The AQ-10 Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ-10) is a quick questionnaire that primary care practitioners can use to see if a person should be referred for an autism assessment.
- Statements: 10
- Duration: 2–5 minutes
- Type: brief screening instrument
- Authors: Carrie Allison, Bonnie Auyeung, and Simon Baron-Cohen
- Publishing year: 2012
- Seminal Paper: Toward Brief “Red Flags” for Autism Screening: The Short Autism Spectrum Quotient and the Short Quantitative Checklist in 1,000 Cases and 3,000 Controls (Allison, Auyeng, & Baron-Cohen, 2012)
Take the test here:
Who the test is designed for
- Adults (age 16+) with suspected autism who do not have a learning disability.Toward Brief “Red Flags” for Autism Screening: The Short Autism Spectrum Quotient and the Short Quantitative Checklist in 1,000 Cases and 3,000 Controls (Allison, Auyeng, & Baron-Cohen, 2012)
Versions & translations
- The AQ-10 is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Swedish, and French
- Non-adults versions are also available:
Taking the test
The AQ-10 consists of 10 statements, giving you 4 choices for each statement:
- Definitely agree
- Slightly agree
- Slightly disagree
- Definitely disagree
Note: it makes no difference to your score whether you choose slightly or definitely, so just treat the statements as a binary choice of ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’.
- Scoring range: 0–10
- Threshold score: 6
- 6+ you might be autistic
- <6 you may not be autistic
- 80% of people designated Asperger’s syndrome score 6 or higher
The AQ-10 is only available as a self-scoring test.
How reliable, accurate, valid, and up to date is the test?
- The AQ -10 retains the predictive validity of the full 50-item inventory.Toward Brief “Red Flags” for Autism Screening: The Short Autism Spectrum Quotient and the Short Quantitative Checklist in 1,000 Cases and 3,000 Controls (Allison, Auyeng, & Baron-Cohen, 2012)
- The AQ-10 is thus a valuable instrument for rapidly quantifying where any given individual is situated on the continuum from autism to normality.
- As a clinician, the AQ-10 allows me a quick two-minute screen to see if I should investigate further for autism spectrum condition. Like many other autistics, I find it frustrating that 4 choices are offered when there are only two as I feel that it wastes my time debating between slightly and definitely.
- I think the test also requires a certain amount of insight into oneself that alexithymia may prevent. The first time I took this test I scored less than 6, and it was only when Martin went through the test with me and pointed out things that were obvious to him, that I realized that I indeed scored higher.
- The CAT-Q may be a good next test to take if you do not score above the threshold.
- If it makes no difference in the scoring, why create indecision with unnecessary choices? Omitting an undecided or don’t know option is a welcome design.
- Statements such as, When I’m reading a story I find it difficult to work out the characters’ intentions, are next to impossible for me to answer. Whether difficult or easy, is something I have no way to compare or contrast.
- That said, the questionnaire is quick to take, easily understood, and the scoring uncomplicated.
Recommended next steps
After the AQ-10, if you haven’t taken them already, the tests below are a good next step if you suspect you might be autistic. If you scored 6 or higher, you may want to start by doing the full AQ.
A simple screening test that is used as a basis
for pursuing a formal autism evaluation
If you scored lower than 6 on the AQ-10,
I suggest taking the CAT-Q, as it identifies
autistics that may be overlooked on other tests
Identifies adults who often “escape diagnosis”
due to a subclinical level presentation
Online autism tests can play an essential role in the process of self-discovery, and may inform your decision to pursue a formal diagnosis. For a formal assessment, please see a knowledgeable medical professional trained in assessing autism.
If you are looking for an autism assessment,
Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht can offer help!
You can find more information here: