Symptom Tests

[Self-Test] Could You Have an Executive Function Deficit?

Executive function deficit is not synonymous with ADHD, but its symptoms overlap in significant ways. Take this self-test and share its results with a specialist to determine if you’re experiencing executive dysfunction.

Executive Dysfunction Test for Adults

Like those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD), people with executive function disorder (EFD) often experience time blindness, or an inability to plan for and keep in mind future events that aren’t in the near-term. They also have difficulty stringing together actions to meet long-term goals. This is not an attention problem in the present tense, but rather a sustained attention problem.

When a person’s executive functions fail, he has trouble analyzing, planning, organizing, scheduling, and completing tasks. People with executive dysfunction commonly lack the ability to handle frustration, start and finish tasks, recall and follow multi-step directions, stay on track, self monitor, and balance tasks (like sports and work demands). If this sounds familiar, take this self-test.

This self-test is designed to determine whether you show symptoms similar to those of an executive function disorder. If you have concerns about possible an executive function disorder see a health professional. An accurate diagnosis can only be made through clinical evaluation. This self-test is for personal use only.

Do you become absorbed in things or tasks that interest you—sometimes to the point of forgetting about people around you or other obligations?
Do you have difficulty figuring out what is most important or what you should start with given a list of things to do?
Do you forget appointments and do you typically run late?
Do you say “I will do it later” and then forget all about it?
Do you struggle to get a handle on clutter? Does your personal space get messy with piles of papers and miscellaneous items?
Do you start tasks with enthusiasm but lose interest quickly?
Do you find it hard to do things that aren't necessary or highly stimulating?
Do you have trouble completing multiple-step tasks and moving from one task to another?
At least once a day do you lose or misplace items—for example, keys, wallet, purse, or a cell phone?
Do you waste time trying to decide what to do first?
Do you become frustrated when things don’t go as planned and can you quickly become angry? Do you let go of anger as quickly as it came?
Do you forget things, even when they are important to you?
Do you have trouble following conversations because you are distracted or because you are trying to remember what you wanted to say?
Do you have trouble getting started or initiating tasks?
Are you easily distracted by things you see or hear?

(Optional) Would you like to receive your executive function disorder symptom test results — plus more helpful resources — via email from ADDitude?

Can’t see the self-test questions above? Click here to open this test in a new window.


Executive Function Disorder in Adults: Next Steps

1. Take This Test: ADHD / ADD Symptoms in Adults
2. Take This Test: Do You Have Emotional Hyperarousal?
3. Take This Test: Do You Have a Working Memory Deficit?
4. Download Is It Executive Function Disorder?
5. Research Treatments for Executive Function Disorder
6. Read Executive Function Disorder, Explained!
7. Listen to “How ADHD Affects Executive Function in Adults and Kids” — an Expert Webinar with Russell Barkley, Ph.D.

Updated on November 5, 2019

31 Related Links

  1. This is my sons 100%….and I don’t know what to do about it….I have ADHD myself, but it wasn’t devastating to my life until after giving birth to my sons….but my two sons…I used to describe it as a failure to want to thrive…still now…that’s how I describe it…and they are now 16 and 20!

    1. I scored a 93%! That’s crazy. But the questions made me think of myself and certain situations. Wow. I’d definitely mention this to their ADHD doctor. I’ve got to find a specialist.

      1. I got a 93% as well. I have adult ADD, OCD, GAD, SAD & suffer from depression. I have never even heard of Executive Function Deficit before. I take medication but it does not seem to really help. I don’t know what to do at this point anymore. I am scared I will lose my jpb and I cannot afford therapy or counseling. HELP!!!

      2. There are various kinds of tests online, we do some to recognize what we did benefit or not. I think that is the meaning of the test, to help us know ourselves in these interesting ways, and remind us to make some changes.

  2. 87% — I guess the coping strategies I’ve learned have helped, but I can still see so much need for improvement. I’m excited that the mental health world is finally recognizing this as a separate area of challenge for some of us; hopefully future generations won’t have to struggle and be called “lazy” like my generation did.

    1. Sure, nowadays the young generation has more options and more opportunities. We are easy to get ourselves be lazy. But we could set some targets and deadlines to avoid procrastination subjectively.

  3. 20%–I do not think that I am little about the EFD, because the answers sometimes half yes and half no, and I have to select the button “Not Often” or “Disagree”. For example, my true answer to the question “I can’t seem to get a handle on clutter. My personal space is messy and has piles of papers and miscellaneous items. ” is “Yes, I agree that I can’t seem to get a handle on clutter, however, I am really an organized person, so My personal space is neat and well-organized.” But all the questions show me a signal about how to be a man keeping far away form EFD, that is to follow the upper option in each questions.

  4. Ok I’m a bit confused. I’m pretty sure I read an article a couple months ago that said Executive Function Disorder is essentially synonymous with ADHD. This says it’s not. I’m not sure which was written first. Can someone help me out with this? If it’s true that they’re not the same, I really need to be tested for this!

Leave a Reply