The League


Wonderlic Personnel Test Revealed

One of the greatest mysteries of the NFL Scouting Combine is The Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT). Created in 1937, this industrial psychological examination, offered to every NFL hopeful in Lucas Oil Stadium, isn't about speed, or brawn. Instead it measures cognitive ability, learning and problem solving.

The 50 question, 12-minute test has been a part of football since Tom Landry began giving it to prospective Dallas Cowboys in the early 70s and has been part of the NFL Scouting Combine since its inception. Scores range from 0-50, 50 being a perfect score, with 20 being an average score and an indicator of an IQ of 100. From a football perspective, Wonderlic helps "rank and identify the players who have the mental strength to lead their team to victory," according to the company.

NFL draftees reportedly have an average score of around 19, (Vince Young got a six) but how they break down by position my surprise you:

Offensive tackles: 26
Centers: 25
Quarterbacks: 24
Guards: 23
Tight Ends: 22
Safeties: 19
Middle linebackers: 19
Cornerbacks: 18
Wide receivers: 17
Fullbacks: 17
Halfbacks: 16

So you think you can outsmart the players? Here're a few sample questions from Wonderlic.


By Emil Steiner  |  February 19, 2009; 1:23 PM ET  | Category:  Draft Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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It's pretty clear these players spent more time in practice than class. Seriously, these questions should be pretty easy for an 8th grader.

Posted by: JONJJ | March 2, 2009 7:29 AM

People are assuming that all the players are fully prepped with test strategy going in - which they should be - but some probably aren't. Just like prep and strategy can help people increase their SAT or LSAT or MCAT or similar test scores, it would help someone greatly here. I can easily see how someone could get a low score by getting bogged down trying to answer questions like numbers 9 and 10 and using up too much of their allotted 12 minutes doing so, then running out of time before they got a chance to answer more of the easier questions. Those prepped properly would know to just skip those questions and continue racking up points answering the easy ones, then come back and take a crack at ones like 9 and 10 if there was time left. I've seen a very smart, Harvard Law School grad flunk the Bar exam the first time because she didn't finish - not because she wasn't smart, but because her mindset was to try and answer every questions right rather than accepting that it was better to lose a few points by skipping the very difficult, time consuming questions so that she'd have more time to answer the ones she had a better chance of getting right.

Posted by: libyre | February 26, 2009 2:37 PM

These tests are so easy, they underscore that football is a test of strength, speed, and an ability to ignore great pain.

If someone got a 6, it means they're retarded. Take the test. If someone got under 15, they're dumb.

I'm guessing most adults will get in high twenties, and if you're above average, you'll get almost all the questions right.

You can knock this test out with a perfect score (or close)in about 5 minutes. It's that easy.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | February 23, 2009 10:25 PM

wauw I am shocked by how easy some of these qeustions are......2 qeustions got me because I had trouble whit my English...but overal the q's are pretty easy even wenn ya have time presure.

I am shocked if people realy can get a 6.

Posted by: wilco_nieuwehorne | February 22, 2009 5:43 AM

If these questions from the sample test are indicative of the overall test, then the average score of 19 underscores the true lack of education most players receive in college. Many come into college unqualified and unprepared for the academic demands (which is why clustering in certain majors is becoming more prominent). It certainly puts Vince Young's score of 6 in perspective.

The only question I have about the test is the time limit. Most of the questions on the sample could be answered in a couple of minutes. However, questions 9 and 10 require some analytically reasoning. If there are more of those on the full test, the 12-minute limit seems restrictive.

Posted by: george43 | February 20, 2009 11:03 AM

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