Candidate Handbook

Description of the Wonderlic Personnel Test

The Wonderlic Personnel Test is a short form test of general cognitive ability and has been used worldwide since 1937. Cognitive ability is often referred to as general intelligence and is used to describe the level at which an individual learns, understands instructions and solves problems.

The Wonderlic Personnel Test contains 50 questions that increase in difficulty and must be completed within 12 minutes. It contains various types of questions that must be completed without the aid of a calculator or other problem-solving device. The questions include word comparisons, disarranged sentences, sentence parallelism, following directions, number comparisons, number series, analysis of geometric figures and story problems requiring either mathematics or logic solutions.

Candidate information

Before the test

  • Ensure you are aware of the exact location, date, and time of your test session.
  • Review the sample question(s), if applicable, to familiarize yourself with the test structure.
  • If you have a disability that could affect your test performance, you must inform the responsible resourcing advisor, as soon as possible, so that appropriate accommodations can be made.

On the day of the test

  • If you do not feel well on the day of the test and you think that this will impact on your test results, you must inform the contact on your letter of invitation as soon as possible.
  • Arrive in advance so that you do not feel rushed or overly stressed. You will not be admitted to the room once the test has begun.
  • Bring at least one photo identification card and your Personal Record Identifier (PRI) if you are a public servant.
  • Do not bring smart phones, cell phones, USB keys, PDAs, digital cameras or any other electronic device into the testing room, they are not permitted. This will save you the trouble of checking them in with the test administrator.

When taking tests in general

  • Read the instructions thoroughly and completely before you begin.
  • Organize your time, work quickly, and use all the time available.
  • If you finish the test before time is up, review your answers.
  • For handwritten tests, write neatly so you don't lose points for answers which the scorer cannot read.

When taking multiple-choice tests

  • Read the whole question before answering it. Eliminate answers that you know are wrong. By reducing the number of choices, you increase your chance of selecting the correct answer.
  • Don't spend too much time on a question that you find too difficult. Leave it and return to it if you have time at the end.
  • If completing answer sheets, use only HB pencils that have been provided. Any answers recorded in ink will be scored as incorrect.
  • Ensure that the question number on your answer sheet matches the question number you are answering

After the test

"The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information relating to testing or auditing procedures or techniques or details of specific tests to be given or audits to be conducted if the disclosure would prejudice the use or results of particular tests or audits."

Failure to comply with this regulation and/or engaging in a fraudulent practice will result in disciplinary action.
  • Do not discuss or share the content of a standardized test. Also, you cannot view or obtain a copy of any standardized test material because they are protected by the Access to Information Act. Section 22 of this act stipulates that:

Additional information for candidates writing online tests

As a test-taker, you may be required to write a test on a computer instead of the traditional paper and pencil format.

Computer skills

Only two computer skills are necessary to write an online test. First, you will need to point your mouse's cursor in specific areas of your screen and click with your index finger. During your online testing session, you will need to use your mouse to mark your answers and, when necessary, to move "back" to a previous question and "next" to the following question. Second, you will use your mouse to point on the scroll bar to the right of the screen in order to move up or down on a page.


As with paper and pencil formats of tests, online tests are proctored, which means that test administrators (TA) are present to ensure that the session follows the CRA's administrative and security procedures. For example, the TA will begin with the general test session instructions and then the specific instructions for the test you are taking. TAs will follow all current procedures concerning late candidates, temporary absences from the testing room, withdrawal of candidates from a testing session, candidates requiring accommodations, cheating, disruptive candidates, disputes regarding test questions, emergencies and other situations.

Security and Privacy

Your name is assigned to an electronic version of a specific test. Your session will start with a login screen. You will receive two identification (ID) numbers at the testing session: the first number is your unique Test Taker ID and the other number, the Test Administrator ID. These measures are to ensure test security. The TA will take you through this simple process. Please note: for each online test that you are scheduled to take, you will be issued a unique Test Taker ID.

Timed tests

All CRA online tests are timed; the computer ensures fairness by controlling the duration of the session, from the exact moment each test-taker clicks "Start Your Test". A timer in the upper right corner of the screen will show exactly how much time is left. After the allocated time the computer will close your test. If you finish early, you can use the remaining time to review your answers.

