Facts and Figures Study Guide for the Wonderlic Personnel Test

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General Information

You encounter numerous little facts in your everyday life—things that you don’t even think about much. You probably know how to express the month of August using the number 8 because August is the eighth month of the year. You also know that July 8, 2011, comes after September 12, 2004, and that 2, 4, 6, 8, will be followed in order by the number 10. You can see the pattern. The Facts and Figures questions on the Wonderlic® test just require these types of competence, plus ordering numbers (including decimals) and reading simple graphs.

Here is an explanation of the six types of Facts and Figures questions that are on the test. On the real test, these questions will be mixed in with the three other types: Logic, Verbal, and Math. As Facts and Figures questions are some of the easiest test questions, you’ll probably want to try answering all questions under this type the moment you see them. But be careful. It is also very easy to get caught up in the simplicity of this type of question and forget to look for details to determine the correct answer.

Be sure to read all of this information about this question type and try our practice questions and flashcards, as well as any Wonderlic® practice tests you can get your hands on before the actual testing time.

Month Questions

These questions are just a matter of simple memorization—and being careful. You know that there are 12 months of the year and that each one is assigned a number. You may use this when writing a check or signing and dating a form. For example, July 21, 2017 would be written 7/21/17, with the first 7 standing for July. Just be sure you know the correct number for each month, as follows:

1 = January
2 = February
3 = March
4 = April
5 = May
6 = June
7 = July
8 = August
9 = September
10 = October
11 = November
12 = December

Questions may be in this format: “The third month of the year is ____. And, of course, the correct answer would be March.

Date Questions

Wonderlic® questions about dates will begin with a question about which is the earliest or latest date in a list of five. You may be tempted to just glance at the month in each and pick one, but that can be tricky. Consider this example:

Which of these dates is the latest?

\[\text{March} \,5, 1971 \quad \quad \text{August} \,2, 1971\quad \quad \text{December} \,12, 1970 \quad \quad \text{May}\, 20, 1971\quad \quad \text{June} \,14, 1971\]

At first glance, the December date would seem to be the latest, since December is the last month of the year. However, check out the year—this is the only date in 1970, which is the year before all the others.

Think about the process you would use to figure out if your friend is older than you are. If her birthdate is September 28, 1980, and yours is October 15, 1977, where would you look first? The month, the date? You would obviously choose the year. These questions are no different, except that you are comparing five dates.

The best way to approach them is to consider the year first and rule out any that don’t fit by year. Then look at the month, doing the same type of elimination. Finally, consider the date, and you should have your answer quickly.

Also, make sure to note whether the question is asking for the earliest or latest date. This makes a huge difference in the answer you seek.

Finding Duplicates Questions

These questions require a careful eye, but can be completed quickly and correctly with a little bit of focus. The question will ask you to tell how many of five pairs of words (or numbers) are exact duplicates. The key word here is exact. That means with absolutely no differences—in capitalization, punctuation, spelling… anything!

Here is an example: (Remember, all you’re doing is counting how many pairs are duplicates. It is helpful to make a mark on your scratch paper for each duplicate you find, as you find it, in order to keep track and save time.)

\[\begin{array}{ll} \text{T.J. Sanders} & \text{TJ Sanders} \\ \text{State Bd.} & \text{State Bd.} \\ \text{Cyrus, L.} & \text{Cyrus, I.} \\ \text{Tunes III} & \text{Tunes II} \\ \text{Jermayne T.} & \text{Jermayne T.} \\ \end{array}\]

For this question, there are only two correct answers because just State Bd./State Bd. and Jermayne T./Jermayne T. are exactly the same. This means that you would mark the answer choice 2, if given the choices of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The others have minor differences in punctuation, capitalization, or spelling. Be sure to match every letter and punctuation mark, but do it quickly.

Questions with numbers to match may look like this:

\[\begin{array}{ll} \text{268147} & \text{268147} \\ \text{698.341} & \text{6983.41} \\ \text{073892} & \text{078392} \\ \text{665486 } & \text{665489} \\ \text{113564 } & \text{113,564} \\ \end{array}\]

Did you spot the only exact duplicate? It’s 268147.

Missing Numbers Questions

It may seem odd for us to encourage social media use as part of test preparation, but there are a number of questions like these online. You know, those questions that ask you to figure out what number goes in the next blank? Take this one, for instance:

What number is next?

2, 6, 18, 54, ____

The first step in solving this is to determine how you got from the first number to the second. It’s usually a matter of either adding or multiplying, but sometimes subtracting or dividing. A quick way to get you on the right track is to note which way the numbers are moving. Are they increasing in size or decreasing? If the number pattern is growing larger, you should look for patterns that involve addition or multiplication. If the number pattern is decreasing, it likely involves subtraction or division. Whatever operation it is, you will do exactly the same thing to each succeeding number to find the next number in the series.

In the example above, the numbers are increasing in size, so you should look to addition or multiplication to solve: 2 + 4 = 6 and 2 x 3 = 6.

To know which one to use, check out which one works to get from the second number to the third. If you add 4 to 6, you get 10, so that’s not right. But, multiplying by 3 does give you the next number in the given pattern, 18, so that is the operation to use. And 54 x 3 = 162, so that is the answer.

Here is another example:

729, 243, 81, 27, ____

At first glance, these large numbers might make you nervous—but don’t fear! You know you’re dealing with either subtraction or division since the numbers are decreasing in size. Let’s try subtraction first:

\[729 - 243 = 486\]

so you’d need to subtract 486 each time. Doing this would quickly make things negative:

\[243-486 =-243\]

We can definitely rule out subtraction here. So onward toward division! Looking at the relationship between 729 and 243, try to guess what number would make sense to use as the divisor. You likely don’t know what 729 divided by 2 or 3 is off the top of your head, but you probably do know what 700 divided by 2 is: 350. Since 729 is in the ballpark of 700, you can safely assume dividing by 2 would give you a second pattern number somewhere in the 300 range and not the 243 we’re looking for. What if we divide by 3?

\[729\div3 = 243\]

Does that work for our pattern? Yes! Now, what if we divide 243 by 3? The answer is 81, the next number in our pattern. To solve the problem, you just need to divide 27 by 3, so our missing number is 9.


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