Last Friday, this summer’s aspiring NFLPA-licensed contract advisors who took the exam got their results. After personally contacting more than a hundred of them over the last week, here are a few thoughts.

  • I know personally of 20 would-be test-takers who will have to wait until next year due solely to technical issues with the proctoring service. I would estimate there are double that number, maybe 35-40, cooling their heels until next summer, including the ones I’ve spoken to. Though the NFLPA hasn’t released the total of those who got derailed by technical issues, it could wind up being as much as 10 percent of those who took the exam. Despite this, I don’t think we ever again see prospective agents descend on Washington, D.C., for an in-person exam. The PA will continue to work through its growing pains rather than make it a physical, pencil-and-paper exam again. In the meantime, my sincerest sympathies go to those 30-40 people who were hoping to recruit prospects this fall.
  • This year, it took 51 days for the NFLPA to provide test results. Since we started tracking these things in 2013, it’s the longest test-takers have had to wait since July 2015, when answers came out Friday, Sept. 18, a 56-day wait. Whether or not it’s just coincidence, that’s also the year the NFLPA made the exam appreciably harder, dropping the usually passing percentage of around 55-60 percent to about 40-45 since then. 


  • Was this year’s exam harder than last year’s? Based on my tally, having communicated with about two-thirds of the people we worked with, about 55 percent of our test-takers passed. It’s worth noting that many people who fail don’t respond, so it’s certainly possible our clients were below 50 percent. If that’s true, however, I’d expect the rate of people passing to be below 40 percent this year. When you consider that about half of each class is people taking the exam a second time, it’s obvious this is a difficult exam. I don’t know how NFLPA exam results compare to the tests for the other major sports, but my impression is that the others are far easier to pass, for a lot of reasons. Bottom line — if you’re taking the exam, use an exam prep service, even if it’s not ours. You’ll be happy you did. We had about a half-dozen clients who failed the exam a second time this year, and it’s hard to know what to say to ease their disappointment. 

Best of luck to all of those taking the exam next year, many of whom we’ve already heard from. Naturally, we’ll work with all of those who were with us this year and who will be giving it a go again next year. 

Whether or not you passed or failed, or whether or not player representation interests you, make sure you know what’s going on in the business by reading our Friday Wrap, which comes out later this evening. Register for it here.