How to respond to questions

Although this will vary from test to test, Figure 1 shows an example of a screen presenting a multiple-choice question. The main elements of this screen are the name of the test (in this case "Practice Test (D01A1E)"), the question number you are responding to, and the total number of questions in the test (in this case "Question 1 / 6"), the actual question and, in the case of a multiple-choice question, the options from which you can choose. Of course, more text can appear, depending upon the amount of text in the question and in the answer choices. Point your mouse's cursor and click the circle next to your answer choice. The upper left corner of the screen shows a "Mark for Review" box you can check to remind yourself to revisit any question later if you have time. Finally, in the bottom portion of the screen, "Back" and "Next" buttons will allow you to move back to the previous question or forward to the next question.

This information will be repeated immediately before the testing session and your test administrator will answer any questions.

How to review your answers

Two strategies are available. During the test, you can use the "Back" and "Next" buttons to navigate within your test. If, after answering all the questions, you have time left, you will see a screen that looks like the one shown in Figure 2. This is the review screen. In this hypothetical example, the upper right corner shows that you still have 3 minutes left to complete the test. The screen shows the answers you provided for all the questions. In this case, the PSC Practice test has 6 questions. For example, at question 1 you answered "4", at question 2 you answered "3", and so on. When "Marked" appears, like as with question 1, it means you checked the "Mark for Review" box for that question. Click on the circle next to the question number, then click on the "Edit" button. This will take you directly to the question. You can change your answer or leave it as is. Marking questions does not influence your score. If you are satisfied, you can click on "Submit". You will then be asked to confirm that you want to end your test. If you click on "Yes" your results will be uploaded and your session will be complete.


Rescore requests are not accepted for online tests. Managers are encouraged however to respond to candidates' concerns.

Figure 1
Example of a test screen showing a multiple-choice question
Firgure 2
Example of a Test review screen showing a list of marked questions

Retest Period

There is a 180-day waiting period before the test can be re-written. A person wishing to take this test again must wait until the retest period indicated for this test has elapsed. Should a person re-write the test before the retest period has elapsed, the new result will not be valid, and a new retest period will begin as of the most recent test date.

Sample Test Questions

  1. Look at the row of numbers below. What number should come next?
8 4 2 1 ½ ¼ ?
  1. Assume the first 2 statements are true. Is the final one?

    1. true
    2. false
    3. not certain?

    The boy plays baseball. All baseball players wear hats. The boy wears a hat.

  2. Paper sells for 21 cents per pad. What will 4 pads cost?
  3. How many of the five pairs of items listed below are exact duplicates?
Nieman, K.M Neiman, K.M
Thomas, G.K Thomas, C.K
Hoff, J.P. Hoff, J.P.
Pino, L.R. Pina, L.R.
Warner, T.S Wanner, T.S
  1. PRESENT PRESERVE -- Do these words

    1. Have similar meanings
    2. Have contradictory meanings
    3. Mean neither the same nor opposite?
  2. One of the numbered figures in the following drawing is most different from the others. What is the number in that figure?
numbered figures
  1. A train travels 20 feet in 1/5 second. At this same speed, how many feet will it travel in three seconds?
  2. When rope is selling at $.10 a foot, how many feet can you buy for sixty cents?
  3. The ninth month of the year is

    1. October
    2. January
    3. June
    4. September
    5. May
  4. Which number in the following group of numbers represents the smallest amount?
7 .8 31 .33 2
  1. In printing an article of 48,000 words, a printer decides to use two sizes of type. Using the larger type, a printed page contains 1,800 words. Using smaller type, a page contains 2,400 words. The article is allotted 21 full pages in a magazine. How many pages must be in smaller type?
  2. The hours of daylight and darkness in SEPTEMBER are nearest equal to the hours of daylight and darkness in:

    1. June
    2. March
    3. May
    4. November
  3. Three individuals form a partnership and agree to divide the profits equally. X invests $9,000, Y invests $7,000, Z invests $4,000. If the profits are $4,800, how much less does X receive than if the profits were divided in proportion to the amount invested?
  4. Assume the first two statements are true. Is the final one?

    1. true
    2. false
    3. not certain?

    Tom greeted Beth. Beth greeted Dawn. Tom did not greet Dawn.

  5. A boy is 17 years old and his sister is twice as old. When the boy is 23 years old, what will be the age of his sister?


  1. 1/8
  2. True
  3. $0.84
  4. 1
  5. 3
  6. 4
  7. 300 feet
  8. 6 feet
  9. september
  10. $0.33
  11. 17
  12. March
  13. $560.00
  14. Not certain
  15. 40 years old
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