cog-test

Taking the Cognitive Style Test

Take a Test Tuesday is back! It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a year since the last Take a Test Tuesday post. In that interim some new tests have popped up online that look interesting so I thought it would be fun to bring back the Tuesday posts for a few weeks. So let’s get started.

This week I took the Life Experiences and Your Cognitive Style test at the awesome Test My Brain website. The tests at Test My Brain are all part of ongoing research, so by taking them you learn some interesting tidbit about yourself and you get to help researchers answer important questions.

The question that this test is trying to answer appears to be how does childhood trauma relate to impulsivity and attention difficulties later in life? This idea has been floating around for nearly a decade. It’s unclear whether adult ADHD may be linked to traumatic childhood experiences or childhood trauma can cause symptoms similar to ADHD in adults. If you want to read more about the research that’s been done on that topic, this article has a lot of links.

The reason this test got me all excited is because the first part of it is a shorter version of the ADHD test that I took during my Asperger’s assessment. 

During my diagnostic interview, the clinician asked me questions like “do you get in a lot of fender benders?” (not a lot, but the ones I do have are spectacularly weird, like backing one of the family cars into the other in the driveway and backing into a payphone) and “do you have trouble staying organized?” My answers to those questions caused him to suspect ADHD, so he included a 20-minute ADHD test as part of my Asperger’s assessment. Keep that 20-minute length in mind as you take the 4-minute version that’s part of this test.

There is a great deal of overlap between the executive function impairments in ADHD and autism. In fact, it can be hard to differentiate between the two. This test, however, evaluates the two aspects of executive function that are most impacted by ADHD: attention and inhibition. It then follows up with a quiz that tells you how rank in relation to other test takers when it comes to planning versus spontaneity. Taken together, the two tests can shine some light on whether you have ADHD-related versus autism-related EF impairments. Or perhaps both.

TAKING THE TEST

This test takes 15 to 20 minutes, so be sure you have the time to complete it before you begin. To take the test, go totestmybrain.org and click on the Go! button next to the “Life Experiences and Your Cognitive Style” test (you may have to scroll down to find it–the order of the tests changes).

You’ll be asked to make your browser window large. I kept mine the size I normally use and it worked fine. The next screen is a simplified informed consent form. You’ll be told what the research is being used for and asked to consent (agree). Once you do, you’re officially a research subject! The next screen collects some demographic information. It’s all anonymous–you won’t be asked any identifying information to get your results or anything annoying like that.

Once you’ve entered your demographic info, you’ll begin the test. The first segment tests continuous concentration. The format is very similar to the visual portion of a commonly-used clinical ADHD test. There are three practice trials to help you get familiar with the process and then a continuous 4 minute test.

The second segment, the Cognitive Style questionnaire, is a set of 30 multiple choice questions about spontaneity, impulsivity, thinking style and how you feel about change.

The final set of questions, the Life Experience Survey, has two options: answering a set of 60 questions (actually less if you answer “no” to some of them) that includes questions about childhood experience (which are primarily related to childhood trauma plus some demographic info) or a set of questions about daily living that does not include the potentially upsetting questions. I opted for the first. They’re serious when they say the questions are personal and potentially upsetting. If you have any reservations, choose the daily living survey to be sure you can complete all 3 steps and get your results.

If you’re going to take the test, do it before reading further because there are some spoilers in the form of strategies in the next section.

Scoring the Test

Segments 1 and 2 are scored. Segment 3 is collected for research purposes and not scored.

Continuous Concentration test: My score: 75.  Average score: 70.69.

The numerical result reflects the percentage of time I was able to inhibit an incorrect response to the mountain scenes (by not pressing a key). I was successful 75% of the time, which is slightly above average. A higher score indicates a greater ability to visually focus on a task and inhibit incorrect responses.

Cognitive Style Questionnaire: My score: 56. Average score: 65.05.

