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

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

  • 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 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)!

Top Study Guides:

Best Flashcards:

Other Helpful Resources:


Last Updated: November 9, 2023