Wonderlic Test: Can 2011 NFL Combine Attendees Ace Vaunted Aptitude Exam?

The Wonderlic Test — less colloquially known as the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test — has been used to assess candidates for jobs since its creation in the 1930s by E.F. Wonderlic, and has been used at the NFL Combine to test the cognitive ability of potential NFL Draft selections for decades. (The Wonderlic's website credits Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry as the first person to use the test in the NFL.)

Despite the NFL Combine's reputation as a meat market for incoming players full of scouts who care about measurable physical attributes, the Wonderlic Test results invariably cause consternation each year. Who doesn't remember the hubbub over Vince Young's reputed 6 on the test (average is 20, which corresponds to an IQ of 100), or hasn't heard that Harvard quarterback Pat McInally scored a perfect 50?

Wonderlic scores may or may not correspond to NFL performance — Paul Zimmerman was the first to note that NFL teams look for different scores for different positions; a recent study suggested Wonderlic score isn't particularly predictive of a player's NFL career — but they will certainly be fodder for sports talk radio and Internet chatter this week and going forward. Just wait: Cam Newton's Wonderlic score will be repeated more often than that $180,000 figure that got attached to him by that NCAA investigation last fall.

Wondering what, exactly, a Wonderlic test is like? Years ago, ESPN's Jeff Merron wrote about the test and included sample questions. Here's one of them:

In printing an article of 48,000 words, a printer decides to use two sizes of type. Using the larger type, a printed page contains 1,800 words. Using smaller type, a page contains 2,400 words. The article is allotted 21 full pages in a magazine. How many pages must be in smaller type?

The answer, if you do the math, is 17. Now, if you can do 50 problems like that in 12 minutes, you can compare your brain to those of the next NFL stars.

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