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Try This 3-Question Test of Cognitive Ability

Here’s a fun brain test to try out. See how many of these questions you can answer correctly. Only 17% of university students get all three right.

3 question iq test

Head down to the comments to discuss your answers.

If you need a hint, these questions were chosen because they all have an intuitive answer that immediately comes to mind, but is actually wrong. This is called the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT), and was developed in 2005 as a quick measure of cognitive ability, reflection, and patience. Indeed, better performance was associated with realistic measures of patience—for example, people who got zero on the CRT were willing to pay more than twice as much to get a book shipped to them overnight compared to people who got all three right ($4.54 vs. $2.18, respectively).

So if you answered quickly, you might want to go back and give your responses some more thought.

The CRT has been described as “the world’s shortest IQ test,” and is moderately related with common intelligence tests, but I wouldn’t take it too seriously as a reliable measure of overall cognitive ability. Don’t sweat whether you got the questions right or wrong. For a more substantial test of how your brain is doing, get your brain report from Cambridge Brain Sciences to see how effective your reasoning, short-term memory, and verbal ability are today.


This post was written by Mike Battista, a staff scientist at Cambridge Brain Sciences. Shout out to IFL Science, where I came across this test.