World’s shortest IQ test consists of three questions – but only 17% of people get it right

The world’s shortest IQ test comprises of just three questions – but only 17% of people can get it right.

Made from three maths questions, this quiz shouldn’t really take too long to complete.

However, it’s not as simple as you think as only 17% of people taking the test have secured full marks.

Called the Cognitive Reflection Test, the test was originally part of a research paper published in 2005 by MIT professor Shane Frederick.

As part of his research, professor Frederick had more than 3,000 participants from a range of educational backgrounds complete the test.

And those attending top universities in the US, such as Yale and Harvard, have struggled to work out all the answers.

Only 17% managed to score three out of three on the test, meaning a whopping 83% of people failed – how well can you do?

“The three items on the CRT are ‘easy’ ”

Professor Shane Frederick

Speaking about the test, professor Frederick said: “The three items on the CRT are ‘easy’ in the sense that their solution is easily understood when explained, yet reaching the correct answer often requires the suppression of an erroneous answer that springs ‘impulsively’ to mind.”

The three most common answers that people guessed were 10 cents, 100 minutes and 24 days.

He added: “Anyone who reflects upon it for even a moment would recognise that the difference between $1 and 10 cents is only 90 cents, not $1 as the problem stipulates.

“In this case, catching that error is tantamount to solving the problem, since nearly everyone who does not respond ’10 cents’ does, in fact give the correct response.”

So did you find those hard? Luckily, you can scroll down for the answers.

Here are the answers:

1. 5 cents

2. 5 minutes

3. 47 days

If you’re wondering how those are the answers, Presh Talwalker, author of The Hoy of Game Theory: An Introduction to Strategic Thinking explained everything on his blog, Mind Your Decisions.

1. Say 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 the ball costs 5 cents and the bat costs $1.05

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

3. Every day forward the patch doubles in size. So every day backwards means the patch halves in size. So on day 47 the lake is half full.

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