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NFL IQ Test, Important?
* As an educator, one of my favorite aspects of the NFL Scouting Combine is the Wonderlic test.
** The Wonderlic is not a sexual term- it is a sort of IQ test given to determine the overall ability of an NFL player to learn the playbook, read defenses, process information, etc...It is a 50 question test invented in the 1930s, and first brought to the NFL in the 1970s. It is now given to every player at the scouting combine.
** Granted, I feel the system is flawed. This test is over 70 years old, and it has little to do with the job it seeks to weed people out of. Any form of IQ test could be amazingly inaccurate. It could be culturally biased. And worst of all...it could be entirely useless.
** NFL players are very heavily coached. The plays are sent in by someone on the sidelines, and everyone has an assignment on any particular play. Typical player responsibilities are "Try to push through the lineman, and crush the running back if you can get your hands on him," and "Run down the sideline, and I'll throw the ball to you."
** Not exactly brain surgery, but you still have to be able to memorize most of a gargantuan playbook. You also have to be able to process information fairly quickly. QBs have to know where 5 different players will be going to catch his passes. Defensive backs have to see a play develop, anticipate what will happen next, and react to it. Linebackers have to call defenses as a QB does an audible. You can carry a few dummies on your team, but you need a few smart ones scattered in the mix....just like any other business.
***The best possible score on the Wonderlic is a 50. The lowest is a zero. A score of 20 is consistent with an IQ of about 100, while a 10 means the player can be generously described as "mostly literate." If you understand the theory of the Bell Curve, you'll understand why a 19 Wonderlic score isn't a 95 IQ, 18 does not equal 90, 10 does not*equal 50, etc.... A score of 10 would be roughly equal to an IQ of 70...moderately retarded.
** How does that translate into NFL success? Some players have scored remarkably well. Pat McInally, a Harvard grad, banged out a perfect 50 one year. A player who I couldn't find the name of scored a 1 in the 1980s- the equivalent of the intelligence shown in turtles or mold.*Both enjoyed solid NFL careers. Joe Theisman scored in the upper 30s, while LT scored an 11. When they collide, who would you rather be?
** The reasons why an NFL coach wouldn't want a slobbering moron on his team are fairly obvious. Still, a lot of these guys can play, even if they were outscored on the test by salads. This isn't chess...speed and power are just as important as intelligence...perhaps even more important.
** Too much intelligence can be a bad thing, especially to a prospective employer. Coaches aren't used to being questioned....especially by some snotty Harvard kid. Smart people usually have active minds, and coaches don't want their players to be thinking about the design of the space shuttle while Randy Moss sprints by them for 6 points.
** Some people score poorly on the test, despite being fairly intelligent. A lot of players at the combine already know that they will be drafted high and paid tremendous amounts of money. Maybe they already banged out a 4.34 running the 40. They have low motivation to perform well on the test. Conversely, some kid on the fringe may worry too much about the 'Lic, and punk out on the test. I see it happen every day in the schools.
** Howard Stern used to tell a story about AC/DC guitarist Angus Young. Angus was a guest in the studio one day, and there were television cameras present. Howard asked Angus to play a song, and then sit on the couch when he finished. Confused, Angus looked at him and said, "Brains ain't me forte, mate."
** Angus makes his money playing guitar,*Vin Wilfork*(and his mongoloid-esque Wonderlic score) makes his living playing football. Neither job will require them to find adamantine on the periodical table of elements. They won't have to creatively hide ENRON losses from potential investors. They don't have to learn French or German (although "blitz" is German for "lightning."). As long as Vin can burst past a guard and smash his shoulder into Curtis Martin's liver, he should be OK.
** NFL players- despite their reputations as les grands imbeciles- score about the same on the Wonderlic as any other profession. The average NFL score of 21 is equal to the average score given to bank tellers and clerical workers, and outshines warehouse and secuirty workers. Offensive linemen score(24) the highest average, while the lowest scores(16) are submitted by running backs. The closer you are to the ball at the line of scrimmage, the better you score.
** Lyndon Johnson once had a formal dinner at the White House. Many Senators, Representatives, and visiting dignitaries were in the audience. Lyndon made a speech before dinner, noting that the room was full of hyper-intelligent people. "We have 3 Rhodes Scholars, 4 Harvard grads,* 4 guys who went to Yale....and the most powerful man in the room went to Southwest Texas State Teacher's College."
Here's the sample test. The answers are at the bottom. No cheating, kids....
The Wonderlic Personnel Test
WPT Sample Questions
1. Look at the row of numbers below. What number should come next?
8 4 2 1 ½ ¼ ?
2. Assume the first two statements are true. Is the final one: 1. true, 2. false, 3. not certain? The boy plays baseball. All baseball players wear hats. The boy wears a hat.
3. Paper sells for 21 cents per pad. What will four pads cost?
4. How many of the five pairs of items listed below are exact duplicates?
K.M. Nieman, K.M. Neiman,
K.M. Thomas, G.K. Thomas,
*C.K. Hoff, J.P. Hoff,
J.P. Pino, L.R. Pina,
L.R. Warner, T.S. Wanner
5. RESENT RESERVE • Do these words
1. have similar meanings, 2. have contradictory meanings, 3. mean neither the same nor opposite?
6. One of the numbered figures in the following drawing is most different from the others. What is the number in that figure?( the figures wouldn't cut and paste)
7. A train travels 20 feet in 1/5 second. At this same speed, how many feet will it travel in three seconds?
8. When rope is selling at $.10 a foot, how many feet can you buy for sixty cents?
9. The ninth month of the year is
1. October, 2. January, 3. June, 4. September, 5 May.
10. Which number in the following group of numbers represents the smallest amount?
7 .8 31 .33 2
11. 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?
12. The hours of daylight and darkness in SEPTEMBER are nearest equal to the hours of daylight and darkness in: 1. June, 2. March, 3. May, 4. November.
13. Three individuals form a partnership and agree to divide the profits equally. X invests $9,000, Y invests $7,000, Z invests $4,000. If the profits are $4,800, how much less does X receive than if the profits were divided in proportion to the amount invested?
14. Assume the first two statements are true. Is the final one: 1. true, 2. false, 3. not certain? Tom greeted Beth. Beth greeted Dawn. Tom did not greet Dawn.
15. A boy is 17 years old and his sister is twice as old. When the boy is 23 years old, what will be the age of his sister?
These are sample test questions and are intended for demonstration purposes only. The Wonderlic Personnel Test is published by Wonderlic, Inc.<<<
If this were a Patriot site, I wouldn't need to put up the answers. But since this is a Steeler site, I'll put up the answers tomorrow.