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Too Long; Couldn’t Tweet is where we share those 141+ character thoughts stuck in limbo between tweet and post.


I’m probably not the first person to ever come up with this election-altering idea.

Statistically, there has to have been at least one slightly-inebriated sports fan who, while watching a modern-era presidential debate at their favorite watering hole, has already yelled this ode to common sense at no one in particular. Regardless, a weird confluence of events over the past few days — the NFL Draft, the Indiana primary, Slate’s Political Gabfest podcast chattering about better ways to evaluate candidates — feels like the universe is saying it’s time for me to yell my own take on this slightly inebriated idea into the digital ether at no one in particular…

We should demand candidates take the Wonderlic Test.


Football fans out there are already nodding in approval, but for those of you with better things to do than evaluate 18 to 22-year-old boys from the comfort of your couch, the Wonderlic is a short-form cognitive abilities test everyone from BP to the United States Armed Forces has used in evaluating potential employees; though it’s most famously used by NFL teams, who have prospects take it before the draft.

As the Wonderlic website explains:

“Testing provides the most objective measurement of an applicant’s knowledge, skills and abilities.
This measurement provides an accurate and fair means to compare different applicants to each other and to the requirements of the job or program.”

Based on another test called the Otis Self-Administering Test of Mental Ability, the Wonderlic was developed by E.F. Wonderlic in 1936 to measure general cognitive ability in the areas of math, vocabulary, and reasoning. It consists of 50 questions that get more difficult as one progresses, and test-takers have 12 minutes to complete it — a major factor of the exam. Eldon F. Wonderlic once even said that “the length of the test was made such that only about two to five percent of average groups complete the test in the twelve-minute time limit.”

Or, as his descendant Charles Wonderlic told FiveThirtyEight:

“This is really saying, ‘How quickly does your brain gather and analyze information?”

Go ahead.

Try a few for yourself…


The Wonderlic has been peer reviewed by the American Psychological Association and has scored a .94 and .87 on the reliability scale, and though it’s still up in the air as to how much a Wonderlic score can predict on-field success in the NFL, it is nevertheless a valuable piece of information to have when you’re trying to compare multiple candidates for possible employment.

All things equal, wouldn’t you want the punter who was the only player to ever receive a perfect score?


For those of you curious schadenfreudists wondering, the lowest score ever belongs to Morris Claiborne, who got 4 questions correct.

On an unrelated note, Wonderlic Inc. claims a score of at least 10 points suggests a person is literate.

On a related note, how badly do you want to see what Donald Trump would get on this test?

Currently, Bernie Sanders supporters are demanding Hillary Clinton release her Goldamn Sachs speech transcripts, Hillary Clinton supporters are demanding Bernie Sanders release his tax returns, and GOP members nationwide are demanding someone rouse them from their current waking nightmare. But if we’re going to try and throw our collective populist weight around, why not demand something that might actually tell us something worth knowing?

It’s not like it would be the end-all, be-all of the election process; much like it isn’t in the NFL. Morris Claiborne, with his 4, still got selected in the first round. Tony Romo, with his 37, still went undrafted. Like George Young, the late New York Giants general manager, once put it to the Philadelphia Daily News, “The Wonderlic gives you an area to investigate. If a guy doesn’t have a good score on the test, you don’t say he’s not smart. But you go in and investigate and find out [why he scored low].”

I bet even Hillary, with her fancy Yale Law degree, wants to know how she scores against Geologists…


The Wonderlic was good enough for Tom Landry during his effort to turn around a flailing, directionless America’s Team, and it’s good enough for a flailing, directionless America.

Indeed, I challenge any true patriot reading this to take this unofficial version of the Wonderlic — see if you can top my Calvin Johnson-tying score of 41# — then try and tell me you’re not at least curious as to how Trump and Clinton would do on this thing.

And if a Tom Landry reference doesn’t motivate you, then I should just quit right now…