The “world’s shortest IQ test” consists of three simple questions


Want to know how thick you are, but can’t be sass by putting your thick brain to a full IQ test? Look no further, now you can see how thick you are in no time.

Dubbed the “world’s shortest IQ test,” the cognitive thinking test only has three questions, so it could hardly be shorter; it’s just whether or not this can be considered an IQ test which is really up for debate.

The test was developed by psychologist Shane Frederick who, as of 2003, tested 3,428 respondents in 35 separate studies over a 26-month period. He found that only 17% of students at top universities such as Yale and Harvard were able to answer all three questions correctly.

In one paper In The Journal of Economic Perspective, Frederick explains that the questions were selected because they were found to “give impulsive wrong answers” or, in everyday parlance, elicit immediate wrong answers.

The test was rolled out worldwide in 2005, but if it got away from you, here it is – good luck:

  1. 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?
  2. If it takes five machines five minutes to create five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to create 100 widgets?
  3. In a lake, there is a square of water lilies. 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?

If your answers were 1. 10 cents, 2. 100 minutes and 3. 24 days, then well done, you passed the thick test … And by that I mean you are thick.

The correct answers are actually 1. Five hundred, 2. Five minutes and 3. 47 days.

Now, personally, I didn’t think these questions were so sensitive; certainly not delicate enough to fool more than 80 percent of Harvard and Yale respondents. But then again, the background found for “giving impulsive wrong answers” sort of put me on the lookout for my own impulsive mistaken answers ... So basically if you were still fooled then there really is no hope.

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