Self Test for Adult ADHD

This self test for adult ADHD is intended to help satisfy your curiosity about your own "symptoms" of ADHD. It is not for self diagnosis. Our goal is to help you determine whether to seek professional help to correctly diagnose ADHD.

If you are asking yourself “Does my child have ADHD?”, you’re still in the right place, as these same questions can be applied to children as well.

The questions below follow the basic criteria established by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known as the DSM-IV. This manual, published by the American Psychiatric Association, defines the classifications and diagnosis of all mental disorders.

Note that most of these questions will be asked by any mental health professional who is evaluating a patient for ADHD. Asking them here may help you think back and conjure up past experiences that you can share during a doctor's evaluation.

PART I:  Inattentiveness

1. Do you often misplace or forget things needed for daily activities, such as books, car keys, cell phone, purse or briefcase, pens or pencils, etc.?
  • lose track of where you put things - they are never where they "should" be
  • frequently leave essential things behind when you leave home, work, school, or to go on a trip
2. Do you often fail to pay close attention to detail, or make careless mistakes at work, in school, or at home?
  • not reading or fully understanding directions
  • making careless errors such as elementary spelling or grammar mistakes, or skipping whole sections of work
  • not completing tasks as directed
3. Do you have trouble maintaining your focus in tasks or activities?
  • being distracted by unrelated thoughts or things you’d rather be doing
  • taking shortcuts to finish a task prematurely
  • having to re-read directions or paragraphs that you already have completed
4. Do you find yourself not paying attention in conversation or when being spoken to directly?
  • asking someone to repeat themselves
  • giving the wrong answer due to not understanding what was asked of you
  • forgetting the topic being discussed
5. Do you often find yourself not finishing tasks, assignments, or chores in school, at work, or at home?
  • forgetting when something is due
  • forgetting all steps necessary for completion, or to return to an uncompleted step
  • not allocating enough time to complete tasks
6. Do you have difficulty organizing tasks or work or play activities?
  • not remembering all the details when planning
  • putting activities out of proper sequence
  • forgetting to involve all the right people
7. Do you avoid or dislike tasks that require longer periods of concentration?
  • unable to focus for very long
  • don’t have the patience to see the task all the way through
  • find yourself repeatedly going over the same steps
8. Are you often distracted by outside activities or noise?
  • lose focus and motivation easily
  • unable to concentrate with any background noise at all
  • always wishing you were doing something more enjoyable or productive
9. Are you forgetful of basic things or to-do items in your daily activities?
  • forget to feed the cat or walk the dog
  • forget to pay bills
  • forget to put gas in the car





PART II:  Hyperactivity

1. Do you often fidget with your hands or squirm around in your seat?
  • cannot sit still without moving around
  • always uncomfortable after 2-3 minutes
  • frequently tap your pen or pencil, and cross/uncross your legs
2. Do you have trouble staying in your seat, having to get up and walk around or pace the floor?
  • bored with whatever you are doing or hearing, and have to get up
  • always thinking of other things you’d rather be doing
3. Do you have trouble being quiet during leisure activities?
  • feel the need to talk or “do something”
  • cannot slow yourself down and relax
4. Are you often in motion and on the go, even when not finished with a task or activity?
  • cannot sit or stand still for more than a minute
  • there’s always something you need to do
  • starting a new task always seems to be preferable to finishing one
5. Do you find yourself talking excessively?
  • thoughts that enter your head always have to be spoken
  • sometimes find yourself talking about the same things over and over

PART III:  Impulsivity

1. Do you often blurt out answers before questions have been completely asked?
  • can’t wait for the question to be completed because you know the answer
  • don’t have the patience to hear the question be completed
2. Do you often say or do things without thinking, that you later regret?
  • can't help saying what comes into your mind which could be rude or insulting
  • make decisions or buy things quickly, without evaluating alternatives or considering the consequences
3. Do you have trouble waiting your turn to do something, or waiting in line?
  • just cannot wait and spend idle time
  • always anxious to do something and move on
4. Do you find yourself interrupting others, or intruding on conversations or the activities of others?
  • prone to jumping in and not being cognizant of interrupting someone or "talking over" someone
  • cannot watch on the sidelines and not be involved
  • impatient when wanting to talk to someone or join in on an activity

Most of us can remember many occasions where we fit just about every one of these situations during our lives. But the key things to ask yourself about the above questions are:

  • how many of these symptoms can you recognize in yourself?
  • how frequently do they occur, or have they occurred?
  • do they happen in multiple settings, such as at home, school, work, church, social settings, etc.?
  • how long do they last when they do occur?
  • how severe is the symptom, and how disruptive is it to your task or to the situation when it occurs?

These are among the questions the mental health professional will ask when considering a diagnosis of adult ADHD. Since this is a self test, your own honest answers to them may surprise you.


If your answers show that these situations in Part I, II and/or III happen to you with any regularity, you may want to consider scheduling an appointment with a mental health physician or psychiatrist to get a professional assessment and diagnosis.

Return from Self Test for Adult ADHD to What is Adult ADHD.