When did the NFL start using the Wonderlic test and how is it applied to the draft process?


The NFL Wonderlic Test is amongst the top wonderlic tests that are famous across the country. All of these tests are used to measure the knowledge skills, cognitive and motor ability and personality traits of individuals belonging to different fields of profession.

It is basically an IQ test to measure intelligence of candidates would-be draftees and players and to determine the potential of a player in the national football league. It has a sort of cult following of its own, often fans give a great deal of attention to these scores (while not made public formally, usually a player's score will eventually be leaked).

What is the NFL Wonderlic Test?

It measures the cognitive, mental, motor and many other abilities in an individual as part of the screening or selection process. This particular test is called the NFL Wonderlic Test because it is associated with the National Football League (NFL) of the US and either makes or breaks the careers of around 300...

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Analyzing potential NFL draft prospects is always an inexact science as teams and NFL fans as a whole try to equate both collegiate performance and a player's measurable skills to what a player can do at the next level.

Perhaps no one exercise is more imprecise than the Wonderlic test.

If you're curious as to what kind of questions populate the infamous Wonderlic test, ESPN.com's Page 2 posted a sample test years ago, while Wonderlic itself also provided 12 questions similar to the ones future draftees will encounter.

Are teams right to read anything into Wonderlic scores?

Are teams right to read anything into Wonderlic scores?

Yes, it's a solid indicator as to a player's mental makeup.

Yes, but teams should only use the score as a lesser evaluator behind game film and combine performance.

No, there's no value to be attained from the Wonderlic test.

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NFL Wonderlic Test Matters In The Pre-draft

The rigorous workout of training for the National Football League (NFL) pre-draft does not stop with the physical. NFL hopefuls are put through their paces on the football field, along with hard workouts in the gym and a fast 40-yard dash. But it does not end there. The NFL also wants to know just how intelligent potential players are based on the NFL Wonderlic test.

Though player scores are a carefully guarded secret, they inevitably get leaked to the public. Many fans put great stock in the NFL Wonderlic test scores, equating player intelligence, or lack of, with performance on the field.

After long physical workouts, potential draftees sit down to a 50 question supervised test with only 12 minutes to finish. Here their minds get a workout to see if they are all brawn or not. Simple mathematics and reading questions help them flex their minds to measure their ability to recognize patterns, think logically, solve...

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This Saturday is the NFL draft, which means that NFL scouts have spent the past months going over 40-yard dash times and college game tapes, and fans have debated which prospect would be the best fit for their team. It also means it's time for media and fans to recycle the usual punchlines about the folly of using an aptitude test like the Wonderlic on NFL prospects. Football, more than any other American team sport, is about physicality, and the idea that performance on an aptitude test could have much to do with success on the football field seems absurd. Skeptics point out that a low Wonderlic score didn't prevent Dan Marino from becoming one of the most prolific passers in history, or Vince Young from making the Pro Bowl in his rookie year. When Criteria works with customers to gather evidence for the validity of our employment tests at their organization, we sometimes hear similar anecdotes. I've often heard HR managers express concern that "one of our best performers did...

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You have his college stats. You have his highlight reel. You watched him work out at the NFL combine. You have his score on the Wonderlic—the controversial intelligence test that's been administered at the combine since the 1970s. Your coaches have interviewed him. Your scouts have timed him. You've asked around about his character, his on-field demeanor, his football smarts. What's left to consider?

Would you believe me if I told you that they should listen to his post-game interviews? Here's Newton discussing Auburn's opening-week victory over Arkansas State last year:

I'll pull out some of the scintillating highlights:

I'm just blessed to be in the situation and being able to make plays when it was time for me to make plays.

We're always happy with a win.

I'm happy with the accolade, but I feel that I didn't play the best game I could have played.

Could it really be true that these innocuous statements can help assess Cam Newton's pro...

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When the 332 players invited to the NFL Scouting Combine this season show up at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, they will most likely be focused on impressing coaches and general managers in the physical tests, such as the 40-yard dash and bench press.

While these physical activities make up the majority of a player's time at the combine, they also face an evaluation of their mental capacity in the form of the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test.

While the usefulness of the Wonderlic has often been questioned, and even the subject of academic studies, it doesn’t seem that the NFL will do away with the test anytime soon. Here’s a quick look at the history of the Wonderlic and its impact on the NFL.

