Symptom Tests

Executive Dysfunction Test: Symptoms in Adults with ADHD

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 in Adults

Like those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD), people with executive dysfunctions 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.

[Related Self-Test: ADHD in Adults]

When a person has weak executive functions in certain areas, he or she may have trouble analyzing, planning, organizing, scheduling, and completing tasks. People with executive dysfunction and/or 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 academic demands). Remediating the area of deficit reduces academic or work difficulties. If this sounds familiar, take this self-test.

This self-test is designed to determine whether you show signs of executive dysfunction. If you have concerns about executive dysfunction, see a health professional for a thorough evaluation. This self-test is for personal use only.

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

(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 Dysfunction in Adults: Next Steps

1. Take This Test: ADHD Symptoms in Adults
2. Take This Test: Do You Have a Working Memory Deficit?
3. Research Treatments for Executive Dysfunction
4. Read Executive Dysfunction, Explained!
5. Take This Test: Do You Have Emotional Hyperarousal?
6. Download Is It Executive Function Disorder?