Passing the Wonderlic Test – What Happens If You Don’t?

Nowadays, employers and hiring managers use different tools to gauge a potential hire’s suitability for a job, ranging from the traditional resume and cover letter to various pre-employment cognitive and […]

Image provided by Rachel Merashi

Nowadays, employers and hiring managers use different tools to gauge a potential hire’s suitability for a job, ranging from the traditional resume and cover letter to various pre-employment cognitive and ability tests.

The Wonderlic Test, specifically the Wonderlic Personnel Test, is one such exam. It’s designed to help companies evaluate applicants’ overall mental and cognitive abilities objectively, including their problem-solving skills and adaptability.

This exam allows companies to make quick decisions based on the available data regarding a candidate’s suitability for the position. That’s why passing this exam is essential.

However, what happens when you don’t pass this exam? Moreover, is there anything else you need to know about the Wonderlic entrance exam?

Find out more about it in this article.

An Overview of the Wonderlic Test

The Wonderlic Test comprises 50 questions, and you need to answer as many questions as you can in a given timeframe. Most employers typically provide around 12 minutes for every applicant to finish the exam.

There’s also a shorter version, the Wonderlic Personnel Test-Quicktest or WPT-Q, which employers sometimes ask applicants to take before the full version. This one has 30 questions instead of 50.

With that said, the full exam is divided into 4 different categories, each one designed to gauge different aspects of a candidate’s cognitive ability. These categories are as follows:

  • General Facts and Quick Recognition
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Logic Questions
  • Word Problems

Scoring well in each category is critical if you want to pass the exam and increase your chances of getting the job you’re applying for.

What Happens If You Don’t Pass?

When you’re administered this exam, you need to meet the average acceptable score established by the company you’re applying to. In most cases, companies choose to reject a candidate’s application if they fail the exam.

In fact, some companies end the interview once they see the applicant receives a low score. The good news is that some firms allow applicants to re-take the exam, but this is considered rare.

Getting a Good Score on the Wonderlic Test 

So, what constitutes a good score on the Wonderlic Test?

The exact passing score depends on the company’s standards, so it varies from business to business. In some cases, they have varying established scores for different positions.

For example, higher positions, like executives and managers, require a score of at least 29 or 58% to pass. However, this is the baseline, so you should aim for a higher score if you genuinely want to impress the hiring manager.

With that said, you should note that the general average score most applicants get on this exam is 21, which equals 42% of the exam. You should also know that approximately only 2 to 3% of those who take the exam finish it within the allotted 12 minutes.

How to Pass and Score High on the Wonderlic Test

Adequate preparation is critical if you want to pass the Wonderlic Test. However, this is often easier said than done. So, what can you do to increase your chances?

  • Adopt practical test-taking strategies. Doing so will allow you to approach the exam more efficiently and score as high as possible.
  • Take timed practice exams. These will prepare you for the short timeframe provided to answer all the questions and answer as many as you can.
  • Work on your weak points. Doing so will increase your chances of scoring higher since you’ll be able to answer more questions, including those you’re not as familiar with.


The Wonderlic Test gives employers a standardized and objective method of gauging an applicant’s suitability for a job and passing it can increase your chances of getting hired. That’s why it’s critical to familiarize yourself with and prepare adequately for it.

Screenshot 2022 02 09 at 9.56.35
Image provided by Rachel Merashi

Sponsored by Rachel Merashi



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