The World’s Shortest IQ Test Has Just 3 Questions, But Almost No One Can Get Them All Right, Can You?

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An IQ test, also known as an intelligence quotient number represents a person’s reasoning ability. It’s a recognized assessment that measures a range of cognitive abilities and provides a score that is intended to serve as a measure of an individual’s intellectual abilities and potential. IQ results are determined by dividing a person’s score on a special test by his or her age, then multiplying by 100.

IQ tests are commonly used as a part of psychological tests. This one is a short quick one that most people are struggling with. Some can get one or two, but rare are the ones who can get all three. Will you be the exception?

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The Cognitive Reflection Test

A ball of energy with electricity beaming all over the place.

Hal Gatewood / Unsplash

Hal Gatewood / Unsplash

The Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT), which is the test you’re about to take, is designed to measure a person’s tendency to override an incorrect “gut” response and instead take the time to reflect and think of the right person. While we usually encourage you to trust your intuition, sometimes things just aren’t what they seem, and you have to dig a little deeper.

This test is also known as the world’s shortest IQ test because it consists of just three questions. It was was first described in 2005 by psychologist Shane Frederick to measure IQ or cognitive abilities. It assesses how well you can identify a simple problem that looks harder than it actually is. The faster you can answer the questions, the more intelligent you likely are.

Question 1

bat and a balls and helmet layed on baseball field

Pixabay / Pexels

Pixabay / Pexels

“A bat and a ball cost £1.10 in total. The bat costs £1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?”

When you go to answer this question, keep in mind that CRT research has found that while some start with the right answer, many can’t solve the test even when they take time to reflect on their intuitive first answer. The key is in finding a balance between intuition and knowledge. Another clue we’ll leave you with is that in reality, a genuine IQ test doesn’t have proper maths in it as the goal is to assess logic, pattern recognition, and speed of thought, not learned knowledge.

Question 2

the mechanisms of a machine

Mike Hindle / Unsplash

Mike Hindle / Unsplash

“If it takes five machines five minutes to make five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?”

For this question, try to not get too caught up in the wording as it’s meant to trick you. Before you jump to a conclusion, read the question over again, and you’ll find that the answer is meant to be easier than it seems. The way that you go about answering this question can reveal information about your cognitive and academic strengths and weaknesses.

Question 3

patch of lilypads

Anna Tarazevich / Pexels

Anna Tarazevich / Pexels

“In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake?”

This is the third and last question on this IQ test. Remember that while the speed at which you complete the test speaks for itself, it’s still better to take your time and find the right answer than to rush and go with the intuitive answer. To give you a clue on how to solve this question, think of the sequence.

Most People Get These Answers:

group of people around the table solving something on paper

Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

According to statistics, here are the answers most people get.

1. 10 pence

2. 100 minutes

3. 24 days

If these are the answers you got, we’re sorry to tell you that they’re all wrong. Don’t be discouraged because we’re about to reveal the right answers. Even if you got the answers wrong, taking the time to go through the answer and understand it will train your brain and intelligence. The more of these you practice, the easier they become. Ressearch suggests that it’s possible to raise your intelligence through certain brain-training activities as they train your memory, control, and visuospatial reasoning.

The Correct Answers

Baseball glove holding balls by other balls on the grass

Steshka Willems / Pexels

Steshka Willems / Pexels

The ball would actually cost 0.05 pence

If the ball costs X, and the bat costs £1 more, then this is how


So if we put it all together it looks like this:

Bat+ball=X + (X+1) =1.1

This leads to the following result:

2X+1=1.1, and 2X=0.1

X= 0.05

Get it now?

Answer Of Question 2

widgets laid out on gravol

Tania Melnyczuk / Pexels

Tania Melnyczuk / Pexels

It would take 5 minutes to make 100 widgets. We warned you not to get too caught up in the wording because the question itself held the answer. Five machines can make five widgets in five minutes; therefore, one machine will make one widget in five minutes too.

So that means that if we have 100 machines all making widgets, they can make 100 widgets in five minutes. It’s that straightforward.

Answer Of Question 3

lilypads on the lake

keng muansuk / Pexels

keng muansuk / Pexels

It would take 47 days for the patch to cover half of the lake. We told you to think about the sequence. If the patch doubles in size each day going forward, it would halve in size going backward. So on day 47, the lake is half full.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you couldn’t get these answers as you’re not alone. In a survey of almost 3,500 people, 33 percent got all three wrong, and 83 percent missed at least one. This is also quite a short test and can’t be fully reliable based on the limited data. Also to put it in perspective, only 48 per cent of MIT students sampled were able to answer all three correctly.

How Well Does Your Mind Work?

man holding lightstring up to his face

David Cassolato / Pexels

David Cassolato / Pexels

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Higher Perspectives Author

Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives