Wonscore Test | Cognitive Ability, Personality, and Motivation Assessment
Many different companies use the Wonderlic Wonscore test as part of their hiring process for new candidates.
The test includes three sections that allow employers to test your cognitive ability, personality, and motivation. It helps make sure you are well-suited for a role at their company.
If you have been invited to take the Wonscore test, it is important you score well. You will likely be excluded automatically from the screening process if you don’t pass. But although this sounds stressful, don’t worry. If you prepare well, there is no reason you can’t pass the Wonscore assessment with flying colors and land your next role.
Here’s what you should know about the Wonscore test, as well as top tips on how to prepare and pass.
Table of Contents
What is the Wonscore Test?
The Wonscore Test helps find the best candidates for a particular job position. It helps companies identify top-performing candidates and streamlines the hiring process, particularly when competition is high.
The test itself comprises three individual exams:
- The Wonderlic Personnel Test
- The Wonderlic Motivation Potential Assessment
- The Wonderlic Personal Characteristics Inventory
These exams test cognitive ability, motivation, and personality. A single score is given to candidates based on their performance in each of the tests collectively.
What is on the Wonscore Test?
The Wonscore pre-employment test includes three different tests.
1. Cognitive Ability Test
Many companies utilize the Wonderlic cognitive ability assessment during the hiring process. Studies have shown that using this test before employment can reduce staff turnover, increase staff retention, reduce the intensity and length of training programs and improve overall performance.
In simple terms, cognitive ability is the ability of a candidate to learn, solve problems and understand instruction. It is the single best predictor of job performance generally and gives the employer an understanding of whether the future employee can do the job.
Mental capacity can indicate your ability to:
- Learn from experience
- Problem solve
- Use abstract thinking
- Understand complex ideas
The cognitive ability test is deemed more reliable than resumes and cover letters — even face-to-face interviews — due to the objectivity of its nature. It can also help employers tailor future training needs based on the experiences of new candidates.
A person with a perfect resume may not be the perfect candidate for the job. Similarly, a less-than-perfect resume or nervous interview can conceal the skills of an ideal candidate.
Wonderlic is one of the founding testing formats for cognitive ability and has been a leader in its field for over 80 years.
The Cognitive Ability Test format
The test consists of 50 questions to answer within 12 minutes. Your best chance of success in the test is adequate preparation and familiarization with test formats and question types. Job Test Prep can provide you with the resources and sample test materials to make you well-practiced.
The questions will include challenges that relate to simple math, basic logic, spatial reasoning, and pattern identification as well as language comprehension. The questions will become increasingly difficult as the test progresses.
It is not expected that you will complete all of the question answers within the time frame. Therefore it is even more important to make sure that you answer efficiently and accurately.
The Cognitive Ability Test Scoring
The scoring algorithm weights each question based on its difficulty level and the possibility of guessing correctly. You will be scored according to your overall response pattern instead of a score based simply on your number of correct answers. This further confirms the need to be both familiar and well-practiced concerning the test and question formats.
Due to the very varied knowledge, skills, and ability requirements of each individual job, the cognitive assessment will be weighted against the personality and motivation assessment scores according to the requirements of your chosen position.
For example, a senior engineering role requiring high-level problem-solving skills may require a higher cognitive ability score than an entry-level customer service position that requires drive and good ‘people skills.’ This flexible approach to scoring allows hiring managers to get tailored insights for a particular job profile.
2. Motivation Test
Motivation is key to career engagement and retention within that career. A job that holds an employee’s attention or fuels their passions and interests will greatly reduce low job performance and staff turnover.
The motivation section of the Wonscore test identifies the interests of candidates and assesses the seven drivers that encourage motivated employees. These are:
- Doer – Do they have confidence in their abilities?
- Rewards – Do they believe in rewards for good performance?
- Inspired – Do they believe that the work they do has meaning?
- Values – Do their own personal values match those of their employer/organization?
- Enjoyment – Do they enjoy what they do?
- Relationships – How do they engage and get on with fellow colleagues?
- Stay – Are they likely to be loyal to their employer/organization?
The motivation assessment gives employers valuable information about what motivates future employees and what they need in order to succeed. In combination with the cognitive ability assessment, this assessment can provide insight into who is not only capable of doing the job but also who actually wants to do it.
