March 5, 2021

ASRS v1.1

Last updated on May 11, 2022

The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS v1.1) is a self-report screening scale for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults, consisting of two parts. Part A is the main test, while part B offers more information that can be discussed with your medical professional. For the latest version of this test, have a look at the ASRS-5.

Basic information
Statements:6 (extended: 18)
Duration:2-5 minutes (extended: 5-15 minutes)
Type:screening tool
Authors:Ronald C. Kessler et al.
Publishing year:2005
Seminal paper:The World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS): a short screening scale for use in the general population (Kessler et al., 2005)

 

Take the test here:


Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht’s rating: 5 stars for appropriate and respectful wording, 5 stars for clarity & lack of ambiguity, and 3 stars for testing accuracy. Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht’s rating: 5 stars for appropriate and respectful wording, 5 stars for clarity & lack of ambiguity, and 3 stars for testing accuracy.

Who the test is designed for

  • Adults (18+) with an IQ in the normal range (IQ >=80).

What it tests

The ASRS v1.1 identifies ADHD in adults, with questions that relate to the two subscales:[1]The World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS): a short screening scale for use in the general population (Kessler et al., 2005)

  • Inattention (questions 1–4, 7–11)
  • Hyperactivity-impulsivity (questions 5–6, 12–18)

Note, however, that the ASRS v1.1 is only a screening scale, not a diagnostic test. So while it can give an indication of ADHD, a diagnostic assessment by a trained clinician is needed to follow up on patients who screen positive.[2]Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) Version 1.1 Background Information | Harvard Medical School Sarah Gray et al. states:[3]The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS): utility in college students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (Gray et al., 2014)

These two scales are not measuring ADHD symptomatology for diagnostic cut-off; rather, they measure functional impairment experienced by those with ADHD.


Versions & translations

The ASRS v1.1 has been translated into many languages:


Taking the test

The ASRS v1.1 consists of 18 questions, but the screening part consists of only the first 6 questions. Each question gives you 5 choices:

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Often
  • Very Often

If you decide to take the test, please consider the Discussion section below.


Scoring

  • Scoring range: 0–6 (0–18 for the full test)
  • Threshold score: n/a
Scoring

Although you get 5 choices per question, the scoring is binary; you get either a 0 or a 1. But which answers you get a 1 for can vary. For questions 1–3, 9, 12, 16, and 18, the scoring is as follows:[4]Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1) Symptom Checklist | Harvard Medical School

  • Never – 0
  • Rarely – 0
  • Sometimes – 1
  • Often – 1
  • Very often – 1

But for questions 4–8, 10, 11, 13–15, and 17 the scoring is:[5]Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1) Symptom Checklist | Harvard Medical School

  • Never – 0
  • Rarely – 0
  • Sometimes – 0
  • Often – 1
  • Very often – 1
Threshold

There isn’t actually a threshold score to the ASRS v1.1.


Validity

Although the ASRS v1.1 screener can effectively diagnose ADHD in adults, it cannot rule out other medical conditions that may impact the diagnosis of ADHD.

The validity of the ASRS v1.1 varies depending on whether you take the screening (first 6 questions) or the full test (18 questions), as the screening part was found to be more reliable.[6]The World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS): a short screening scale for use in the general population (Kessler et al., 2005)

6 questions
18 questions
MeasureScoreScore
Sensitivity68.7%56.3%
Specificity99.5%98.3%
Classification accuracy97.9%96.2%
Kappa0.760.58

Here is what the terms mean:

  • Sensitivity — The ability of a test to correctly identify patients with a condition (true positive rate).
  • Specificity — The ability of a test to correctly identify people without the condition (true negative rate).
  • Classification accuracy — The ratio of the number of correct predictions to the total number of input samples (correct classifications rate).
  • Kappa — The extent of agreement between different measures or reviewers’ interpretations. In this case, there is moderate to substantial agreement.[7]Week 14: kappa (Dr. James Degnan) | The University of New Mexico – Department of Mathematics & Statistics

So as you can see, the ASRS v1.1 is much better at identifying when someone doesn’t have ADHD than when they do, but the 6 first questions of the test can identify almost 70% of people with ADHD. Note, however, that the ASRS-5 correctly identifies more than 90% of cases. So you may want to do that test instead.


