The Wonderlic is a Cognitive Ability Test (formerly known as the Wonderlic Personnel Test or WPT). It is a 12-minute timed test with 50 questions. This test is used to assess the aptitude of prospective employees (prospects) for reading comprehension, learning and problem-solving in a range of occupations.
The test was developed by industrial psychologist Eldon F. Wonderlic, and is used by thousands of corporations. 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. A new version was released in Jan. 2007 called the Wonderlic Contemporary Cognitive Ability Test (formerly known as the Wonderlic Personnel Test – Revised). It contains questions more appropriate to the 21st century.
When it comes to football players, to be totally honest, the value of running backs and left tackles don’t measure up to the value of the quarterback position. Football players usually average 20 points on the test.
Wonderlic, Inc. claims a score of at least 10 points suggests a person is literate. Furthermore, when the test was given to miscellaneous people of various professions, it was observed that the average participant scored a 24. Examples of scores from every-day professions include:
Chemist/Scientist – 31
Programmer/System Analyst – 29
Journalist/Writers – 26
Management/Sales – 24
Bank teller – 22
Clerical worker – 21
Security guard – 17
Warehouse – 14
Though used in a variety of institutions, the Wonderlic test has become extremely well known for its use by the National Football League for all draftees.
Keep in mind that personnel departments, head coaches and ownership want to draft football players that are smart with little to no intelligence issues because playbook memorization is a key factor along with the player’s skills and projected ability to ascend the next several years.
Every team has a magical test number that relates to a position and I broke it down this way. The scores listed below are the bottom baseline scores. Of course you want the prospect to score higher, and in several cases the test scores came in lower than the baseline score and that’s when you have to make a decision on their ability to learn.
Quarterback – 27
Center – 25
Safety – 25
Linebacker – 24
Offensive tackle – 23
Guard – 23
Tight end – 22
Wide receiver – 19
Cornerback – 18
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All players must have the above football traits, but the most important quality for me in order to become an elite player in the National Football League is that they must have a deep-rooted passion for the game. If they don’t, nothing else matters.