Can You Pass the World’s Shortest IQ Test? Less Than 20 Per Cent of People Can

These questions even stumped students at Yale and Harvard.

Can you pass this IQ testPhoto: ShutterStock

Take the world’s shortest IQ test

So, you might have a dark sense of humour or tend to be judgmental—all signs of intelligence, according to science. But how smart are you, really? The Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT), also known as the world’s shortest IQ test, claims it only takes three questions to tell if you’re a genius.

Developed in 2005 by Princeton psychologist Shane Frederick, the quiz assesses your ability to process information slowly and rationally, rather than jumping to quick conclusions. “In order to succeed in the CRT, you must spend time reflecting on your answer and question your intuitive response,” IFL Science explains.

Before you get started, we’ll give you a quick hint: the questions might not be as easy as they first seem. A 2005 study found that students attending some of the nation’s most prestigious universities (including Harvard and Yale) failed to get all three of these questions correct; only 17 per cent received a perfect score.

Think you have what it takes to ace the world’s shorted IQ test? Give it a shot! Here are the three questions:

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

Check out the answers below, and best of luck! By the way, these weird habits prove you’re smarter than most, too.


  1. $0.05. If you guessed 10 cents, you’re not alone. However, if that were the case, the bat and ball would cost $1.20—not $1.10. On the other hand, purchasing a 5 cent ball and a bat priced at $1.05 (which is $1 more expensive than 5 cents) would total $1.10, instead.
  2. Five minutes. Although you might have answered 100 minutes, the actual time is a little less than that. Since the question reveals that it would take five minutes for one widget machine to make one widget, you can determine that it would take five minutes for 100 widget machines to make 100 widgets.
  3. 47 days. At first, your gut might tell you it would take 24 days. But remember: Since the area of the lake covered in lily pads doubles every day, a patch that covers half the lake would fully cover it in just one day. Subtract one day from 48 days, and what do you get? 47 days.

[Source: IFL Science]

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Originally Published on Reader's Digest