The Wonscore motivation assessment itself is based on the RIASEC model. This measures a candidate’s performance across six job characteristics in order to ascertain how well they are suited to their chosen role.
- Realistic – work that is classified as ‘hands-on’ or physically demanding
- Investigative – roles that are intellectual or scientific
- Artistic – for roles that are creative, imaginative, or expressive
- Social – roles that provide care, service to others, or teaching
- Enterprising – roles that include revenue generation, bottom lines, and persuasion
- Conventional – roles that are predictable, repetitive, and structured
The Motivation Test Format
The test is administered within a twenty-minute time frame, and there are 58 forced-choice questions. You will be given three descriptions of a common work task and asked to identify which one you would most prefer to do. The options given may not be particularly relevant to the position for which you are applying but are designed to really evaluate a candidate’s preferences for particular tasks.
The model characteristics that the candidate demonstrates can then be ranked according to their importance to a particular job.
For example, highly analytical positions such as an Operations Manager may require high levels of Realistic, Conventional, and Investigative characteristics, whilst a position such as Music Teacher will require a higher weighting of characteristics in the Artistic, Enterprising and Social categories.
Hiring candidates who are well-suited to their chosen role and also enjoy what they do, means they are less likely to move jobs frequently. They are likely to be more productive and engaged in their chosen career and demonstrate higher commitment levels. This can greatly reduce company financial losses that are often incurred when unsuitable employees are hired.
3. Personality Assessment
Sometimes, the most important part of hiring the perfect candidate for a role can be the ability of that individual to ‘fit’ into the company culture. Being able to co-operate and work well with fellow colleagues can be crucial for work harmony and productivity. Cognitive ability and motivation may not be enough if an individual simply cannot get along with their peers. Loyalty to the organization is also likely to be improved if harmonious team working exists.
The Personality Test Format
The personality test consists of 105 questions and is based on the Big 5 personality model, which comprises:
The Personality Test Scoring
Understanding a candidate’s reliability and temperament can be invaluable to an employer. It will give them insight into how a person will likely behave in their new role and how suited they are.
Capability to do a job does not necessarily equate to success in that job. Personality combined with cognitive ability gives employers a much better evaluation of predicted on-the-job behaviors.
Personality remains relatively stable throughout a person’s life and can therefore be a good indicator of strengths and weaknesses and of future responses to certain situations. As with the other components of the Wonscore test, personality scores will be weighted according to the requirements of the chosen role.
For example, a complex position may have higher weighting for cognitive ability than personality. However, studies have shown that higher scores in personality tests correlate positively to job performance regardless of the position. Personality traits such as dependability and stress tolerance have been proven to be reliable predictors of performance across a diverse range of job roles.
It is perhaps no surprise that employees who operate in roles that are closely matched to their individual strengths and talents will be better engaged, more productive, and more likely to stay in their role for increased time periods.
How can I prepare for my Wonscore Test?
Preparation and practice are your best chances of success in the Wonscore test. Knowing the format of the questions and practicing under timed exam conditions will allow you to approach the test with confidence.
Making sure that you are not distracted and operating as you would in a professional situation will ensure that you provide the best representation of yourself to your future employer.
Head to Job Test Prep for practice guides, example questions, and practice tests for the Wonscore Test. They have tailored materials for each test, and you can even try a practice test for free.
You will not be penalized for wrong answers, so you will be able to make a best guess before moving on to the next question. It is important to be authentic in your answers, especially when it comes to the motivation and personality tests. Cheating the test is not likely to do anything other than leave you at a disadvantage.
Making sure that you achieve your very best score is the only way to ensure that you are ranked above your fellow competitors. It is important that employers have a good insight as to whether you are a great fit for their organization.
But it is also just as important to make sure that they are a good fit for you too if you are to be productive and fulfilled in your chosen career.
Practice makes perfect, as they say, and Job Test Prep is committed to providing you with the very best resources and test materials to help you ace the test and secure your dream job!
Written by Karen Stanley
Karen is a former teacher of 20 years and ten times published author. She writes content for educational organisations and businesses, nationally and internationally. She coaches new and budding writers through to publication and is passionate about creativity; she runs creative writing workshops in schools and fostering agencies.
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.