History of the Wonderlic Test

The Wonderlic Test is an IQ test designed to test cognitive ability and be administered quickly. While there are more intensive IQ tests, like the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales or the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, the...

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IRVING, Texas - I first started writing about the NFL’s use of the Wonderlic Test on draft-eligible prospects in the early ’90s, at a time when some thought it was a mad-scientist-level effort in overkill.

Twenty years later, we’ve come full-circle, some otherwise astute analysts terming it "out of date."

A tweet from Louis Riddick, the ESPN analyst and former NFL player and scout: "The Wonderlic as a measure of functional football intelligence has been considered irrelevant for so long that I am surprised it’s discussed."

But the fact then and now is unchanged: The NFL wants to measure your hand width and your 40 time and your body fat and your relationship with your parents and your bench press and your wingspan.

Why would it not be "relevant" to explore a million-dollar employee’s cognitive intelligence?

The Wonderlic, developed 90 years ago and administered by corporations to potential employees throughout the business world, is a...

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The NFL has used Wonderlic since 1968

Thats according to fox. It's used to measure cognitive intelligence, I'm not an expert in NFL but quarterbacks are essentially the same as playmakers in football (soccer), some playmakers have even been described as quarterbacks. One of the most important attributes for a playmaker is the ability to read and analyse situations and make the best decision in a matter of seconds. The wonderlic test is designed to test these types of attributes so for certain positions it does make sense for teams to test these abilities.

Why would it not be "relevant" to explore a million-dollar employee's cognitive intelligence?

I don't think it is any definite measure of success though as some players do play purely from instinct, they may not be even able to describe how or why they make the right decision.

I guess for quarterbacks this test makes sense though as there are a lot of plays to understand and memorise.


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The Wonderlic intelligence test that has long been part of the NFL’s pre-draft screening process is mocked by many as irrelevant to a player’s football playing ability. But one group of researchers says the Wonderlic can be valuable in predicting how a player will fare off the field.

A paper published this month in the American Journal of Applied Psychology found that there’s a correlation between a player’s Wonderlic score and his likelihood of being arrested during his time in the NFL.

“The effects are relatively small,” author Brian Hoffman, a professor at Georgia, told ESPN. “But it’s important here because when making multimillion-dollar decisions, a small effect can be very meaningful. A player’s getting a four-game suspension can be a big deal, competitively and financially.”

The study also found that a player who was arrested before the draft is almost twice as likely to be arrested during his NFL career as a player who had not been arrested...

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The Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test (formerly known as the Wonderlic Personnel Test) is a popular group intelligence test used to assess the aptitude of prospective employees for learning and problem-solving in a range of occupations. The Wonderlic is available in 12 different languages and is often used in college, entry level jobs, and team-making efforts. It consists of 50 multiple choice questions to be answered in 12 minutes.[1][2][3][4] The test was developed by Eldon F. Wonderlic.[3][5][6] The score is calculated as the number of correct answers given in the allotted time. A score of 20 is intended to indicate average intelligence (corresponding to an intelligence quotient of 100).[3] Wonderlic, Inc. claims a score of at least 10 points suggests a person is literate.[7] A new version was released in January 2007 called the Wonderlic Contemporary Cognitive Ability Test (formerly known as the Wonderlic Personnel Test – Revised), containing questions more appropriate to the...

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Are your hiring and student assessments online?

Virtually all of our tests can be administered and scored online. Additionally, we have an online data management platform (Wonderlic Online) that stores applicant information, including test scores. Wonderlic Online's delivery platform helps you to compare candidates easily, making your hiring process both quick and efficient.

Why do you need my IP address?

We require this number to verify that each test is being given by an authorized test provider.

How can I find my IP address?

How do I find a Wonderlic Independent Test Administrator (ITA)?

Login to your account on the ATB Official web site:


. Click on "Search for Available ITAs" and select the appropriate state to generate a list.

How do I become certified as a Wonderlic Independent Test Administrator (ITA)?

You start by identifying a school that administers the Wonderlic ATB...

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As Charles Wonderlic drove from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis to his company’s headquarters near Chicago on February 27, 2011, he made the mistake of turning on a sports radio show. The host, as Wonderlic remembers, was talking about Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy’s near-perfect Wonderlic score. Each winter, hundreds of football prospects take the multiple-choice test that claims to measure their intelligence. Results are supposed to be kept confidential, yet they always seem to become media fodder.

