During a job interview last week I was given the Wonderlic Test. Heading into the interview I had no idea it was going to be administered nor had I really ever taken the time to figure out how the test is given or what questions it asks. The Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test is a 50 question, 12 minute exam designed to measure the learning and problem-solving abilities of potential employees. The scoring scale is one point per correct answer. Subjects with average intelligence are expected to score in the area of 20 points, and those who can’t muster double-digits are considered to be illiterate.
Two Sample Questions:
1) In the following set of words, which word is different from the others? 1) copper, 2) nickel, 3) aluminum, 4) wood, 5) bronze.
2) A rectangular bin, completely filled, holds 640 cubic feet of grain. If the bin is 8 feet wide and 10 feet long, how deep is it?
Now, I can say after taking the test that about 45 of the questions weren’t that hard, but made you think a few seconds or were worded in a way that forced you to step back and figure out what exactly the question was asking. And with only 0:14.4 (seconds) to answer each question, if you want to try and finish them all, you know you have to answer fast. After taking the test, I wonder if the NFL Combine players get to see the clock while they take it or just have a bell go off when time runs out because seeing the clock right in front of me caused me to rush and I lost time having to re-read questions over and over because they didn’t make sense at first glance, lol. The next day during a second interview I was told I had scored a 38, which was the highest of anyone that had been tested. Then I was told that I was over-qualified for the position and they couldn’t afford to create another position which better suited me.
Now for comparison sake, a quick search gave me the following results:
Blaine Gabbert: 42 … Drew Henson: 42 … Brett Favre: 22 … Cam Newton: 21 … Dan Marino: 16 … Vince Young 14 (6 on first attempt) … Hakeem Nicks: 11 … C.J. Spiller: 10 … Jeff George: 10 … Sebastion Janikowski: 9 … and of course there is always Terrelle Pryor: 7
Many websites reveal that in Paul Zimmerman’s "The New Thinking man’s Guide to Pro Football," he lists several positional groups averages and the average scores in other professions:
|Offensive tackles: 26||Chemist: 31|
|Centers: 25||Programmer: 29|
|Quarterbacks: 24||Newswriter: 26|
|Guards: 23||Sales: 24|
|Tight Ends: 22||Bank teller: 22|
|Safeties: 19||Clerical Worker: 21|
|Middle linebackers: 19||Security Guard: 17|
|Cornerbacks: 18||Warehouse: 15|
|Wide receivers: 17|
Blogging the Boys has a great explanation of the importance of the test:
“As much fun as it can be to mock players with low scores and marvel at (or perhaps mock as well) players with high scores, it is important to note that there is no conclusive evidence showing that a high Wonderlic score positively correlates with success on the football field. The Wonderlic is just one aspect of the overall evaluation process. What NFL teams are ultimately looking for is football intelligence – how quickly a player can read, react and make plays on the field. But the fastest player will be of little use to his team if he can’t learn the playbook.
What the Wonderlic can do is match teaching and training methods to a player’s mental ability. A player with a lower Wonderlic score may need to learn the playbook differently than a player with a higher score. A player with a higher score may be better at making quick decisions during contingencies – but he may be just as likely to overthink those situations and be at a disadvantage to a lower-scoring but more instinctive player.”
The results of the test helped my self-confidence out as I look for a better job. Beyond that my only question is how in the heck did Pryor only score a 7?