NFL Mental Aptitude Test

What is Wonderlic NFL Mental Aptitude Test?

The NFL or National Football League is a professional American Football League consisting of 32 teams and is the highest professional level of American football in the world.

It was originally formed in 1920 and boasts the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world. It is the most popular league in the United States with televised games accounting for the most watched programs in American history.

It is not surprising therefore, that competition for places within the NFL is fierce and the league itself has intensive sign up processes that ensure they enroll only the very best individuals. As well as testing sporting ability and talent, the NFL uses Wonderlic tests as part of its enrollment procedure to assess cognitive ability as well as physical ability.

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What is the NFL aptitude test?

The Wonderlic test is the generic name used for a range of evaluation tests that were designed by the Wonderlic company. Many organizations use these tests as part of their application process. The NFL is no exception.

The tests are designed to evaluate an applicant’s problem solving skills along with their cognitive ability. The test is taken within a strict time frame. Therefore, preparation will be key in making sure that you are able to answer quickly and accurately.

Knowing the format of the test and the types of questions you are likely to encounter will help greatly with this and Job Test Prep can provide you with a range of practice materials to help you to do this. Hardly any test takers ever complete the test in the designated time so working efficiently is crucial.

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NFL Scouting Process

Each year there is a NFL scouting week for college football players. Here scouts will observe the players’ skills and give them different tests, including the Wonderlic Test.

Here’s what else the players can expect to encounter:

  • Wonderlic Test
  • Player Assessment Test (PAT)
  • 40-yard dash, bench press test, vertical jump, broad jump, 20-yard shuttle, 3 cone drill
  • Position-specific drills
  • Interviews
  • Physical measurements
  • Injury evaluation
  • Drug screening
  • Cybex test

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What is on the Wonderlic NFL Test?

Wonderlic NFL Test


The categories assessed within the Wonderlic Test include:

  • English – verbal reasoning
  • Math – numerical reasoning
  • Logic – abstract reasoning
  • General Knowledge

Different positions and organizations will assess different basic skills and attributes relevant to the position for which you are applying and as such you may encounter different test formats.

The Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test

In this test you will be assessed on how well you are able to follow instructions and work under pressure. The questions will have a strong problem solving theme and the most successful candidates will possess good working and studying skills.

There are two formats of the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test:

  • The Quicktest – as its name implies, this is a short test that is administered within an 8 minute time frame. There are 30 questions to answer within this time frame.
  • The Full Test – although longer, this test is still only taken within a 12 minute time frame. This time however, there are 50 questions to answer.

The tests are similar in format and question type and both cover the same general topics. For each test, around 40% of the questions will be math oriented, and 40% will cover verbal skills. Around 5-15% of the questions will be logic questions and the remaining 5-15% of questions will cover general knowledge and quick recognition.

Very few candidates will be expected to finish all of the questions within the time frame, which is why it is crucial to make sure that you prepare adequately to improve your speed and accuracy when taking the test.

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The Wonderlic Basic Skills Assessment Test

The Wonderlic Basic Skills Assessment Test – WBST – is administered within a 20-minute time frame. Within the test format there will be 50 questions that are English based and 45 questions that are Math based intended to measure your basic verbal and numerical skills.

The test is therefore composed of two sections: verbal and numerical.


In this part of the test, your ability to understand, interpret and analyze information will be assessed.

There will be a number of topics within the test and these will comprise:

  • Sentence completion
  • Vocabulary questions
  • Sentence construction
  • Information retrieval
  • Understanding instructions
  • Identifying grammatical errors

For example, you may be given a statement and asked to choose the correct missing word as in:

Wire is to electricity as ………….. is to water.
a. Cloud
b. Lake
c. Boiler
e. Pipe

or you may be asked to identify the definition of a word within a statement:

The information collected does not pertain to that incident.

a. Influence
b. Amount
c. Relate
d. Substitute


In this section of the test you will be assessed on the following components:

  • The four basic mathematical operations
  • Proportions and percentages
  • Solving equations that contain variables
  • Fractions and decimals
  • Finding averages and rounding numbers
  • Basic geometry

Questions may be relatively simple at first before increasing in difficulty. For example…

⅕ + ⅛ =

Four possible answers will be given from which you must choose the correct one.


A cyclist has traveled 20 miles out of a 96 mile route. If he cycles at 15.8 miles per hour, how much longer will it take him to finish the rest of the route?

Again there will be four possible answers from which you must select the correct one.

In order to pass the WBST you will really need to familiarize yourself with both the overall format of the test as well as the type of questions that you are likely to face. The questions themselves are not too difficult but the fact that you need to answer them within such a tight time frame will heighten the pressure you feel.

Add to that the basic nerves experienced during test conditions and you will see why preparation is key to success.

Training your brain to recognise question types and difficulty levels will enable you to work quicker and more accurately. In short, practice makes perfect. Job Test Prep has a practice kit that includes 6 simulations and 34 different tests.

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In summary

The wonderlic test in itself is not particularly difficult but the added pressure of the number of questions and time constraints mean that simple errors could be made. Understanding, and being familiar with the test format, will also give you the best advantage over your fellow candidates.

Securing your dream career with the NFL will be definitely worth the time and effort taken to make sure you are ready to ace your test. Let Job Test Prep give you the tools to achieve the ultimate career goal!

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Written by Karen Stanley

​​Karen is a former teacher of 20 years and ten times published author. She writes content for educational organisations and businesses, nationally and internationally. She coaches new and budding writers through to publication and is passionate about creativity; she runs creative writing workshops in schools and fostering agencies.