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December 31, 2021
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A summary of the autism tests & scores

Last updated on January 23, 2022

On our autism tests page, you can find a number of autism tests with extensive documentation. This post serves as a summary of information on the AQ, the EQ, the RAADS–R, the Aspie Quiz, and the CAT-Q; here you can find out what the tests measure, the threshold scores and scoring ranges, and the average scores of autistics and non-autistics, so you can see how your scores compare.


What the tests measure

Here is a list of all the autism tests on our website, with short descriptions of each Note that I only include autism-specific tests in this post.

Autism tests overview
Autism testAbbreviationWhat it purports to measureWhat it actually measures
Autism Spectrum QuotientAQAutistic traitsAutistic traits, although the test outputs only a single score, leaving you with no insight into how you score in each domain. Additionally, some of the test items are outdated
Short Autism Spectrum QuotientAQ-10Autistic traitsAutistic traits, but considering the length of the test, it can only give a very rough indication of autism
Empathy QuotientEQEmpathy capacity/proclivityIt seems to measure social intelligence more so than empathy, and doesn’t properly distinguish between different types of empathy (unlike the TEQ). Perhaps specifically, your understanding of neurotypical social behavior, rather than emotional intelligence in general
Systemizing Quotient–RevisedSQ–RSystemizing proclivity/capacitySystemizing proclivity/ability, or your tendency to analyze and construct systems, classifications, and categories
Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale–RevisedRAADS–RSubclinical autistic traitsAutistic traits, according to 4 subscales. It’s somewhat arguable whether it accurately measures subclinical presentations, but it performs well in distinguishing between autism and neurotypicality
Aspie QuizAutistic traitsAutistic traits, and unlike the AQ, it offers insights into how you score in each of the 5 domains
Camouflaging Autistic Traits QuestionnaireCAT-QSocial camouflagingIt tests your proclivity to camouflage, but doesn’t give a measure of how successful you are at it (but the ADOS module 4 can)
Adult Repetitive Behaviours Questionnaire-2RBQ-2ARestricted and repetitive behaviorsRoutine behaviors, special interests, avoidance of sensory frustrators, and stimming behaviors

Scoring ranges & thresholds

Now that you have a nice overview of what the tests measure, let’s have a look at the scoring ranges and threshold values of each test.

Autism tests scoring ranges
Autism testScoring rangeThreshold value
Autism Quotient0–5026↑
AQ-100–106↑
Empathy Quotient0–8030↓
Systemizing Quotient0–15075↑
RAADS–R0–24065↑
Aspie Quiz0–200 (ND and NT score)35+ difference between ND and NT scores
CAT-Q25–175100↑
RBQ-2A20–6026↑

Note that in most cases, scores indicative of autism are at or above the specified threshold values—except for the EQ, where scores below the specified threshold value are indicative of autism.


What the scores mean

Now that you know the scoring ranges and threshold values, I will offer brief descriptions of what your scores are indicating—and if known, what they are associated with.

Autism tests score interpretations
Autism testPositive scoring rangeInterpretation
Autism Quotient26–50 Any score of 26 or above is simply indicative of the presence of autistic traits. The AQ provides no more insights than that.
AQ-106–10Same as regular AQ score, but provides less confidence in the results than the AQ.
Empathy Quotient0–30Any score of 30 or below is indicative of autism according to this test. However, scores above 30 do not rule out autism. Particularly in the case of socially conscious autistic women, higher scores are not uncommon.

Furthermore, note that the EQ does not give a reliable measure of your capacity for empathy, but rather gives a measure of your propensity for prosocial behavior
Systemizing Quotient75–150Any score of 75 or above indicates a type of structural thinking and propensity to analyze and seek patterns that is strongly associated with autism.
RAADS–RTotal: 65–240
• L: 4+
• SR: 31+
• S–M: 16+
• CI: 15+
Any score of 65 or above is indicative of autistic traits.

Your subscale scores further offer insights into the particular autistic traits in the domains of Language, Social relatedness, Sensory–motor, and Circumscribed interests. Have a look at the subscales section of our RAADS–R article to find out more about these four domains.
Aspie Quiz35–200 difference between ND and NT scoresIf your ND score is 35+ points greater than your NT score, your results are indicative of autism. The higher your ND score is, the more autistic traits you have.

As part of your test results, a diagram will be generated which shows your ND and NT talents in the following 5 domains: Talent, Perception, Communication, Relationships, and Social. High ND scores in these domains can indicate:
  • Talent: strong/special interests & noticing details and patterns

  • Perception: routine-driven and need for predictability & hypersensitivity or hypersensitivity

  • Communication: atypical nonverbal communication & stimming

  • Relationships: atypical attachments & atypical sexual preferences

  • Social: egocentrism & correctness over social acceptance

For other associations and what low NT scores indicate, have a look at Interpreting your Aspie Quiz scores.
CAT-QTotal: 100–175
• C: 35–63
• M: 30–56
• A: 35–56
A total score of 100 or above indicates significant camouflaging behaviors, including suppressing autistic proclivities, and showing prosocial behaviors out of convention rather than intuition.