A higher score indicates a great tendency toward spontaneity. A lower score indicates a greater tendency toward planning. I love how positively they put that. Yay for not using “rigidity” to describe a low score. People with ADHD or attention difficulties are more likely to score higher on this questionnaire. People on the spectrum are probably going to score lower. I’m curious how someone with both diagnoses would score. If you don’t mind sharing your diagnoses (ASD, ADHD or both) when you share your scores, we might be able to find a pattern.

It’s no surprise to me that I was slightly above average on the concentration task and well below average on the spontaneity questionnaire. Both of those results agree with the results of my AS assessment. Amusing side note on the cognitive style score: my little blue person was at the extreme left of the graph and The Scientist’s little blue person was at the extreme right side. Talk about opposites attracting . . .

I’m curious to know not only how you score on the attention portion but how you felt taking it. One thing I noticed was that my tendency to focus on details hurt my concentration test score. Often when the picture of the mountain with the road in the foreground popped up, I hit the spacebar because road=city. It was only when my perception of the photo widened to take in the mountain in the background that I realized I’d made a mistake. In contrast, The Scientist said he focused on the top portion of the photos and kept a wider view of the scenes, because doing so made it easier to differentiate between the two types of photos. Detail versus gestalt . . . another thing we take an opposite approach to and another common differentiator between autistic and nonautistic perception.

The Bottom Line

It’s unusual to find an interactive ADHD test online, so this is a unique opportunity to see how you fare outside of a clinical setting. It’s certainly not a conclusive measure of ADHD, but it might be helpful in differentiating between ADHD and autism executive function impairments.

75 thoughts on “Taking the Cognitive Style Test”

    1. I also do not know if my low score on the first is because I struggle with severe executive functioning issues..? Also I scored high on the second because even tho I am an Aspie I know my own mind and if something feels right I do it immediately. I trust my intuition, so even tho I have some “rigidity” as an Autistic it is often not in most of those questions. I also think seven years ago before monthly cognitive therapy this result would have been drastically different.

      1. The low score on the first test and high score on the second test are both indicative of AD(H)D. It’s interesting to think about how ADD and aspie-ness can interact because they have some overlap and also some aspects that are opposite in nature.

        That’s a good point about how you might answer the questions differently now versus prior to therapy.

  1. I got an 85 on the continuous concentration test, which doesn’t really surprise me. But I was surprised at my own emotional response (anger, almost rage) when I realized I’d hit the spacebar for a mountain scene. Weird.

    I got a 65 (almost perfectly average) for the second part, which surprised me at first. I’m a HUGE planner. I think things through! Like…almost too much. But after thinking about it briefly I realized that my responses reflected that I “rarely” or “occasionally” do impulsive things, like spending too much, not because I have ADHD (I don’t) but because I have bipolar disorder, and my mania can shock my system and throw my love of planning and critical thinking out the window. Kinda funny. I mean, I know it’s supposed to be a test looking at attention and potential ADD/ADHD, but despite being just totally the opposite of that, my other stuff skewed it enough to look average.

    I’m glad TATT is back!

    1. I’m glad it’s back too! I’ve missed it.

      That’s interesting that making a mistake made you so angry. I felt more frustrated and sort of regretful each time I misfired. And I can definitely see how answering the questions inclusive of your episodes of mania would skew the results toward a more impulsive profile. That’s an inherent flaw in single condition screening instruments, I guess. Why you answer a certain way can be more important than the answer itself.

  2. 69 on the concentration test, so just below avgr. And 48 in spontaneity, so well below average there. I was not surprised by the results. The concentration test has given me a headache! I experienced the same problem as yourself with roads/rivers in mountain landscapes triggering me to press space! After a while I started to try and filter for vertical edges (==buildings). Somehow I can’t take in the whole picture, definately not that quickly! You get what, maybe 0.25s per scene?
    FYI – I’m self diagnosed Aspie awaiting ‘official’ diagnosis (something about funding holding things up).
    As ever, interesting stuff 🙂 Keep posting!

