Some, including myself, have applied for jobs which made the process quite tedious. Between the application itself, personality tests, and math questions, they seem like they never end. Then there’s a test called the Wonderlic.
For those of you who have never taken one, it sounds scarier than it is.
The Wonderlic is basically a cognitive ability test (which in fact is the rest of its name) that contains questions on subjects ranging from arithmetic to logic to analogies. As one progresses through the test, the questions tend to become more difficult. The real trick here is that only 12 minutes are allotted to complete 50 questions.
Here are two examples:
What is the average of: 12, 15, 23, 10?
C. Not Related
Not really rocket science material, but they certainly make you think.
The creators of the Wonderlic have stated that people who score at least a 10 are considered literate. That seems easy enough. For some though, timed tests are their Kryptonite while others thrive on them. Look no further than the Buffalo Bills for evidence.
The Bills can now claim that they have two people on their roster with one of the best and one of the worst Wonderlic scores in the NFL, both of them playing the quarterback position. Ryan Fitzpatrick and his backup hopeful Vince Young have both created quite a stir with this test, but for different reasons.
Coming out of Harvard, most people already had the expectations that Ryan Fitzpatrick would be pretty smart. His Wonderlic score only proved it. Setting a record by completing the test in only nine minutes, Fitzpatrick earned a whopping 48 out of 50, admittedly leaving one blank. He also did exceptionally well on his SAT’s and was named the fifth-smartest athlete by Sporting News in 2010.
Vince Young sits on the opposite end of the spectrum from his starting quarterback. Although highly athletic, Young was criticized for his reported score of a 6 on the Wonderlic. Considering most NFL teams want their quarterback to score at least a 20 or 21, Young’s test raised plenty of red flags.
When the grading was questioned on Vince’s original Wonderlic, he was given another to take and this time, scored a 16. Better but still not what most teams had hoped for.
The big question many wonder about when it comes to the Wonderlic is how it correlates between the score a player receives and his on-field play. Some teams disregard the test altogether while others allow it to carry some weight.
If it came down to being the deciding factor in the NFL, the Wonderlic could have changed the fate of one Hall of Fame quarterback. Dan Marino reportedly scored a 16, the same as Vince Young’s second outcome. Clearly being only slightly above “literate” did not effect Marino’s football career.
In my opinion, we can ascertain two things from the Wonderlic. If a player scores really well, that usually means they’re fairly intelligent. If a player ends up with a low score, it doesn’t mean anything when it relates to football.
Sometimes, when someone doesn’t do particularly well on the Wonderlic, it can be chalked up to a learning disability. Other times it’s due to their frame of mind during the test or how seriously they take it. All of the time, however, a Wonderlic score will not determine a player’s athleticism and ability to play football.
Sure, one can argue that not having a certain kind of intelligence can inhibit a player’s ability to learn an NFL playbook. But when it comes to creating them, Jets head coach Rex Ryan seems to have no problem, even with dyslexia.
So while the Bills may have on the team one of the best and worst scores on the Wonderlic, take those results with a grain of salt. Sometimes Wonderlic IQ and football statistics just don’t add up.