Hey NFL – what’s this about an aptitude test?


For years, the NFL has utilized its controversial Wonderlic test to measure intelligence among college football players looking for employment in its exclusive club. Many have criticized it for its narrow scope and its social biases, but it has been the standard of the industry for about the past 40 years.

That is, until now.

The NFL is introducing an aptitude test to be given in conjunction with the Wonderlic. This new test – a 60-minute examination – will be given in a classroom setting, as is the 12-minute Wonderlic – and will be scored by its developer, Harold Goldstein, a professor of industrial/organizational psychology at Baruch College, City University of New York.

By the way, should you be interested in taking the Wonderlic, here’s your chance – it’s brought to you courtesy of our friends over at Walterfootball.com, one of the signature football and draft sites around. You might want to take the test and spend some time looking over the site. It’ pretty amazing.

But I digress …

Nobody, at least as far as I know, has gotten their hands on this new test. It will be interesting to follow the reactions of those who take the test or have any inside information about it. While it’s not pegged as a replacement to the Wonderlic, the writing is on the wall and it will probably be a matter of time before it becomes the industry standard and the Wonderlic goes the way of Tom Landry – a developer of that test.

According to the experts, here is how this new test will be administered:

• It will be administered the same way the Wonderlic tests are — in a classroom environment.

• Unlike the Wonderlic, which is a 12-minute test, the test will be a 60-minute exam.

• There is “no way” players can study or prepare for the test.

• The test results will be shared with “one or two” team executives in order to protect confidentiality. That said, there isn’t a perfect score because the test is designed to determine strengths and weaknesses in different aptitude and psychological categories.

According to NFL.com, Goldstein has developed several other versions of the test for various industries to help human resources departments in evaluating potential personnel.

One of the key evaluation focus points of this new test is determining how potential players learn and what coaching strategies they best learn under.

Here’s what the NFL had to say about the implementation of its newest measuring tool – it was released as part of a memo:

"“At this year’s combine we will introduce a new and expanded player assessment tool designed to offer a much more robust and comprehensive assessment of a player’s non-physical capabilities, aptitudes, and strengths.“… this new test measures a wide range of competencies, including learning styles, motivation, decision-making skills, responding to pressure or unexpected stimuli, and core intellect.“This is an exciting innovation that brings updated best practices from corporate America to the NFL football operations. By giving clubs new and more relevant information, it offers additional information to supplement your decision-making in the draft. One of the most interesting aspects is that new information on player learning styles can potentially help our coaches’ work more effectively with young players.”"

I wonder what Vince Lombardi would think about all this? Maybe it’s best the coach isn’t around to tell us.

My guess it would be an earful … just sayin’ …

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