The ‘world’s shortest’ IQ test has only three questions, but a pass rate of 17%


The IQ test is the most common way to measure intelligence.

At first glance, most tests can seem long and complicated, with lots of questions to work your mind.

If that sounds like too much of a hassle, the Mirror has revealed a quicker alternative.

Called the Cognitive Thinking Test, it’s considered the world’s shortest IQ test and only asks three questions – but make no mistake.

Although it sounds easy enough, the questions are actually quite difficult – one study found the test had a 17% pass rate.

The quiz is not new but was originally part of a research paper published in 2005 by MIT professor Shane Frederick. This document has recently resurfaced online, going viral and leaving many people eager to try it.

As part of his research, Professor Frederick administered the test to over 3,000 participants from a variety of educational backgrounds – and even those who attend top US universities such as Yale and Harvard struggled to find all the answers. . Of all those who participated, only 17% managed to get three out of three marks on the test, which means that 83% of people failed – how are you going to do?

Speaking of the test, Professor Frederick said: “The three elements of the CRT are ‘easy’ in the sense that their solution is easily understood when explained, but arriving at the correct answer often requires deleting a wrong answer. that ‘impulsively’ pops up in the mind.”

Here is an overview of the questions:

1. A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the balloon cost?

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

3. In a lake, there is a patch of water lilies. Every day, the patch doubles in volume. If it takes 48 days for the plot to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the plot to cover half of the lake?

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These are the three most common answers that people guess – but they are actually Incorrect.

1. 10 cents

2. 100minutes

3. 24 days

Professor Frederick adds: “Anyone who thinks about it for a moment would recognize that the difference between $1 and 10 cents is only 90 cents, not $1 as the problem states.

“In this case, catching this error is like solving the problem, since almost everyone who doesn’t answer ’10 cents’ actually gives the correct answer.”

The correct answers are:

1. 5 cents

25 minutes

3. 47 days

Still perplexed by all this? Fortunately, Presh Talwalkar, the author of The Hoy of Game Theory: An Introduction to Strategic Thinking, explained how to find the right answers on his blog, Mind Your Decisions.

1. Suppose the ball costs X. Then the bat costs $1 more, so it is X + 1. So we have bat + ball = X + (X + 1) = 1.1 because together they cost $1.10. This means 2X + 1 = 1.1, then 2X = 0.1, so X = 0.05. This means that the ball costs 5 cents and the bat costs $1.05.

2. If it takes 5 minutes for 5 machines to create 5 widgets, it takes 5 minutes for 1 machine to create 1 widget (each machine makes a widget in 5 minutes). If we have 100 machines working together, each can create a widget in 5 minutes. So there will be 100 widgets in 5 minutes.

3. Each day FORWARD the patch doubles in size. So every day BACKWARDS means the patch halves. Thus, on day 47, the lake is half full.

How did you do? Let us know in the comments below


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