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Avia, Finance Industry Speialist at JobTestPrep.

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What is the Citadel Online Test

The Citadel Online Test or Online Assessment is any of several exams used to screen candidates for Citadel internships or other positions within Citadel Investments or Citadel Securities. The specific test taken by a candidate depends on their desired role: trader, software engineer (SWE), etc.

This page is focused on the cognitive and personality aspects of the Citadel tests: the Wonderlic Select test used by Citadel.

Wonderlic is a psychometric testing company with expertise in hiring and recruitment. Citadel employs Wonderlic's Select Assessment, which is three assessments rolled into one:  The Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test, Wonderlic Personality Test, and Wonderlic Motivational Test.

Citadel Cognitive Ability Test

This part of the Citadel test is what many candidates for Citadel internships find particularly daunting. 

The reason is not so much the difficulty of the questions themselves, though it is certainly a factor. Rather, the 12-minute time limit and 50-question battery are what give this Citadel assessment its formidable reputation. A quick calculation reveals only 14.4 seconds per question, a challenging time restraint to be sure. Your score will be derived from the number of questions you answer correctly.

Here is a sample of a numerical word problem that may appear on the Citadel Aptitude test:

A plant grew 33 inches during a period of 44 days, how many inches did it grow per day?

A. 0.5
B. 0.75
C. 1
D. 1.5
E. None of these
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

In order to find out how much the plant grew per day we need to divide the total amount of growth by the number of days:

33 / 44 = 3 / 4 = 0.75

The correct answer is 0.75

Note: while this has been one sample question, others on the test also evaluate your logical reasoning, verbal reasoning, vocabulary, and even general knowledge.

So how can you strategise well and pass this test?

The key is to first map out the skills and competencies required by the various question types, then try them out to see which can use polishing. The question types include analogies, syllogisms, mental arithmetic, reading comprehension, number series, antonyms and synonyms, and Spatial Reasoning.

Our Citadel Online Test PrepPack™ Includes a diagnostic test to familiarise you with all the different types and set you on a path of improvement. It also features full-length simulations to help you grow accustomed to the time limit and ease test anxiety.

Citadel Motivation Assessment

The Motivation Assessment is an untimed segment of the Citadel Online Assessment, and a variation of the Riasec Test, aimed at ascertaining which type of employee you are.

The need for this kind of test is based on the growing understanding that not all workers are motivated to succeed in the same ways, require the same work environments, have similar approaches to their work-life balance, or are equally fitting for management and leadership positions.

Comprising 58 questions, the test ranks you on six different traits: Practical, Investigative, Artistic, Supportive, Enterprising, and Traditional.

It does this by describing three different tasks per question and asking you which sounds the most appealing to you.

If you are applying for a fall or summer internship at Citadel, you will want to rank fairly high on tradition (as interns are expected to fall into line within the hierarchical structure), but not so high as to suggest inflexibility. Software engineers should rank as high as possible on practicality, and traders should strive for a high score on enterprising. Artistic and supporting are important, but not as much.

The questions on this test are "forced-choice" meaning each choice will force you to select an answer that represents one characteristic even if you feel you relate to two or more. Learning how to handle these tests requires thinking and practice.

Our pack includes practice personality tests that focus on individual personality traits. This will help you identify which questions relate to what traits.

The Citadel Personality Test

This third and final Citadel Online Assessment gauges your personality, preferences, and work-related behaviour using a big-5 model of personality testing.

Similarly to the Motivational online assessment, this test aims to rank you on a set of personality traits, making it possible to compare your character with those of other candidates. The traits are extroversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism.

Conscientiousness is generally the one you most want to highlight for a role at Citadel. It can be defined as self-discipline, awareness, time management, and self-control.

Here is an example of a question that measures conscientiousness:

I nearly always complete projects that I begin.

Strongly disagree




Strongly agree

The test features 150 questions and is untimed.

As stated, the Citadel PrepPack™ allows you to go over hundreds of personality questions and practise highlighting the specific traits you would like your prospective employee to see.

Citadel Online Assessment Tips

Manage your time
The questions get harder as the test progresses, so it is wise to rush through the first fee, giving yourself time to work through the more challenging questions at the end. 

Know when to quit
Overall, taking the extra seconds to ensure your answer is correct is usually worthwhile. That said, if you notice that you have spent too much time on one question, simply move on. It is rare for anybody to score a perfect 50, and you don't want one question spoiling the rest. 

Practice makes perfect
Summer internships in the finance world don't come around all the time. Make sure you have given Citadel your best shot by coming well prepared and aware of the test's unique difficulties.

The Citadel Online Assessment PrepPack™ includes the following:

  • A diagnostic test to see where you stand.
  • Basic, intermediate, and advanced practice tests for word problems. number series, basic maths, analogies, antonyms & synonyms, logical reasoning, and spatial reasoning.
  • full-length simulations
  • "Easy" simulations with 30 questions in 8 minutes
  • Personality and interview tips and practice
  • Study guides and tutorials.

Get an edge over the competition,


How many summer interns does Citadel hire?

According to this source, only 300 summer interns are accepted yearly, out of tens of thousands of applicants. These chosen few will enjoy a salary to match full-time jobs and coverage of their rent.

How long is the Citadel summer internship?

The internships at Citadel last 11 packed weeks.

Which Citadel Internships are available?

Citadel offer internships in investing, software engineering, operations, and quantitative research. Each of these can lead to a fascinating career in finance.

Is the Citadel Online Assessment hard?

Yes. The Citadel test is intended to narrow down as many candidates as possible, so even a mere point's difference in your score can be the difference between rejection and acceptance. Practising beforehand is strongly advised.

Citadel LLC, Wonderlic, and any other registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective trademark owners. The use of their names here is for instructional purposes and is not intended to suggest affiliation or endorsement.