The Wonderlic Test is a famous cognitive abilities test used by many colleges and universities as well as employers, including the NFL. If you’ve ever taken a Wonderlic Test for work or as part of your education, you may not fully understand the implications of your score. While many people simply want to know what is a good Wonderlic score, others likely came here to learn about which professions have the lowest Wonderlic scores and which have the highest Wonderlic scores. Others may be solely concerned with NFL Wonderlic scores and finding out which players have had the best and worst Wonderlic scores from the annual NFL Combine. If you fall into any of the categories above, you’ll be happy to know that all of the answers can be found below.

What is on the Wonderlic Test?

The Wonderlic Test’s 50 questions are all multiple choice and consist of a variety of question types which include:

  • Word problems. These are math problems that require the test taker to perform arithmetic or algebra within the context of a short sentence or two.
  • Verbal Reasoning. These questions test for language skills with questions including synonyms, antonyms, and analogies.
  • Logic questions. These questions offer short questions that require the test taker to use their logic skills.
  • Identification of basic facts. These questions require users to quickly make decisions on things like which items in a list or identical or which date in a series is the latest in a year.

Not to be confused with an IQ test, the Wonderlic is designed to test more basic, everyday cognitive function. IQ tests have a wide range of potential questions and ways of measuring the intelligence of an individual. Some IQ tests have begun to incorporate different types of learning and expression to make the test a better representation of a person’s overall intelligence without any bias shown towards their background or culture. The Wonderlic is more concerned with assessing an individual’s ability to learn, reason, and perform basic work tasks.

Score Range for the Wonderlic

One correct answer on the Wonderlic Test is worth one point. For every correct answer within the 12-minute test, the participant earns one point. So, 50 correct answers would be the highest score possible, a 50. No correct answers or no answers completed would be the lowest score possible, a zero. The average Wonderlic score is 20 to 21, with a median score of 20. Roughly 70 percent of people who take the test score between 14 and 29. Many people are curious as to what a high score on the Wonderlic constitutes, and mathematically you could say that 35 would be that cutoff point, as a score of 35 or better would be in the 98th percentile or above. A low score on the Wonderlic would likely start at a score of 11, as that is in the bottom ten percent of scores. To reach the 99th percentile, you would need to score a 37 or better. The Wonderlic score distribution curve can be seen below.

Wonderlic Score Percentiles

Average Wonderlic Score by Profession

With many employers requiring applicants to take the Wonderlic Personnel Test or one of its more modern variants, there is a solid base of data that allows us to look at the average scores of people in certain professions. Highly-skilled positions such as systems analysts and chemists have average Wonderlic scores above 30. Other professions that require fewer skills may have Wonderlic scores that are significantly lower. Here’s a quick list of some professions and their associated average Wonderlic scores.

Career Average Wonderlic Score

Accountant

28
Bank teller 22
Cashier 21
Chemist 31
Clerical Worker 21
Copywriter 27
Craftsman 18
Dispatcher 23
Drafter 23
Electrical Engineer 30
Electrician 23
Electronics Technician 26
Engineer 29
Executive 28
Firefighter 21
Investment Analyst 27
Janitor 14
Librarian 27
Machinist 21
Nurse 23
Programmer 29
Receptionist 21
Reporter 28
Salesperson 25
Secretary 24
Security guard 17
Systems Analyst 32
Teacher 28
Train conductor 21
Warehouseman 15
Welder 17

NFL Wonderlic Scores – the Best and Worst

The NFL draft and the NFL Scouting Combine are the reasons many people first become aware of the Wonderlic Test. Some NFL players become better known than they may have through only their exploits on the field due to their scores. Famous scores from the NFL’s pre-draft Wonderlic test include the likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mike Mamula, and Frank Gore. While these scores make for excellent news fodder in the offseason, it’s important to note that the correlation between the intelligence test scores and on-field performance are a matter of great debate.

Player

Score

Pat McInally 50
Mike Mamula 49
Ryan Fitzpatrick 48
Greg McElroy 48
Benjamin Watson 48
Carson Wentz 40
Eli Manning 39
Matthew Stafford 38
Colin Kaepernick 38
Andrew Luck 37
Joey Bosa 37
Jared Goff 36
Aaron Rodgers 35
Tom Brady 33
Jesse Palmer 32
Ezekiel Elliott 32
Myles Garrett 31
JJ Watt 31
John Elway 29
Drew Brees 28
Peyton Manning 28
Baker Mayfield 25
Le’Veon Bell 17
Dan Marino 16
Jim Kelly 15
Terry Bradshaw 15
Julio Jones 15
Randy Moss 12
Todd Gurley 12
Jeff George 10
Sebastian Janikowski 9
Frank Gore 6
Morris Claiborne 4

How to Pass the Wonderlic

The best way to excel at the Wonderlic is to take it seriously and prepare yourself for it like you would any other important academic or job certification test. Clearly, there are a number of available resources to prepare oneself for the Wonderlic Test, including the free, timed tests on this site.

One of the biggest issues regular people and NFL players deal with when taking the test is the compressed time frame. To complete every question, and maximize your chance for success, you’ll need to average more than four completed questions per minute. So getting used to the timing of the test and learning when to make an educated guess and move on to the next question are critical for scoring well. It’s better to get one question wrong and three more correct than spending an extra 45 seconds solving a single question and leaving three unanswered.

If you’re aiming to gain acceptance to an academic program or attempting to get a job that requires you to take the Wonderlic Test, be sure to inquire about the required minimum score. Once you have a target, you can practice as much as necessary until you feel comfortable beating the minimum score with regularity. If there are certain types of questions you struggle with, look up online programs in those areas to brush up on your skills. Many adults haven’t been required to perform basic math or algebra without a calculator or spreadsheet in years, so a few lessons in those areas might be helpful if you find yourself moving slowly through those questions. Keep in mind, there’s no calculator allowed when taking the Wonderlic Test.

Beyond the academic side of preparation, make sure your body and mind are prepared for the exam. This process involves getting an adequate amount of sleep and eating and drinking prior to the test so you’re not tired or distracted. Other seemingly insignificant things to consider include wearing comfortable clothing and getting to the testing location early. If your academic or professional career are depending on the outcome, you should consider each of these things carefully to make sure you’re completely prepared mentally and physically for those 12 minutes you’ll be taking the test. Beyond these items, there is little else you can do to prepare. The Wonderlic is meant to test skills and intelligence rather than the ability to absorb and regurgitate specific information or apply learned concepts.