Wonderlic Test: A Twist on Traditional IQ Tests

The Wonderlic Test may be the most common IQ test you’ve never heard of.  Until now, that is.

While the Wonderlic concept has been around since the 1930s, it’s only been in recent years that the test has become more widely accepted in the testing and assessment communities.

In recent years, it’s even become a fixture in the popular video game Madden NFL.

There are many things that separate the Wonderlic Test from other more traditional IQ tests.

But there’s no doubting it’s increasing popularity — read on to be in the know.

What’s Wonderful about Wonderlic?

wonderlic testThe Wonderlic Test (WT), now called the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test, was first developed as a aptitude test by Eldon Wonderlic, an industrial psychologist. In the 1930s, he developed the test as a short-form cognitive assessment tool. It was eventually used to help assess candidates for pilot training in World War II.

The foundation for the test was its usefulness in accessing applicants’ suitability for various employment, training and career options. The WT evolved over the years, and was refined to meet changes in society, testing requirements and the business world.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that Wonderlic gained popularity for its use in the sporting community. It was then that the Dallas Cowboys began using the test to predict player performance – a move that led to Wonderlic’s inclusion in the Madden NFL video game.

Over the years, Eldon Wonderlic’s decendents have continued to revise the test, until there are several different forms of the test in wide use today.

What Does Wonderlic Do?

The WT works by measuring aptitude through responses to a series of open-response questions. Today’s standard Wonderlic, the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test, takes about 12 minutes to address 50 questions. Speed is key!

You’ll be asked things like determining word problems, finding out which words don’t fit in a series of options, and interpreting math (algebra) and geometry equations and questions.

In general, Wonderlic measures:

  • Cognitive Ability
  • Personality
  • Behavioural Reliability
  • Skills

How Does the Wonderlic Test Compare With Traditional IQ Tests?

In many ways Wonderlic is not your everyday, run-of-the-mill IQ test.

It doesn’t use the traditional IQ test score, with 100 as an average score. Still, since it was first developed in the 1930s it has become an increasingly popular way of measuring cognitive abilities and aptitudes.

Typically, Wonderlic assessments are designed to measure your abilities with language and numbers, as well as your special perceptions.

You can learn more about the traditional IQ test scale here.

What Kind Of A Wonderlic Test Should I Take?

Just itching to put your skills to the test? You can check out a pretty thorough Wonderlic sample test here.

Today, there are more than 30 Wonderlic quizzes and surveys in wide use. From measuring writing abilities, personalities and business skills to analyzing an individual’s entrepreneurial prospects, Wonderlic provides a comprehensive array of testing solutions.

This website focuses on all things Wonderlic — it includes a variety of tests, including some focused on pre-employment testing. The best news? There’s a free, seven-day trial that you might want to check out. Learn more here.

What’s Different about the Wonderlic Test?

When it comes to measuring intelligence, the Wonderlic tests don’t use the same scales that most IQ tests use. With most IQ measurement tools, a score of 100 indicates a normal IQ. Instead, with Wonderlic average intelligence typically receives a score of 20. If you are literate, you can expect to score at least 10.

Generally, converting a Wonderlic score to a traditional IQ test score uses the following equation – doubling the Wonderlic score and adding 60 points.

Where Can I Take The Wonderlic Test?

There are a wide range of WTs that are being used in counseling offices, career assessment centres and the like. For a quick, easy and free version, visit the ESPN website. They have an abbreviated version of the Wonderlic that will take just five minutes.

Here’s a link to another Wonderlic sample test that you can take right online.

The Wonderlic website also offers paid versions of their various tests that provide more comprehensive (and credible) results.