How does the Wonderlic Test Correspond to the IQ Test?

The Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT) not only measures intelligence it also measures verbal, numerical and spatial abilities. The WPT is used globally to screen job candidates in a short period of time and is considered a quick IQ test. Unfortunately there’s no simple way to convert the Wonderlic score to a comparable IQ number as the tests are very different.

WPT History

Invented in 1939 by David Wonderlic, the WPT quickly gained popularity for its accuracy and swiftness. Today the WPT is used to screen job applicants and for personal analysis. Now available in 12 languages, the WPT is used as part of many psychological assessments.

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Wonderlic Test Features

Average Score
Other intelligence tests such as the IQ test set the score for average intelligence at 100. The WPT uses 21 as its score for the average person.

The 50 question WPT must be finished in 12 minutes. Regardless of whether the test is complete participants must stop working when their 12 minutes are up. The fast pace and short list of questions mark the WTP as being quicker than other IQ tests.

The WPT is similar to other IQ tests in that it begins with easy questions then moves on in difficulty with the final questions being the most difficult.

No Negative Marking
Test takers are not penalized for incorrect answers. As with any test, participants should read the questions carefully and select the best answer, but they won’t receive negative marks for wrong answers.

No Test Aids Allowed
Test takers are not allowed to use any tools such as calculators or dictionaries. After reading the questions, participants record their answers in pencil on the test.

Wonderlic Focus Areas

The verbal portion of the test may have the following types of questions:
1. Matching vocabulary with definitions.
2. Rearranging mixed up sentences into the correct order.
3. Identifying parallel sentences.
4. Reading information and using critical thinking skills to draw conclusions and make inferences.

The numerical portion of the test may contain the following kinds of problems:
1. Equation solving using decimals, fractions and other math concepts.
2. Pattern continuation.
3. Number comparisons.

The spatial test’s focus is imagination and geometrical visualization. Problems may include:
1. Following directions to reach the correct destination.
2. Analyzing geometric shapes.

Simple Instructions
A lesser known aspect of the Wonderlic is its testing of participants’ ability to follow simple instructions. Participants may be unaware that they are being tested on this ability from the beginning of the quiz. The assumption is that a person who cannot follow simple directions may not perform reliably in real life circumstances.

Although the WPT has faced its share of criticism, it remains a popular psychological test. The test has its limitations, but can still be a useful tool for applicant screenings.

Wonderlic to IQ Conversion

Because the IQ and the Wonderlic are similar but separate tests there is no way to determine your Wonderlic score based on your IQ score, or vice versa. However, using a normal distribution bell curve it’s possible to make approximations. Bellow are IQ to Wonderlic conversions based on standard deviations of both tests.

  • 68 on IQ = 5 on Wonderlic
  • 85 on IQ = 14 on Wonderlic
  • 100 on IQ = 22 on Wonderlic
  • 115 on IQ = 29 on Wonderlic
  • 132 on IQ = 36 on Wonderlic