not exactly spare them. They had better do all the brushing up they need before taking the test, as they are usually left with only 14 seconds to answer each mathematics question before they are required to move on to the next one.

Knowing mathematics and getting familiar with the kind of mathematics questions set by Wonderlic is the only way to make an applicant get past this hurdle. What is another challenge for test-takers?

The Wonderlic test is full of traps

This test aims to check for intelligence. Hence, it is not surprising that the test is full of traps. There are options on the test that look like the answer but are not the answers to the questions asked.

If you have never taken any Wonderlic practice tests before and you are just seeing those traps for the first time while taking your employment test, the chances are higher that you would pick these traps as your answers. You will not only do so, but you will also do so confidently.

The only thing that can save a candidate from falling from such loopholes is if they know what the traps look like, and then avoid them. That can be achieved only if they have seen and practiced so many questions beforehand. Then they now know the answer-like traps and what they look like in the Wonderlic test.

Remember, you have only a short space of time to determine which option is correct. Put simply, there is no time to mess things up.

The timing of the test

This one is the last, but not the least. In fact, this is a factor that brings fear to the minds of many people. Like how does one answer 50 technical questions in only 12 minutes?

How does one read through and solve a mathematics problem in 14 seconds? Or even read through and not pick a wrong option (given the traps) in only 14 seconds?


For a person who has never taken the Wonderlic test before, it always seems like an impossible feat. That is, until you hear that people have scored way past average in this test. In fact, Pat Mclnally scored a perfect 50 on the test.

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