How to Ace the Wonderlic College Entrance Exam

By eLearning Inside
October 01, 2020

Securing your college admission can be a trying experience. In a sense, it provides a preview of the professional world. The admissions process already has a lot of requirements just for your application to be even considered, like having a certain GPA or amount of extra-curricular activities. And to make things worse, you will also have to take a college entrance exam of sorts. It is very likely that the one that you have to overcome is the Wonderlic College Entrance Exam.

Also known as the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam (SLE), this cognitive and psychometric test is used all over the U.S. not only for the admissions process of colleges, universities, and nursing schools but also numerous companies, the military, and even the NFL.

This means that you can be sure that this isn’t just some test that you should underestimate.

The Wonderlic College Entrance Exam

So, if you really want to have a clear shot at a good education, an alumnus to back you up at graduation, and even a career filled with opportunities, you need to ace the Wonderlic test the first time around and meet the threshold score of the college that you are aiming to join.

Study for four specific areas: Numerical, Verbal, Logical, and Data Interpretation

The first step in overcoming the Wonderlic College Entrance exam is to know and understand its contents and format.

For those who are not familiar with it, most versions of the Wonderlic assessments follow a singular format: answer 50 questions in 12 minutes.

a blank piece of paper over a brown background
Kelly Sikkeman, Unsplash.

These questions are separated into four major subjects with their own sub-sections in order to determine the test-taker’s cognitive skills as holistically as possible without having to make them study some hyper-specific topic from sophomore year.

Instead, the Wonderlic includes general questions on:

Verbal reasoning – where the questions will be centered on grammar, spelling, word usage, word order, vocabulary, analogies, and synonym/antonym topics.

Numerical reasoning – where the questions are on basic operations, percentages, ratio, missing numbers, word problems, and some algebraic operations.

Logical and Deductive reasoning – where you will have to answer questions on logical statements and make a correct conclusion or assumption, 3D cubes, spatial reasoning, and sequence analysis.

Data Interpretation – where you will be given a number of graphs and statistical data sheets and will have to answer questions regarding the information that you can see or assume from them.

Learn to Pick your Battles

If there’s something that can make a test-taker fail the Wonderlic College Entrance Exam 100% of the time, it would be the act of them trying to give every question the same value when, in reality, some of them are not worth your time.

And that is something that you have to treat in the literal sense.

To put this into perspective, if you want to answer all 50 questions of the Wonderlic test within the 12 minute time limit, then you must be able to ONLY spend around 14 seconds or less PER question.

Anything beyond that and you risk running out of time for the other questions.

Lastly, however, the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam, and even the professional version of it, is designed to specifically include a number of questions that veteran test-takers and course developers call ‘time traps’.

These questions have no other purpose in the Wonderlic exam but to make unprepared test-takers lose whatever precious time they have left even though these questions are worth only 1 point, the same as everything else in the test.

This means that it is actually economical for you to skip or ignore these questions so that you can use the precious seconds, or even minutes, on ten easy questions from the other parts of the exam compared to wasting it on a single time trap question.

Unsure? Pick an Option, any Option

Well, not exactly -ANY- option.

When it comes to answering questions in the Wonderlic SLE, it is very likely that you will encounter a question that you will have trouble with, not just on time traps.

A filled college sports arena.
Emma Dau, Unsplash.

Perhaps math isn’t your forte and you have trouble calculating the correct answer, or maybe English is your second language and you’re still not too familiar with its rules and usage.

Whether it’s a time trap or not, it is still not advisable to take too long on a single question because there are other items in the test that you are likely to secure a point on.

As a result, it is advisable, encouraged even, to make an ‘educated guess’ on questions that you are having trouble with. This will allow you still have a chance at getting a point while also being able to answer everything else in the exam.

Last But Not Least: Practice as Much as You Can!

Now that you know what is expected in the Wonderlic College Entrance Exam, then all that’s left is to do everything you can to familiarize yourself with it by practicing as much as you can so that by the time you have to take the actual exam, you are already gearing up for success with your preferred alma mater.

There are a number of ways that you can go about this such as looking through your textbooks and pooling as many Wonderlic-like questions as you can before trying to answer as many of them within 12 minutes.

Try to answer as many as you could in 12 minutes or by making good use of Wonderlic College Entrance Exam practice tests that can be found online.

These resources are made to specifically contain questions that mimic what is expected in the actual Wonderlic SLE, allowing test takers to prepare more efficiently as they’ll have firsthand experience on the test all the while getting themselves acclimated to the live and timed testing environment.

Featured Image: Stanley Morales, Pexels.


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