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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Wonderlic fails to make the grade

As the NFL Scouting Combine draws to a close, so too should the use of a tool for assessing NFL potential: the Wonderlic test.

The test, which was designed in 1937 by Northwestern graduate psychology student E.F. “Al” Wonderlic to measure cognitive ability, consists of 50 questions that have to be answered in 12 minutes.

All the test proves is that some people are better test-takers than others. As a tool for measuring NFL potential, however, the Wonderlic doesn’t make the grade.

The examples of quarterbacks Vince Young and Dan Marino, who reportedly made low Wonderlic scores, are the most obvious examples of how the test has outlived its usefulness – assuming it was ever useful.

Marino is a Hall of Famer and Young, coming off a sensational rookie season, appears destined to join him.

The Wonderlic, which has been administered by various teams since 1970, is one of several tools used to gauge NFL potential. It should be one less tool used in the future.

Click here to take a sample test.


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