Scholastic Level Exam: All You Need to Know

The Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam (SLE) is the academic version of the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test, and it is used to predict future academic or career success. For this reason, it is often utilized as an entrance exam for various schools, job fields, and academic programs.

Here we’ll explore everything you need to know about the Scholastic Level Exam: format, question types, how to prepare, and more.

Scholastic Level Exam Basics

The Scholastic Level Exam consists of 50 questions with a 12 minute time limit. Only about 2-5% of test participants complete all 50 questions within the time limit, so the test does not need to be fully completed in order to perform well.

The shortest IQ test in the world!

The test is available online in English or in paper-pencil form in English, Spanish, and Russian. It can be administered individually or in a group setting by a trained proctor.

The SLE begins with easier questions and gets progressively more challenging. Scoring is based on the number of questions answered correctly within the allotted time frame, with no points deducted for missed or unanswered questions.

Scholastic Level Exam History

The SLE was created in 1936 by applied psychologist Eldon F. Wonderlic, who is known for designing the shortest possible test to measure cognitive abilities.

The test was the first short-form ability test and is one of the most widely used and well-known cognitive ability tests around the world.

The SLE has been used by a wide variety of organizations and institutions. During WWII, the SLE was used to select candidates for pilot training and navigation. It is still used by the National Football League to screen athletes hoping to play professional football.

Scholastic Level Exam Question Types

The SLE is designed to measure cognitive abilities that are strongly correlated with academic success, such as the ability to follow directions, understand information, think logically, and solve problems.

In order for the SLE to accurately measure a test-taker’s cognitive ability, a sixth grade reading level is required. Test-takers will also need basic math skills and an understanding of the monetary system, as well as weight and measurements.

Question types include the following:

  • Word Comparisons: When given a pair of words, determine if they have the same, opposite, or neither same nor opposite meanings.

  • Antonyms: Determine which word is the opposite of a provided word.

  • Analogies: You will be asked classic analogy questions following the format A is to B as C is to __. To solve these questions, you must determine the relationship between the first pair of words (A and B), and then select the word that forms the same relationship with the third provided word (C).

  • General Knowledge & Quick Recognition: There are a variety of general knowledge questions on the test. These include questions about months in the year, dates, and times. For example, you may be asked which month is the tenth month of the year, or which date from a provided list is the earliest.

  • Shape Analysis: These questions ask you to interpret and analyze various shapes and objects. For example, you may have to determine how a shape or object will look when rotated or folded.

  • Graphs: You will be asked questions related to interpreting line graphs, bar graphs and data sets, including which of the provided graphs most accurately represents a given data set.

  • Number Comparisons: You will be provided with a set of fractions or decimals and asked questions about which is least, most, etc.

  • Simple Math: The SLE asks basic mathematical questions and word problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

  • Disarranged Sentences: You will be provided with a scrambled sentence, and you must rearrange the words to create a logical, complete sentence.

  • Number Sequences: You will be given a sequence of numbers and asked to provide the next number in the series.

  • Logic/Syllogisms: You will be asked to draw a logical conclusion based on provided information.
  • In order to perform successfully on the SLE, you will need to answer these questions as quickly and accurately as possible.

    Scholastic Level Exam Scores

    Different programs and schools have different minimum cut scores for the SLE depending on normative data. As stated above, scores are based on the number of correctly answered questions within the 12 minute time frame. Scores range from 0 to 50.

    If you take the SLE online, your score will be immediately available upon completion. If you take a paper-pencil version of the test, the wait time for scores varies.

    The SLE score report features a green, yellow, or red box indicating performance as compared to the school or program’s established cut score. It also includes a normative curve with an arrow pointing to the test-taker’s location on the curve.

    How to Prepare for the Scholastic Level Exam

    The best way to prepare for a test like the Scholastic Level Exam is by practicing the question types. Build familiarity, confidence, and speed with test content by consistently practicing the types of questions you will encounter on the test.

    Practice will pay off on exam day!

    When you miss a question, spend some time analyzing where you went wrong and trying to understand the correct answer. Think about how you can approach this type of question differently in the future.

    When you answer a question correctly, take a minute to reflect on how you solved it so that you remember to implement the same strategy and reasoning in the future.

    Initially, you can answer the questions without time constraints as you become accustomed to the question types. Later, begin timing yourself to improve your speed for the test.

    Keep in mind that no matter how quickly you answer questions, it will not help you if your answers are inaccurate. Do not work too rapidly if it means compromising accuracy.

    Once you become more comfortable with the question types, we highly recommend taking at least one or two full-length practice tests. This will help you become more familiar with the test format and conditions.

    Score your test by counting up the number of correctly answered questions. If it is below the score you are aiming for, pay attention to which question types you missed, and focus on those moving forward.

    By following these tips, you are likely to perform successfully on the Scholastic Level Exam and gain entry to the school, organization, or career of your choice!