    1. I’m sorry it gave you headache. I can understand why. I didn’t realize until after the test (when talking to my husband about it) that I was keying in so strongly on the roads to decide if the photos was city or mountain. It’s good that you were able to course correct and find a different detail to use.

      Good luck with the diagnosis process!

      1. Haha, the Cognitive Style test is no longer up, but continuous concentration is. I got 44, average 70.71. I did better than 0 out of every 10 people who take the test. 😛 Funny thing is, I had no problem identifying whether every photo was a city or mountain (though sometimes I was confused whether something was a photo itself or just part of the transition), but I’d always auto-hit space. I only DIDN’T hit space on a mountain that came after a city less than 5 times once the test really started up. The mountain with a building in it for some reason was the easiest one for me, maybe because I was watching for it/found it arresting.

  3. My diagnosis is ASD
    I got 87 on the concentration and 48 for spontenaeity. I found myself struggling to press the space bar fast enough even though I was using my good hand . I wasn’t quite angry but annoyed when I got one wrong. I got fed up with the city scenes and wanted more mountains!

  4. It is fascinating to me though how asd and adhd have some very similar characteristics and even some studies I’ve read point to abnormal sequences in the same areas…always thought I shared some aspie tendencies w my son but aspie test said nope…however adhd test I took for the hell of it said basically if you’re not adhd no one is lol I’m curious to take this one when my son relinquishes the laptop

  5. 79 on the first part, and 57 on the second. Not surprising to me. The images sometimes flickered past too quickly for me to register, which probably affected my score.

    A note: people with difficult childhoods should probably be careful about the third part of the test. Just saying. Make sure you’re not in a trigger-prone mood if you choose to take it.

  6. 87 on concentration and 80 on cognitive style. I’ve had a lot of practice with meditation over the last few years and I found those practices to be helpful with the continuous concentration in a controlled environment. The problem with that is that whatever I am focusing on becomes the only thing in the world and I tend to ignore all other stimulus. As far as planning, I make plans and they go to crap at the start usually, I never account for my rituals and rules when planning my day.

    I have an additional task to complete on the way to work…..but I MUST stop at the deli and get a sausage egg and cheese, banana and french vanilla coffee for breakfast. If I do not allow enough time I will probably risk giving up on the task to get the food. The task is important and pertinient to my health.

    As far as leaving early…I MUST read if one of my blogs has a new post.

    1. Hyperfocus can be problematic. I can get so tuned in to one thing (usually special interest related) that the rest of the world stops existing.

      Your score actually mirrors my husband’s quite closely and so does your description of you distractability and hyperfocus. 🙂

      1. Been there, done that. Over and over again. My intense concentration has caused many problems in my life, notably in relationships.
        I don’t know if that’s something I want to change.

  7. Continuous Concentration: 59 (you scored higher than 1 out of every 10 people that took the test. oops!)
    Cognitive Style Questionnaire: 90

    I have a diagnosis of ADHD, am am currently being evaluated for ASD (got the ADHD diagnosis when I was living abroad, but have to be re-evaulated for that in UK because of the rules apparently. And psychiatrist thought having spoken to me that ASD was likely. Having done some obsessive reading around the past few weeks, I rather agree with him!).

    Found the cognitive style questionnaire difficult, I can be very spontaneous on the one hand, and very rigid on the other… hard to figure myself out frankly, and so hard to answer the questions!

    1. I was really curious how the intersection of ADHD and ASD might affect answers on the questionnaire. I can see how there would be a lot of competing tendencies that would make it hard to answer some of the questions. Good luck with the new diagnosis!

  8. I am ASD. Scored 78 for Continuous Concentration and 81 for Cognitive Style. I have executive functioning difficulties and whilst I rarely plan things, I’m hardly Miss Spontaneity though I do things whenever I want to..

      1. Indeed. One thing I was thinking about is that I tend to plan things obsessively… but then not follow through on the plans, particularly when it comes to study, unfortunately. I also have a lot of executive function difficulties.

  9. I am autistic; I scored 91 on Continuous Concentration and 56 on Cognitive Style. I had my earphones in for the test playing fairly loud music because that helps me focus. Seems like it worked well.

    Thinking about when Nattily commented, I did feel a very brief, very intense stab of frustration when I realized I had pressed Space on a mountain scene. However it passed as quickly as it arose and didn’t affect my concentration as the test went on.

    I’m so happy that TATT is back! I missed it more than I realized. Thank you!! ❤

  10. I got (almost the same score as you did), 76 and 58. To me “road” means “civilization” means “city”, but partway through I realized and changed as well as I could, my space bar or nothing response. I chose not to take the more personal test, because I’m stressed right now and just couldn’t due to not wanting to set off a long train of thoughts about the questions.

  11. I’m an Aspie with no indications of AD(H)D.

    I scored 72 (fractionally above average) on the continuous concentration test, but suspect I might have done better were I not so tired at the moment.

    I scored a fairly predictable 52 on cognitive style, way down in the bottom decile.

    FWIW, there is also an interesting test, at least for austics, on personality and emotion. This is broken into 2 sections:
    1) How much you tend to experience negative emotions like fear, sadness, anger and frustration. I think the only thing ameliorating this score is that I tend to get frustrated rather than angry or violent, but I scored 77 (top decile; mean=47.3) on this.
    2) How much you experience physical pleasure. As with many aspies, I find some sensations very pleasurable, and others to be avoided at all costs. My score 87 (8th decile; mean=76.66).
    3) Pleasure from social interaction: 56 (bottom decile; mean=94.13)

    I would be interested to know what you make of this, Musings/others.

  12. 25 and 58, respectively. I have never been evaluated for AD(H)D, for what it’s worth. So I’m wondering if the cross-fading images are part of the design of the first part or not. I think they are the reason I did poorly… and aspie perseverance aside, there was no time to change my strategy while the test was running.

  13. I’m so happy that Take a Test Tuesday is back 🙂 but I’m amazed that it has been nearly a year!

    My score was 87 for continuous concentration and 72 for cognitive style questionnaire, but I have to say that some of the questions didn’t really make much sense to me, I wish they had a ‘don’t know,’ button. For instance what does, I am a careful thinker mean?

    Anyway I have a diagnosis of Asperger’s but not ADHD.

  14. 87 for concentration, 52 on spontaneity. One of my oldest hobbies is model building, but I’ve always have been known to concentrate on things. As for spontaneity, no surprise. Guess we can sort of rule out ADHD.

  15. Another Asperger’s diagnosis here in combination with a score that of 87 for continuous concentration. Are we starting to see a pattern? 🙂
    I have to add that I was very tired while taking the test, so much so I feel that I could have been more successful in inhibiting incorrect responses in better circumstances – and a tad frustrated because of that.

    On the cognitive style questionnaire I scored 60.

  16. First time ever I did such a test – after all, I am clumsy, yes, and never wanted to expose myself to stress of the kind having the rest of the family laughing behind my back; but I definitely like the word “ambimaldestra” much more than clumsy – clumsy sounds like hands stuck in clay, ambimaldestra sounds like I am not able to use either hand (or foot) to get the intended/desired result of action which is what happens daily. I counted to two or three before my finger hit the space bar and by then, I’d obviously lost two pictures at least. Yet, I had the impression that there was a kind of rhythm in it, I got that so hitting the bar went with the rhythm only that info from eye to finger took those two to three counts. Score was 22.
    Had no problem in second part: 63.

  17. I got 66 and 60. So I am average-y for both. I am surprised because I thought I did much worse on the click-y part, because I kept getting them wrong and also surprised that I was so close to average with the spontaneity one since I am NOT a spontaneous person. But I also have issues with rarely/often/sometimes/never or whatever formats, because I don’t know HOW MUCH counts as often or rarely or never.

