There are quite a few online Asperger’s Syndrome tests and quizzes. I thought it might be fun to take each of them and then do a little write up. That was the inspiration behind “Take a Test Tuesday,” a series of posts on the screening instruments, online quizzes and other tests related to adult Asperger’s and autism. As you read about and take the online tests, keep in mind that while some of them have proven quite accurate in screening for Asperger’s, getting a certain score on a test isn’t the same as a diagnosis. However, some of these quizzes can be a good starting place if you suspect you might be on the spectrum and are looking to explore that possibility in more detail.
Asperger’s Screening Quizzes
Taking the Aspie Quiz – The Aspie Quiz is made up of 150 questions that fall into six domains. It was developed by Rdos and has been through many revisions over the years. While the Aspie Quiz isn’t an officially recognized test, it does seem to be an accurate reflection of neurotype and you get a pretty picture when you’re done.
Taking the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) Test – The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) was developed by the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge and first published in 2001. While the test has “Autism Spectrum” in its title, it’s geared toward identifying adults with Asperger’s Syndrome. Unless you score at one extreme or the other, you may find this test raises more questions for you than it answers.
Taking the RAADS-R Test – The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R) is an 80-question diagnostic instrument that is intended to be administered by a professional in a clinical setting. It was primarily designed to identify adults who often “escape diagnosis” due to a “subclinical” level or presentation of ASD. Unlike the other online tests, it takes autistic childhood traits into account, even if they are no longer present.
Taking the AQ-10 – The AQ-10 is a condensed (10 question) version of the AQ test. It is used as a screening tool for adults in the UK, to identify people who may benefit from receiving a comprehensive autism assessment.
Other Tests Related to Asperger’s or Autistic Traits
Taking the Alexithymia Questionnaire – Alexithymia refers to people who have difficulty identifying and describing emotions as well as differentiating between physical and emotional sensations. It’s not a formal diagnosis, but a way of describing a common set of experiences related to emotional dysfunction. The alexithymia questionnaires used in clinical research (TAS-20, BVAQ) aren’t available online, so I took the Online Alexithymia Questionnaire (OAQ-G2).
Taking the Empathy Quotient Test – The Empathy Quotient (EQ) test is intended to be a measure of your ability to understand how people feel and to respond appropriately. The evidence for the EQ as a unidimensional measure of empathy is weak. Aspies tend to score low on the EQ, but what that means is unclear.
Taking the Friendship Questionnaire (FQ) – The Friendship Questionnaire (FQ) was developed in 2003 as part of Simon Baron-Cohen’s ongoing quest to prove his “extreme male brain” theory of Asperger’s. Consequently, the FQ measures a very specific model of friendship to prove a point about people on the spectrum.
Taking the The Systemising Quotient (SQ) – Systemizing refers to the drive to understand, construct, predict and/or control the rules of a system. The SQ is an interesting measure of how dependent an individual is on routine, systems and categorization, but the use of the SQ as “proof” of the extreme male brain theory is highly suspect.
Taking the “Fear, Anger and Joy” Test – “Fear, Anger and Joy,” is a test of the ability to identify emotions in facial expressions. The aim of the test is to evaluate how well people can detect subtle differences in the level of emotion conveyed by an expression, a skill that people on the spectrum often have difficulty with.
Taking the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test – The “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” is meant to test Theory of Mind (ToM) or the ability to recognize and understand another person’s mental state. The artificial nature of the test seems to reduce its value in identifying problems with ToM, however, it’s an interesting test of static facial expression reading.
Thinking on your Feet: A Trio of Cognitive Tests – Thinking on your Feet consists of three short tests. The first and third tests measure components of executive function: attention and working memory. The second test–visual reasoning–relies on nonverbal reasoning. Individuals on the spectrum are probably more likely to score above average on the second test and average or below average on the other two.
Taking the CAM Face-Voice Battery – The Cambridge Mindreading Face-Voice Battery (CAM) tests recognition of complex emotional states. It consists of short audio and video clips in which actors convey 1 of 20 different complex emotions through either their voice or their facial expressions. The theory behind the CAM is that autistic people are able to read basic emotions but have difficulty interpreting complex emotions.
Taking the Famous Faces Test – “Famous Faces” tests for prosopagnosia or faceblindness which is an impairment in the ability to recognize faces. Although there isn’t a lot of research to support a conclusive link between ASD and prosopagnosia, some degree of faceblindness seems to be common in people with Asperger’s.
The Broad Autism Phenotype Questionnaire – The Broad Autism Phenotype (BAP) is a fancy way of saying that nonautistic relatives of autistic individuals often have subclinical autistic traits themselves. The only online version I was able to locate is seriously flawed so I’m going to recommend against taking it. However, if you’re curious about the Broad Autism Phenotype, this post has background information and a link to a valid print version of the questionnaire.