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Are You Smarter Than an NFL Prospect?

by Robbie Gillies

The NFL Combine has grown into a must-see event (for shut-ins that can’t get enough of the NFL – hey, you’re looking at one!). The players are put through both physically and mentally through drills, interviews, and tests, that all factor into where these players fall on teams’ draft boards.

While everyone understands the 40-yard dash and the bench press, the Wonderlic test garners a lot of interest, and is much more of a mystery. The Wonderlic Personnel Test contains 50 questions that athletes have 12 minutes to complete. But how difficult is the test? Clearly, most people reading this can’t run a 4.3 40 or bench press 225 lbs 45 times, but maybe you can compete with these athletes intellectually. Well, here’s your chance to find out.

It looks as if the media has been given a sample of the Wonderlic test. But before clicking, here’s a little bonus question: If a normal Wonderlic test is 50 questions in 12 minutes, how much time should be allotted for a 15 question test?

If you answered 3 minutes and 36 seconds, you are smarter than ESPN/Wonderlic Inc.! They give 4 minutes for a 15-question test. But maybe it’s factored in and the questions are slightly harder warranting the extra 24 seconds. And maybe I’m just being a glib blogger. Anyways, get out a pen or pencil, set a timer to 4 minutes, and take the test.

Congratulations! You’re smarter than Vince Young (presumably)! Young, the most (in)famously scrutinized test taker, got a six. That’s 6 out of 50. Though some of the questions are absurdly easy, others do take a little bit of time and when I took the test I wasn’t able to get to all 15 questions in the 4 minutes. I should’ve skipped over the harder ones, and got all the easy ones first. I forgot that little SAT prep tip.

Alright, here’s one more math equation for you. If you answered the same percentage of questions right on a 50 question test as you did on this 15 question test, how many would you have answered correctly?

Now, let’s compare that to the average score broken down by position (from The Washington Post):

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

Maybe quarterback isn't the most intellectually challenging position to play. You think those big guys in the trenches start discussing the impact of Malcolm Gladwell on modern sociology during timeouts?