2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Air Force quarterback describes post-concussion test and the stress of taking it

Published: October 30, 2013, 3:08 pm, by Brent Briggeman

For an student-athlete (or cadet-athlete), one of the most stressful exams they’ll be given is the imPACT test.

This is the test that is given to athletes before a season to establish a baseline of brain function, then given again after a concussion to see if the brain is acting as it should.

The results aren’t determined by some kind of unseen radio waves or sensors, but by the athletes actually answering questions. Since these athletes generally want the results to turn out favorably and allow them return, it can be nerve-wracking.

Air Force sophomore quarterback Karson Roberts went through this process in the week after his concussion against San Diego State on Oct. 10 and failed at least once before gaining clearance to resume physical activity.

“I was trying to do the best I could on it, so yea, it was stressful,” Roberts said.

Roberts then offered a brief description of what the test is like:

“It’s mostly memory-based stuff and flashing words up on the screen and you have to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’ was this a word they flashed. Then design identification, there were just a bunch of speed tests and other things to determine if your brain is where it needs to be.”