Wonderlic Basic Skills Test (WBST)

The Wonderlic Basic Skills test used to assess verbal and math skills of the test taker. Endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor as a predictor of basic skills knowledge, the exam is primarily used by companies to identify an individual’s ability to adapt, learn, and solve problems. The appeal for a company in utilizing this exam is that it can be administered quickly, and the results of the exam are immediately available. Training programs, colleges, and schools also use the Basic Skills Test to aid in the development of student learning plans.

Test design

The exam has two parts – verbal and math. The questions on the exam are basic and are exhibitive of the knowledge base of an average adult. Companies use the exam for screening and confirmation of primary skills purposes. The exam is presented in English and is delivered by computer or by paper examination.

The verbal section of the exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. The questions utilize short paragraphs, tables, diagrams, and vocabulary identification to present information. You have 20 minutes to complete this portion of the exam.

The verbal skills assessed include:

  • Locate, understand, and use of information in written form

Skills assessed include reading for information, drawing conclusions, and using various modes of written information to accomplish a task.

  • Determine word meanings through context

Your ability to recognize word meanings in context, determine the meaning of unfamiliar words through context, and use appropriate vocabulary to complete sentences is assessed.

  • Proper grammar and sentence construction

The questions in this area assess your ability to identify complete sentences, use correct subject-verb agreement, complete compound and complex sentences, and recognize errors in sentence formation.

The math section of the exam consists of 45 multiple-choice questions. The material covered includes simple math, word problems, fractions, and quantitative problems. Questions may include information presented in tables, short statements, graphs, or diagrams where you have to select the appropriate response using the information presented. You have 20 minutes to complete this portion of the exam.

The math skills assessed include:

  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division

You will use basic math to solve problems involving whole numbers, monetary units, and whole units of measure including units of time, length, distance, and weight in both English and Metric formats.

  • Computation and quantitative evaluation

Problems presented for solving require the proper use of whole numbers and monetary units, proper and improper fractions, mixed numbers, monetary and measure units, computation rates, and proportions and percentages. Your ability to evaluate and interpret line, bar or pie graphs is assessed.

  • Knowledge of algebra and geometry

Your basic knowledge of algebra and geometry is assessed in this area. Questions will ask you to solve for variables, identify lengths, angles, areas, volume, and determine the magnitude of solid geometric figures.

Registration, cost, and location

Unlike other assessments you have taken throughout your life, your testing appointment for the Wonderlic Basic Skills Test is arranged through your potential employer or the organization using the test for as an assessment tool in the hiring process. The employer will provide you with specific information on the test date and location. There is no cost to the test taker.

Test Day

Everything you need to complete the exam is provided. Calculators are not permitted. The exam is quick, so no breaks are allowed. The test is proctored and delivered by computer or on paper.

Exam scoring and results

Results are provided to the company or organization that arranged the exam. If you would like to know your results, you will have to ask your contact at the company or organization. One point is given for each correct answer, and incorrect or missing answers are not penalized. The maximum points possible for the verbal portion are 50 and 45 for the math portion. The company or organization determines the passing standards.

How Can I Prepare for the Wonderlic Test?

We believe that different learning styles require different tools for success. We have compiled a list of the best study guides, flashcards, and practice tests that we’ve found on the market. Some of these guides have review videos, for you visual learners out there. Others have practice tests, which have been proven to increase student scores by a whole letter grade (in some cases more than that)!

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Last Updated: July 31, 2019