    I like take-a-test-Tuesday. I’m glad it is back (I didn’t read when it was here before, but I did go through and read all the old ones, so I knew it existed.

    1. I swear that questioning things like what counts as often, rarely or never should itself be a question on AS evaluations. 🙂 I spend way too much time thinking about that aspect of the questions when filling out these kinds of self-report questionnaires.

  18. Continuous concentration: 56. It surprised me at first until I realized that I would need to tell myself, “City…city…city…mountain…city…city…city…city…city” out loud to focus. It does explain why I hate sitting through lectures and prefer bite sized lecture videos that are 20 minutes max. (Technology, get on that some more!)

    Cognitive: 72
    I agree that cognitive is a bit misleading here. I’m a heavy planner. Whether that means I execute well is another story!

  19. Diagnosis of ASD.
    On the first one, my score was 84. I only messed up a few times, and always on the mountain scene that also had a road in it! It made me chuckle to see that you messed up on that one too. I definitely don’t struggle with inhibition in that way, especially when it’s visual. I was also hyperfocusing and determined to not mess up. 😛

    Second score was 60, so a bit below average. I think that score fits me pretty well, but I expected to score a bit lower.

    Really interesting, thanks for sharing!

  20. I have not been diagnosed, but I suspect that I’m ASD. I got 84 on the first part and 60 on the second.

    I rather enjoyed the clicking test. I love cities and architecture, so I found it fun to see those images flashing in front of me. When the city pictures kept coming and coming, my brain glommed onto the clicking sound of my space bar and I was in a rhythm, and then oops, there’s a mountain — too late –my finger was in a clicking rhythm, but then I realized I needed to pause and not be a drum machine, and I got much better at it. I wonder if I would have scored lower if the photos were of something that didn’t interest me.

    I found some of the cognitive style questions kind of hard to answer.

  21. My diagnosis is ASD, with absolutely no indication of ADHD. However…

    Continuous Concentration – Your score was 47. The average score is 70.69. You scored higher than zero out of every ten people who took this test.
    Cognitive Style Questionnaire – Your score was 68. The average score is 65.05. You scored higher than six out of every ten people who took this test.

    I know my inhibition isn’t all that great, but apparently I still overestimate myself. The flickering images went very fast and I just felt myself going into a sort of shock feeling, completely zoning out. It didn’t feel so much as losing focus as more my brain shutting down. At a certain point, I was just praying for the test to end.

    I don’t know if this indicates that I should get tested for ADHD. I have some executive functioning issues, but for the most part in initiating actions. Prolonged concentration has never really been a problem for me, in fact mostly the opposite. I’m actually trying out Ritalin at the moment to see if it helps with getting me to initiate more, even though my psychiatrist was hesitant because my concentration wasn’t suffering (like how I started and finished “To Kill A Mockingbird” yesterday. In one go. About 5 hours of continuous reading).

    That picture test was pure hell though.

    1. Coming back to add that there might be something else going on. My right eye is still playing up, even though it’s been over half an hour since I took the test. Like it’s seeing things that aren’t there. I can’t really describe it, when I focus on something (like looking at my writing here) it’s fine, but as soon as I let my eyes rove, I see a sort of blurry spot in the center of my vision. Almost like how your vision goes blurry with a headache, except for the headache bit, and it’s only in my right eye (my left eye is a so-called “lazy eye” and can’t focus properly anyway).

      Weird.

      Anyway, with that in mind, my results might not be very indicative of ASD or ADHD patterns in cognitive style. It might just be indicative of me having a weird problem.

