Three-question IQ test is ‘the world’s shortest’ – but only 17% of people pass


The cognitive reflection test is considered the shortest IQ test in the world, consisting of only three questions, but despite this, many people still struggle to pass it.

Can you pass the test? (file photo)

There are several ways to test your intelligence, but one of the most common is the IQ test.

These are often quite long, with lots of questions to get your brain working.

But if you can’t be bothered to sit through it all, then you’re in luck, because we have a solution for you.

There are just three questions on what is often considered the world’s shortest IQ test – but make no mistake.

Although it may seem simple enough, the test proves tricky for many and only around 17% of people managed to pass it during a study.

There are only three questions – but it’s harder than it looks (stock photo)


Getty Images/PhotoAlto)

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Called the Cognitive Thinking Test, 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 more than 3,000 participants from a variety of educational backgrounds – and even those who attended 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?

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 that 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, the FORWARD 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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