Take this self-assessment quiz to find out where you stand on the attention-span spectrum.

By Kristyn Krusek Lewis
Updated January 15, 2009
Nato Welton

This quiz was developed with Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D., director of the Chesapeake ADHD Center of Maryland, in Annapolis.

Rate each statement on a scale of 0 to 3, based on the following criteria:

0 = Not at all like me

1 = A little like me

2 = A lot like me

3 = Just like me

1. I tend to overlook details.

2. It’s hard for me to listen for long periods of time in meetings.

3. I wander from one task to the next without completing them.

4. I jump from topic to topic in conversation.

5. I tend to fidget or doodle.

6. I interrupt others during conversations, even when I try not to.

7. It seems much harder for me compared with others to take care of daily tasks.

8. I pick up and drop hobbies and interests.

9. I have difficulty planning ahead.

10. I’m forgetful.

11. I frequently misplace personal objects.

12. My home and office are cluttered and messy.

13. I tend to run late.

14. I have difficulty developing routines for me or my family.

15. Meal planning is challenging for me.

16. I often start reading books but rarely finish them.


0 to 15: You find yourself lost in thought from time to time, but your concentration level is better than most people’s. Use attention-span strengtheners, such as alternating high-stimulation and low-stimulation tasks and visualizing what you want to achieve, to further sharpen your focus.

16 to 30: Like most Americans, you feel a bit frazzled and drifty on a fairly regular basis. Start by taking a look at where this poses the biggest problem: Do you have trouble at work, or are you disorganized at home? Cut down on known attention zappers in the area that needs the most help: At work, stop reflexively checking e-mails. At home, limit distractions, like TV and the Web. Be more attentive to tasks in both environments by setting a time limit for each job. Creating deadlines can help you stay focused.

31 to 45: You probably feel constantly scattered and as if you can’t get it together. This is frustrating and may also be a sign of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder if you’ve experienced these symptoms since childhood. For more info, visit the site of Children and Adults With ADHD, chadd.org