        1. Visual Migraine comes to mind. I had this a couple of times in the past. Scared the whatsits out of me. No headpain but large visual disturbance and very very weird ‘spaced out’ feeling. Hope it passed! 🙂

      1. Yikes, that sounds scary! I hope you’re feeling better now? It sounds like that thing that happens when you stare at a dark spot and then look at a white wall – like having a shadow artifact in your vision.

  22. I had my 17-year-old son who’s been diagnosed with ADD, Asperger’s, Depression and Anxiety, take this. He received a score of 81 on Continuous Concentration and a score of 56 on Cognitive Style. I know he has EF issues. We’ve tried various meds for the ADD and Depression and we are still trying to determine why he still has big changes in mood,dramatically depressed one day, mild depression the next when he’s on the combination of meds he’s on. It’s been suggested his issues may center more around the Aspergers and potential bi-polar aspects and not so much the ADD and that the stimulants he’s taking for the ADD are actually making the depression worse. I’m confused and trying to determine through this assessment and these comments if there’s any indication of what might be challenging him more. Does that make sense? I would love to hear from anyone who’s had similar diagnosis as to what they’ve experienced. And does a score of 81 on Continuous Concentration indicate less of a problem with ADD?

    1. Maybe rapid cycling bi-polar? Another commenter here who has bipolar disorder said that her episodes of mania falsely skewed her results toward an ADHD outcome. Also, adolescence when you’re autistic is no picnic. Hormonal spikes can really mess with moods, coping and other areas of life that weren’t a problem prior to puberty/adolescence. And . . . autistic shutdown can mimic depression, so that’s something else to consider.

      1. As someone who has become something of a connoisseur of the assorted mental states the undrugged Human is capable of, depression and shutdown look similar but feel completely different, and both are very different again from common or garden feeling a bit blue because it’s a wet Monday morning (many here will know this, but I find it bears repetition).

        Either shutdown or feeling naff can lead to grey or black depression. Throw in anxiety and you have a recipe for some extremely intense (not to mention deeply unpleasant and thoroughly dangerous) mental states.

        Then you have the fact that some drugs used to treat ADD may worsen depression and/or anxiety. As Musings rightly points out, you also commonly see depression linked to adolescent (and older) aspies.

        I think it is important to point out that just because someone does not respond to antidepressant drugs does not mean they are not depressed. There is good evidence in the peer-reviewed literature (i.e. I am not just spouting my own opinion here) that the biomedical model of depression is either flat wrong or at least overgeneralised, and the efficacy of many antidepressants grossly, if not fraudulently, overstated. See http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020392

        In short, you could well be finding the consequences of being an aspie, with or without ADD, in NT society, the ADD drugs, simple susceptibility to depression or some combination of the above making your son depressed, and the antidepressants simply not doing any good.

  23. Continuous Concentration – 81 (Average score is 70.69, I scored higher than six of every ten people who took the test), and I definitely got angry with myself the first time I pressed the space bar when the mountain with the road in front popped up. That caused me to miss several in quick succession. I also felt like I had a sort of rhythm going, and disrupting that was awkward… sort of like my finger kept moving, even though my brain was saying “wait, that’s not a city!”
    Cognitive Style – 64 (Average score is 65.05, I scored higher than four of every ten people who took the test), and I had to really think through what some of the questions were asking… I plan things in great detail, but then can sometimes be sort of spontaneous in picking one planned thing over another to do. And yes, I think that “the emphasis on planning over having routines (in terms of question wording)” was confusing to me… my job involves a great deal of planning, but probably in a different context than what is meant in this questionnaire… and separating the different meanings didn’t occur to me until after I had submitted my responses.
    My diagnoses: ASD and ADD, which seems to be consistent with the scoring as described in the “results” page.
    Thanks for bringing back “Take A Test Tuesday…” I had found some of the earlier ones in your archives (in fact, they helped me with my doctor and therapists as we worked through my diagnosis over the past year).

