The National Football League (NFL) Scouting Combine is an annual event where selected footballers from various colleges showcase their physical and mental ability to NFL scouts, coaches, and general managers. It uses a series of tools to assess the physical and intellectual sharpness of NFL prospects. More than 300 college football players participate in the annual event, giving the recruiters to evaluate their personality, speed, cognitive ability, decision making, and on-field skills. However, only a few players make it to the NFL draft owing to the thoroughness of the exercises, and the ‘difficult’ of the IQ test in particular.
NFL Combine has been using the Wonderlic Personnel Test as a part of its evaluation since its launch in the 1970s. The test comprises of 50 multiple choice questions drawn from logic, vocabulary, Math and critical thinking. It is aimed at assessing players’ mental attributes such as; learning, adaptability, field awareness, reaction time, and decision making. The main goals of NFL combine test is to gauge how well a person’s mind can operate under pressure, and apply logic to make quick decisions as cognitive ability is a critical factor for solving unexpected challenges. The individual score of the college football players is factored into draft picks on the NFL Draft day.
About the NFL Combine IQ Test
Generally the NFL Combine participants are required to answer 50 questions within a period of 12 minutes. The questions include: simple arithmetic, grammar, cognitive thinking and general knowledge among others usually with 4 – 5 multiple choices. Some require the ‘true/false’ or ‘yes/no’ answer. Participants are awarded one point for every correct answer and zero for wrong answer or skipped question, meaning all the questions carry the same weight. On seeing some of the question, it is possible to wonder how and why participants fail to get high score in the IQ test.
Is the NFL Combine IQ Test Really Difficult?
Though some of the 50 questions are easy, for instance high school math, and choosing a stray word from a group of several words, it is not always an easy task. The design, administration and security of the test are the major hindrances for the test takers:
- The test is intentionally designed so that only 5% of the NFL combine participants can complete all the 50 questions. This is a way to ensure that only prospects with the right mental abilities required to transform into star players are picked. This has been backed by the excellent NFL performance for players who have scored highs of 35 to 41 in the test. Only a single player has ever scored 50 point in the 1975 NFL Combine.
- Severe time constraint – The takers have only 12 minutes to tackle all the questions, which means that the participants should spend at most 15 seconds on each question. This puts the potential draft picks under pressure to answer as many questions as possible before the time runs out, forcing them to use intellect, core skills and to apply logical solutions to difficult problems.
- No calculators or use of electronic devices allowed – Even with the limited time for each question, the participants are not allowed to use calculators, which could be a savior especially for mathematical calculation. Most of the prospect draftees waste much of the 12 minutes solving one or two calculation problems, thus are left with no time to answer the other questions.
- Test Security – Though NFL Combine IQ test has been around for decades, the test has been updated repeatedly over time. It has a large library of validated test question which minimizes the probability that an examinee can have access to the actual test questions. Additionally, it is impossible to cheat in a cognitive ability test. Research has shown that players tend to score the same on different sets of tests.
- Simple but tricky questions – Some of the questions are set with a hidden trick that requires undivided attention and thinking outside the box which, is hard to do when tensed or under pressure.
Tips for Preparing for the NFL Combine IQ Test
Just as examinees prepare for other exams, getting ready for the NFL IQ test can increase your chance of getting better score:
- Understand the context – Look for proficiency across several areas including English, mathematics, critical thinking, and general knowledge. It is advisable to polish arithmetical skills, master grammatical skills, and read widely on general topics.
- Take several Wonderlic IQ practice test – Take a minimum of three practice test before the actual NFL Combine IQ test to expose yourself to similar questions and rate yourself to make the right improvements. Practice test also boosts your confidence which is a key factor to success during the actual test.
- Time management – As we have seen, one of the main challenges of completing the NFL cognitive ability test is time. It is critical to make all the efforts to avoid time wastage. For instance, if you have no idea about a certain question just guess the answer and move on to the next. After all there is no negative score for the wrong answer and you could have guessed it right.
To sum it up, if you have been invited to the NFL Combine, it is important to know that the IQ test plays an important role during the evaluation. Therefore, no matter how good your physical skills are, you may fail to make it to the NFL draft if you display dismal cognitive ability. You need to practice with as many questions as possible while timing your speed to increase your chances of success.