Discussion

Martin:

The ASRS v1.1 seems to be a fair, short screening tool, but it isn’t a comprehensive measure of ADHD, so you might have to manage your expectations.

The lack of a threshold score bothers me, because it renders the output score close to useless. The fact that the scoring is done in a binary way also makes ADHD seem binary, like either it describes your neurology and cognition or it doesn’t. But while the clinical diagnosis may be binary (i.e. either you’re diagnosed with ADHD or you’re not), ADHD constitutes a constellation of traits. So I would have liked to see that reflected in the scoring as well.

I also don’t think this test offers a lot of insight, but to be fair, I’m not sure if I should expect a screening instrument to be. I scored 5 in total (4 on part A, and 1 on part B). What this tells me is that I scored mostly (4/6) for ADHD on the inattention scale, but just about nothing (1/12) on the hyperactivity-impulsivity scale. That makes a lot of sense to me, but I still find myself wondering if this is any indication that I might have ADHD. As it happens I do; I’m not diagnosed, but I take medication for it. But this test wouldn’t have offered me the clarity I would have needed to pursue a diagnosis.

Since this is a screening tool, it only needs to give an indication of ADHD so you can follow it up with a clinical professional. But considering this screening detects less than 70% of people with ADHD (less than 60% for the 18-part version), it might actually overlook a substantial number of people in the screening process. For a more reliable ADHD screening tool, have a look at the ASRS-5.


ASRS v1.1

Below is the ASRS v1.1. Officially, only part A (questions 1–6) is scored, but we decided to include the extended test in the scoring.

1. How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project, once the challenging parts have been done?
2. How often do you have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do a task that requires organization?
3. How often do you have problems remembering appointments or obligations?
4. When you have a task that requires a lot of thought, how often do you avoid or delay getting started?
5. How often do you fidget or squirm with your hands or feet when you have to sit down for a long time?
6. How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, like you were driven by a motor?
7. How often do you make careless mistakes when you have to work on a boring or difficult project?
8. How often do you have difficulty keeping your attention when you are doing boring or repetitive work?
9. How often do you have difficulty concentrating on what people say to you, even when they are speaking to you directly?
10. How often do you misplace or have difficulty finding things at home or at work?
11. How often are you distracted by activity or noise around you?
12. How often do you leave your seat in meetings or other situations in which you are expected to remain seated?
13. How often do you feel restless or fidgety?
14. How often do you have difficulty unwinding and relaxing when you have time to yourself?
15. How often do you find yourself talking too much when you are in social situations?
16. When you’re in a conversation, how often do you find yourself finishing the sentences of the people you are talking to, before they can finish them themselves?
17. How often do you have difficulty waiting your turn in situations when turn taking is required?
18. How often do you interrupt others when they are busy?

Rights & permissions

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The ADHD-ASRS Screener v1.1 and ADHD-ASRS Symptom Checklist v1.1 are copyrighted by the World Health Organization.


Recommended next steps

After the ASRS v1.1, consider taking one of the tests below.

ASRS-5

An updated and more reliable ASRS

CAT-Q

Measures camouflaging, and can account
for lower scores on other autism tests

RAADS-R

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.


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If you are looking for an autism assessment,
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This article
was written by:
dr-natalie-engelbrecht
I’m a dually licensed registered psychotherapist and naturopathic doctor, and a Canadian leader in trauma, PTSD, and integrative medicine strictly informed by scientific research.And not only do I happen to be autistic, but my autism plays a significant role in who I am as a doctor and how I interact with and care for my patients and clients.

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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