    1. That hard-to-break rhythm that you and others described is perseveration in action. 🙂

      I’m glad you discovered the tests in the archive and found them helpful. When I first started exploring whether I might be on the spectrum, I was obsessed with finding and taking every test available online. It’s nice to be able to put all that possessive searching to good use.

  24. asd diagnosis and a thirty on the first one and an eighty seven on the second one. i wasnt entirely sure i was understanding the questions on the second one. what’s “steady thinking”. i know i have inhibition and executive functioning issues. funny thing is i hyperfocus a lot on my special interests and when i do something like taking a trip i plan meticulously but i am highly fidgetty and have concentration issues on everything else.

  25. I scored 97 on the Conscious Concentration, and um, I think fourty something on the cognitive style (higher than two out of every ten people, anyway).
    I’m going to have my official ASD tests done very soon (I’m confident that I’ll get the diagnosis), and I’ve had GAD and depression symptoms before.
    The Conscious Concentration hurt my eyes towards the end, and I got somewhat agitated, hitting the space bar harder and harder and going “ARGH this is horrible” at my SO, but apparently, somehow I managed to focus very well anyway. Hmm.

  26. I couldn’t do it! I got buzzing in my ears, my eyesight blurred, I got an ache in the upper part of my stomach, I started jiggling in my chair (a stress reaction to feeling overwhelmed) and I wanted to cry in frustration and confusion!

  27. Continuous concentration:
    I scored 75.
    I have a diagnosis of ADHD and felt like I did badly so it was a surprise. I swore out loud every time I got one wrong because it’s so frustrating being unable to inhibit the movement! I don’t usually swear. The psychiatrist who referred me for ASD assessment was rather vague about whether that would supersede the ADHD diagnosis or be in addition to it. I’m learning that there are a few areas where the ADHD label doesn’t quite fit.

    Cognitive style:
    I scored 80.
    I don’t think I answered this properly, I’m not sure I understood all the questions. I’ll list the ones that bother me most and please can anyone give their opinion of what it means?

    – There were 2 questions: Do you do things without thinking? and Do you say things without thinking? I answered yes to both but I’m not sure If I should have. I took it to mean without thinking about the emotional impact on others. Or rather being unaware of it because I do care, just can’t figure it out. I think I assumed this meaning because of the colloquial phrase “sorry I wasn’t thinking”, meaning I didn’t realise my action could have this effect on you and I’m sorry I upset/annoyed you because I really didn’t intend to or have any idea it could. They may have meant doing things in a spontaneous or impulsive way such as going on holiday on a whim. Which I don’t do.

    – The questions about being in the moment versus thinking about the future. I didn’t know how to answer these because I plan future events minutely and obsess for hours over new things sometimes to the point of being too tired to go. But I consciously try to do that less because I can do a task 20 times over instead of just once. I use mindfulness practice to help with this. Also I am very easily distracted which is sort of being in the moment. If I’m in a bad mood, I can very easily be taken out of it by something distracting me eg a bird or pretty sky. I usually fall back into the thinking eventually though.

    – There were 2 questions about getting restless and fidgety in lectures and theatre etc. I do get very restless and fidgety, but fidgeting helps me concentrate. Also it isn’t from boredom. I don’t get bored from long lectures, but it can be hard listening to a lecture for two hours and being surrounded by other people who may be making irritating sounds and smells. This makes me very fidgety as a way to cope. I wonder how these questions contributed to my score, and how they interpret the answers.

    – I don’t know what a careful thinker is.

    – The question about spending more than you can afford/without planning. I answered yes to this as well. I think I do this because I can’t integrate all the parts of a budget. For example I can manage the food, the bills, entertainment etc each on its own. But if one changes I can’t easily alter the others to compensate, can’t see the whole thing together. Also I think difficulty with perspective plays into it. Something may seem like a really good idea and I want it but forget about the other things I need, or that I’m too busy to use it, or I that I already have one.

