The Wonderlic Test and the NFL Scouting Combine

The NFL Scouting Combine incorporates a wide variety of tools to evaluate the physical and mental acuity of potential NFL players, including on-field skills, speed, strength, quickness, reliability, personality, and cognitive ability. The Combine has used the Wonderlic test to assess cognitive ability as part of their athlete evaluations since the 1970s.     

The Combine, along with tens of thousands of other organizations worldwide, currently employs the Wonderlic Contemporary Cognitive Ability Test. While originally developed in 1937, the test has undergone several updates over the decades to modernize the questions and scoring algorithms, and the current version utilizes the latest research in the field of test development.

The test is aligned with the US Department of Labor’s O*NET database, which includes job competencies for hundreds of positions (including professional athletes). Critical thinking, comprehension, learning ability, and decision making are a few of the valuable skills and abilities measured by the Wonderlic test.

Wonderlic staff are present every year at the Combine to administer and proctor the tests, and completed answer sheets are hand-carried back to our offices in Vernon Hills, IL. All tests are machine scored, and results are kept in our secure, encrypted system and are not shared with anyone but our client – the NFL. This means all of the scores you hear about on the news are from unofficial sources, as we strictly adhere to our client confidentiality agreement.

We value our longstanding relationship with the NFL and appreciate the interest of the fans – skeptics and believers alike.

For more information on cognitive ability, please visit our blog.