These behaviors are strongly associated with psychological distress and functional challenges. High scores on the 3 subtypes of camouflaging indicate the following:
  • Compensation: You tend to suppress your autistic traits and proclivities, and copy other people’s behaviors in an attempt to fit in.

  • Masking: You tend to hide what you feel and think, and establish eye contact even when it brings you discomfort, for the sake of conforming to group conventions.

  • Assimilation: In order to avoid social exclusion, you tend to put on an act while socializing; you try to avoid social interaction, even when you do associate with others in social contexts.

Compensation and Assimilation scores tend to be significantly elevated in autistic people. Read Interpreting your CAT-Q scores for more information on the three subscales and the consequences of high scores.

NB: Since camouflaging behaviors can show up everywhere and even distort your sense of self, a high CAT-Q score may also account for lower scores on other autism tests, as it’s likely you will show camouflaging behaviors while taking the tests and thinking about the questions.
RBQ-2A26–60Any score of 26 or above indicates you show a diagnostically significant number of repetitive behaviors, meaning you show daily routines and interests, sensory sensitivities, and stimming behaviors that are commonly associated with autism.

However, in terms of stimming behaviors, this test is quite incomplete, and a single score output as a measure of several quite distinct constructs is of limited usefulness. So while your RBQ score can provide substantiation for the Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors (RRB) construct that is part of an autism diagnosis, low scores on their own cannot rule out autism.

Note that no single test is conclusive, and it’s not uncommon to score below the threshold values on some of the tests. Test results have to be looked at as a whole.


Average scores

Based on the research literature, how do your scores compare to other autistic and non-autistic people? The table below presents the average scores of autistics and non-autistics, as well as average scores per sex. Between males and females, the highest scores are denoted by a black star (★).

Autism tests average scores
Autism testAutisticsNon-autisticsAutistic malesAutistic femalesNon-autistic malesNon-autistic females
Autism Quotient35.816.435.138.1 ★17.815.4
AQ-10
Empathy Quotient20.4*42.1*
Systemizing Quotient77.2*55.6*77.8* ★76.4*61.2*51.7*
RAADS–RT:L:SR:SM:CI:
Scoring range:
133.8*[1]The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R): A Scale to Assist the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: An International Validation Study (Ritvo et al., 2011)
11.1*[2]The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R): A Scale to Assist the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: An International Validation Study (Ritvo et al., 2011)
67.9*[3]The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R): A Scale to Assist the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: An International Validation Study (Ritvo et al., 2011)
32.8*[4]The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R): A Scale to Assist the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: An International Validation Study (Ritvo et al., 2011)
28.1*[5]The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R): A Scale to Assist the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: An International Validation Study (Ritvo et al., 2011)

44–227
25.9*[6]The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R): A Scale to Assist the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: An International Validation Study (Ritvo et al., 2011)
1.9*[7]The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R): A Scale to Assist the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: An International Validation Study (Ritvo et al., 2011)
9.2*[8]The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R): A Scale to Assist the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: An International Validation Study (Ritvo et al., 2011)
5.3*[9]The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R): A Scale to Assist the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: An International Validation Study (Ritvo et al., 2011)
5.0*[10]The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R): A Scale to Assist the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: An International Validation Study (Ritvo et al., 2011)

1–64
148.6
11.9
71.3
36.7
28.7
160.4 ★
12.8 ★
73.5 ★
43.1 ★
31.0 ★
84.2
6.6
43.0
19.0
15.7
91.6
6.8
42.8
24.8
17.2
Aspie QuizND:NT:T:93
113
−20
107 ★
102
5 ★
CAT-QT:C:M:A:117
40
35.1
42.5
94
28.5
35.1
29.5
110
37
33
40
124 ★
43 ★
38 ★
45 ★
97
30
36
30
91
27
35
29
RBQ-2A1.84*1.25*
Scores denoted by an asterisk (*) are mean scores rather than average scores.

  • RAADS–R abbreviations: T = total, L = Language, SR = Social relatedness, SM = Sensori–motor, CI = Circumscribed interests

  • Aspie Quiz abbreviations: T = total (ND − NT), ND = Neurodivergent score, NT = Neurotypical score

  • CAT-Q abbreviations: T = total, C = Compensation, M = Masking, A = Assimilation

It is interesting to note is that on many of the autism tests, autistic women actually score higher than autistic men on average. That goes counter to the historic and outdated conception of autism as a male condition. It seems to show that the number of autistic traits in autistic women is often underestimated, perhaps because those traits are rendered less visible on account of camouflaging behaviors.


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If you are looking for an autism assessment,
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You can find more information here:

Autism assessments

References

This article
was written by:
dr-engelbrecht-and-martin-silvertant
Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht ND RP is a dually licensed registered psychotherapist and naturopathic doctor, and a Canadian leader in trauma and PTSD, and she happens to be autistic; she got diagnosed at 48. Martin Silvertant is living up to his surname as a silver award-winning graphic designer. He also loves researching autism, astronomy, and typography. He was diagnosed with autism at 25.

Disclaimer

Although our content is generally well-researched
and substantiated, or based on personal experience,
note that it does not constitute medical advice.

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