Wonderlic Test Scoring Explained

The Wonderlic Cognitive Tests have become some of the most feared and common tests administered in recent times. Since the economic downturn of the late 2000s, many companies are being particularly cautious with how they allocate their market as they look to regain solid footing. The hiring department in many instances has been instructed to hire only the creme dela creme of potential employees to maximize productivity. This led to the increased use of Wonderlic tests as another tool to help find the ideal candidate in various professions. The test is available in 12 different languages and has been extensively used in colleges, entry level jobs as well as to individuals seeking promotions.

How long is the Wonderlic Test?

The test contains 50 questions to be answered in 12 minutes.

Types of the Wonderlic tests

The tests are put into four main categories. These are the cognitive tests, personality, skill and behavioral tests.

Wonderlic Cognitive test

When the average person refers to the “Wonderlic test” this is likely the specific test they’re referring to. These are designed to measure the individual’s ability to learn and solve problems. Cognitive tests are further divided into cognitive ability pretest and contemporary cognitive ability test. The two types of cognitive ability tests are much more of a comprehensive test.

Wonderlic Personality test

These are designed to measure personal character that is widely accepted for a particular job description. Research has shown that selecting individuals whose character match job description can increase employee productivity, job satisfaction and improve on customer service that is crucial to an organization’s performance.

Wonderlic Behavioral test

The behavioral tests assess an individual’s potential to engage in unethical and counter-reproductive activities within a community. The test is categorized into the Wonderlic risk profile and Wonderlic risk profile plus. Both tests capture three aspects of human behavior that are; neuroticism, conscientiousness, and agreeability.

Wonderlic Skills test

These are designed to capture an individual’s knowledge in the area of mathematics, science or English language. There are three tests in this set. These are the Wonderlic basic skills test, perpetual ability tests, and office and software skills.

Want to take a Wonderlic Sample Test? Use The Quiz Below

Take our 50-question Wonderlic test by clicking the “Start Quiz” button below!

What is the average score for the Wonderlic test?

The average test scores can significantly vary between different professions. The average rating for a certain test depends on the job description the position holds. For instance, an average score for a chemist is set at 31 while that of a cashier is set at 21. These two professions are entirely different, and they need individuals with various abilities.

What is a Wonderlic score?

According to Wonderlic Inc. the average score for the test is 20 out of a possible 50. A person who scores an average of 10 and above is considered literate and, therefore, suitable for the less demanding professions. It has been shown that only two to three percent of the participants finish the tests in the allocated time of twelve minutes. To increase one’s chances of getting the job, it is advisable to score higher than the average for the required position (also check out our Wonderlic test taking tips).

What is a good score on the Wonderlic?

While the average score on the Wonderlic is 20, the defnition of what is a good score on the Wonderlic test varies. Often times, the quality of the score can be equated to the types of position or job an applicant or test taker is pursuing. Some average scores by job title go as such:

· Systems Analyst – 32

· Chemist – 31

· Electrical Engineer – 30

· Engineer – 29

· Programmer – 29

· Accountant – 28

· Executive – 28

· Reporter – 28

· Teacher – 28

· Copywriter – 27

· Investment Analyst – 27

· Librarian – 27

· Electronics Technician – 26

· Salesperson – 25

· Secretary – 24

· Dispatcher – 23

· Drafter – 23

· Electrician – 23

· Nurse – 23

· Bank teller – 22

· Cashier – 21

· Firefighter – 21

· Clerical Worker – 21

· Machinist – 21

· Receptionist – 21

· Train conductor – 21

· Craftsman – 18

· Security guard – 17

· Welder – 17

· Warehouseman – 15

· Janitor – 14

Distribution of percentiles

According to the Mensa website, this is the breakdown of Wonderlic scores by percentile. This would seem to slightly contradict Wonderlic’s assertion that the average score is a 20 (here it appears to be between 21 and 22). However, this should at least provide a general sense of where a score falls against the general population.

Score Percentile
9 5
10 6
11 8
12 10
13 13
14 16
15 19
16 23
17 27
18 31
19 36
20 41
21 46
22 51
23 57
24 62
25 67
26 71
27 76
28 80
29 83
30 86
31 89
32 91
33 93
34 95
35 96
36 97
37 98
38 98
39 98
40 99
41 99
42 99
43 99
44 99
45 99
46 99
47 99
48 99
49 99
50 99

What is the test that NFL players take?

NFL players looking to enter the NFL Draft take the Wonderlic test. The NFL is the most famous organization that has used the Wonderlic as part of their player evaluation process during the annual NFL draft. Each year it seems that several player scores get leaked to the press often to much fanfare. The lowest notable score on the Wonderlic test was by Morris Claiborne, who scored a 4 in the 2012 NFL draft. The highest score in the history of NFL was by Pat McInally, who scored 50 in the 1975 NFL draft.

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Delivery of the results

Wonderlic test results are considered the property of the issuing company or institution. It is, therefore, difficult to establish your score unless the enterprise agrees to share the results with you depending on their policy.

Can you use a calculator on the Wonderlic test?

No, calculators are not allowed on the Wonderlic test.


Wonderlic personnel test manual