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Here’s The World’s Shortest IQ Test And Only 17% Of People Can Pass it

Do you think you’re pretty smart? Well here’s an IQ test to find out if you really are. It’s called the Cognitive Reflection Test and the three-question long quiz is part of a research paper by MIT professor Shane Frederick. Frederick gave his test to 3,000 people from all different types of educational backgrounds and only 17 percent were able to correctly answer all three questions. The questions seem simple, yet they require more thought than expected. Frederick explained in more academic terms, “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.”

Here are 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 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?


  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. 5 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 5 minutes for 1 widget machine to make 1 widget, you can determine that it would take 5 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.

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