April 12, 2020


Last updated on August 19, 2022

The Adult Repetitive Behaviours Questionnaire-2 (RBQ-2A) is a self-administered questionnaire that measures restricted and repetitive behaviours in adults.

Basic information
Statements: 20
Duration: 5–10 minutes
Type: screening tool
Authors: Sarah Barrett et al.
Publishing year: 2015
Seminal paper: Assessing subtypes of restricted and repetitive behaviour using the Adult Repetitive Behaviour Questionnaire-2 in autistic adults (Barrett et al., 2015)


Take the test here:

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

Who the test is designed for

Sue Leekam, one of the authors of the paper and director of the Wales Autism Research Centre at Cardiff University, says:

Many measures used for research and diagnoses of autism rely on parents, teachers or caregivers to report the behaviors of individuals with the condition. What our research has done is develop a test where individuals can report on their own behaviors.

What it tests

The RBQ-2A tests one of the core diagnostic criteria for autism, restricted and repetitive behaviours (RRBs),[2]Diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder | CDC which is further divided into:[3]The Adult Repetitive Behaviours Questionnaire-2 (RBQ-2A): A self-report measure of restricted and repetitive behaviours. Journal of autism and developmental disorders (Barrett et al., 2015)

  • Insistence on sameness (IS) — Finding comfort in routines and consistency, and circumscribed interests
  • Repetitive motor behaviours (RMB) — Repetitive movements such as rocking and hand-flapping, ritualistic behavior, and sensory sensitivities

Versions & translations

Taking the test

The RBQ-2A consists of 20 questions, giving you 3 or 4 choices for each question:

  1.  Never or rarely
  2.  One or more times daily (mild or occasional)
  3.  15 or more times daily (marked or notable)
  4.  30 or more times daily (serious or severe)

Questions 6–12 and 20 give 3 possible answers, while the other questions give you a fourth option. However, answers #3 and #4 are both scored as 3, so don’t worry about which is a better fit for you with respect to the questions on the test; you can simply ignore the 4th choice if you like. I don’t know why test developers do this…

You can take the test at the end of this post, or by clicking the link below.



  • Scoring range: 20–60
  • Threshold score: 26↑
    • 36 average autistic score
    • 25 non-autistic score

Mean & median scores

Autistic and non-autistic people scored as follows on the RBQ-2A:[5]The Adult Repetitive Behaviours Questionnaire-2 (RBQ-2A): A self-report measure of restricted and repetitive behaviours. Journal of autism and developmental disorders (Barrett et al., 2015)

RBQ-2A mean & median scores
Autistic meanNeurotypical meanAutistic medianNeurotypical median
Total RBQ-2A score1.841.251.901.20
RMB score1.591.261.501.17
IS score2.
RSMB score1.641.201.601.10
Abbreviations: RMB = Repetitive motor behaviours, IS = Insistence on sameness, RSMB = Repetitive sensory and motor behaviours


Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht pointing to the title ‘Discussion’.



The RBQ-2A is my favourite test for autism. The main reason being is that it is respectful towards autistics. It is one of the first times I can walk away from a test and not be infuriated at the lack of knowledge and the disrespect to people on the spectrum. The statements are easily understood, familiar, and relevant to me—unlike many I encountered in other tests.


At first, I was annoyed in Section 1 by the choices One or more times daily and 15 or more times daily. The activities listed aren’t something I typically notice, let alone count.

Sections 2, 3, and 4 choices made my answer clear and quick.

The test is quick, concise, and focused. (Kendall)

Embrace Autism | RBQ-2A | icon Test


Read each question carefully and choose the answer you feel is most representative. There are no right or wrong answers, or trick questions.

1. Do you like to arrange items in rows or patterns?
2. Do you repetitively fiddle with items? (e.g. spin, twiddle, bang, tap, twist, or flick anything repeatedly?)
3. Do you like to spin yourself around and around?
4. Do you rock backwards and forwards, or side to side, either when sitting or when standing?
5. Do you pace or move around repetitively (e.g. walk to and fro across a room, or around the same path in the garden?)
6. Do you make repetitive hand and/or finger movements? (e.g. flap, wave, or flick your hands or fingers repetitively?)
7. Do you have a fascination with specific objects (e.g. trains, road signs, or other things?)
8. Do you like to look at objects from particular or unusual angles?
9. Do you have a special interest in the smell of people or objects?
10. Do you have a special interest in the feel of different surfaces?
11. Do you have any special objects you like to carry around?
12. Do you collect or hoard items of any sort?
13. Do you insist on things at home remaining the same? (e.g. furniture staying in the same place, things being kept in certain places, or arranged in certain ways?)
14. Do you get upset about minor changes to objects (e.g. flecks of dirt on your clothes, minor scratches on objects?)
15. Do you insist that aspects of daily routine must remain the same?
16. Do you insist on doing things in a certain way or re-doing things until they are 'just right'?
17. Do you play the same music, game or video, or read the same book repeatedly?
18. Do you insist on wearing the same clothes or refuse to wear new clothes?
19. Do you insist on eating the same foods, or a very small range of foods, at every meal?
20. If you are left to occupy yourself, will you choose from a restricted range of repetitive activities?

Next steps

After the RBQ-2A, consider taking one of the tests below.

Autism Spectrum Quotient

A simple screening test that is used as a basis
for pursuing a formal autism evaluation

VIA Inventory of Strengths

Measures social camouflaging behaviours in adults

Empathy Quotient

Measures Theory of Mind

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.

An illustration of a clipboard with a checklist or assessment.

If you are looking for an autism assessment,
Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht can offer help!
You can find more information here:

Autism assessments


This article
was written by:
Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht ND RP is a dually licensed naturopathic doctor and registered psychotherapist, and a Canadian leader in trauma, PTSD, and integrative medicine strictly informed by scientific research. She was diagnosed at 46, and her autism plays a significant role in who she is as a doctor, and how she interacts with and cares for her patients and clients.


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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