    I am not impulsive and have trouble coping with unexpected events even if they are nice. My boyfriend wishes I could be more flexible and I find his spontaneity very stressful. I need to know what’s happening when and how to be able to relax, and find even the nicest new events very stressful and draining. I’m not sure how that matches up with my test score.

    There should be a follow up question to see if you’ve been obsessing about the answers all day since doing the test in the morning!

  28. I took this test (I am not diagnosed with anything), got 75 on concentration and 69 on cognitive style. I was surprised with both results, because I kept seeing myself mess up on the first test as I got into the rhythm of pressing the space bar, and then my head and eyes started really hurting halfway through from all the flashing haha. The second test I was very surprised about as I plan pretty much everything in my life and actually feel pretty anxious when stuff isn’t planned! Some of the questions I answered as to how I consciously make myself react rather then how I naturally react (such as planning for the future. Because this has brought me so much stress before I’m now very conscious about keeping myself in the present) so maybe this affected things, I don’t know.

    What I found really interesting about this test was the results of my house mate taking it! She has ALOT of trouble concentrating, and has recently become more overwhelmed/can’t do crowded places because of this, and she is much much more spontaneous then me. When she took the tests, she scored in the 80s on both! I found the second test score not surprising at all, but the first one we were both surprised about. She has so much trouble and stress concentrating, but her score was very high here. The test in this way was really helpful, and highlighted that her concentration problems are likely rooted not in how her brain naturally works but in some other kind of issue.

  29. concentration: 66 (average: 70.69)
    cognitive style: 72 (average: 65.05)
    Hm, the visual thing was too fast in the end, and the cognitive style questionary itself was pretty vague. I plan a lot for travelling, events, etc., because I worry about hings that could go wrong; but with my art, household chores, and university stuff I’m pretty spontaneous and do things based on intuition.

  30. Concentration for me was a 94 and Cognitive Style was a 79. This is very interesting to me because I am an obsessive planner. I am Autistic, and I’ve been diagnosed and un-diagnosed with ADHD several times over the years. I also have a slew of mental health diagnoses.

  31. continuous concentration- 94
    cognitive style 62
    no diagnosis, but being treated with wellbutrin for depression and attention. just curious. so… is high concentration score perseveration? Because I can really perseverate…. At what point does a high concentration score not indicate executive function but hyperfocus, perseveration, or similar problematic characteristic?
    just wandered in over here from comments section of NYTimes article. Glad to have found you.

    1. That’s a great question and I’m really not sure. Both autistic people and those with ADHD have the ability to hyperfocus on things that interest them. I’m not sure how we could separate out perseveration/hyperfocus from just plain good focus. Maybe the fact that people who have either very poor attention or are hyperfocus are going to score at the extremes while a person with average attention will get an average-ish score?

      Glad you found the blog!

  32. finally got on a computer…that first part was terrible lol got a 62 and 85…suspected ADD It wasnt that I couldnt differentiate the pictures they just went too damn fast and it took too long…half the time i reflex pressed space even though I knew i shouldnt

  33. I’m working through a huge backlog of blog posts and went to take this test today. Sadly it seems to be gone, I couldn’t find it offered on Test My Brain, even trying on a different website. I don’t suppose there’s an alternative version available anywhere else? (Assuming I’m not just missing it on the site).

    That’s frustrating because I’ve talked with specialists at the Asperger service about possible ADHD assessment, and they were of the opinion that there’s so much overlap and similarity between the two that they’d only additionally assess someone with an AS diagnosis for ADHD if medication seemed necessary (which it doesn’t in my case).

    However when I was assessed for dyspraxia in 2007, my report said that concentration and inhibition were both areas where I had impairments.

  34. While the cognitive style test is gone, one segment, the “continuous concentration” one, seems to be still up, whatever thatt’s worth.

  35. Continuous Concentration – 81, avg 75
    Attention Errors Test – 41, avg 29 (higher number means made more errors).
    No spontaneity test, wish there was, so not sure how ADHD this test is anymore.

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