In reality, there’s no way anyone could’ve known McElroy’s score. On that day four years ago, as reports of McElroy’s supposed feat trickled out, sealed boxes containing every single Wonderlic answer sheet were sitting in Charles Wonderlic’s car, still unscanned. Wonderlic, Inc. didn’t send an encrypted file of the players’ results to the NFL until March 1. Unsurprisingly, a variety of news outlets ran with the story anyway. The months leading up to the NFL Draft...

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Along with tests of physical capabilities such as the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and bench press, the NFL Scouting Combine asks all draft-eligible players to perform a standardized, cognitive examination.

It is known as the Wonderlic test.

Players are presented 50 questions to be completed in 12 minutes. The questions are designed to test a person's capacity to learn and ability to problem-solve, although the correlation between a high Wonderlic score and NFL success is debatable.

You can find out more about the Wonderlic test by visiting the official website of the test.

Below, we present you a 15-question Wonderlic sample, taken from both Walter Football and ESPN.

How will you fare?

The answer key is provided at the bottom.

1. Assume the first two statements are true. Is the final one...

True False Not certain

The boy plays baseball. All baseball players wear hats. The boy wears a hat.

2. Paper sells for 21 cents...

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Kathy Kolbe, the daughter of Wonderlic test creator Eldon Wonderlic, told CBSSports.com that the decades-old cognitive exam isn't useful in assessing NFL prospects.

The Wonderlic, a 50-question cognitive test designed to assess mental aptitude of prospective employees, has been given to prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine since the 1970s. But it has come under fire in recent years, particularly because studies utilizing leaked results indicate there's no positive correlation between test scores and future NFL performance.

"I certainly value my father's work and there are many appropriate uses for it," Kolbe said. "I don't think it's a bad thing that the NFL uses it, I just don't think it's particularly wise.

"I think all the cognitive testing that happens in this country has gotten out of hand. My dad did a wonderful job back in the '30s and '40s creating the Wonderlic test at a time when we didn't have a good way of measuring cognitive skills and abilities...

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The NFL Scouting Combine is a week-long showcase occurring every February at Lucas Oil Stadium (and formerly at the RCA Dome until 2008) in Indianapolis, where college football players perform physical and mental tests in front of National Football League coaches, general managers, and scouts. With increasing interest in the NFL draft, the scouting combine has grown in scope and significance, allowing personnel directors to evaluate upcoming prospects in a standardized setting. Its origins have evolved from the National, BLESTO,[1] and Quadra Scouting organizations in 1977 to the media event it has become today.

Athletes attend by invitation only. Implications of an athlete's performance during the combine can affect their draft status and salary, and ultimately their career. The draft has popularized the term "workout warrior", whereby an athlete's "draft stock" is increased based on superior measurable qualities such as size, speed, and strength, despite having an average...

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The Wonderlic Test will be returning to the NFL Combine in 2013, along with it a lot controversy, jokes, sportswriter outrage, claims of misreported scores, etc. Wonderlic results always seem to make headlines, which is bizarre considering that NFL teams tend to show little regard for the scores when draft day finally comes around. So what's all of the fuss about?

The Wonderlic is a short intelligence test consisting of 50 questions that test takers must solve in just 12 minutes. The test is designed, essentially, to put the brain in a stress situation, facing complex problems that must be solved against a ticking clock. None of the questions test knowledge beyond an understanding of arithmetic, but under pressure they can be daunting. Take this example from a sample of questions compiled by ESPN a while back:

13. Three individuals form a partnership and agree to divide the profits equally. X invests $9,000, Y invests $7,000, Z invests $4,000. If the profits are...

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Johnny Football put up a 32 on the Wonderlic test, which means precisely nothing that you couldn't scrape off the bottom of your shoe with a football broom. But this is the season for searching for meaning in every measurable possible, which leads professionals to blurt out this type of nonsense:

Believe it or not, a high Wonderlic score scares some NFL Coaches. They wonder if the player is "too smart for his own good".

— Mike McCartney (@MikeMcCartney7) April 11, 2014

Ok, I'm done. I give up. What does that even mean? The players aren't goddamn border collies who are being left in a room full of peanut butter couches all day while their owner is out at happy hour. They're not going to gnaw at their own feet or murder the cat because the NFL doesn't provide enough mental stimulation for them. McCartney's saying that the NFL wants players who are just smart enough to follow basic commands but dumb enough to not question them.

The NFL is NOT slavery, but the...

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