Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on
November 27, 2021
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on:

If you are someone with ADHD or ADHD symptoms, finding out whether or not you have ADHD can be challenging.

There is no one way to find out if ADHD is the cause of your problems. In fact, there are many different ADHD tests for adults available.

The good news is that with so many ADHD test options available, there’s bound to be an ADHD screening test that’s perfect for you.

In this blog post, you’ll learn what ADHD tests entail for both children and adults, how ADHD is diagnosed, and what you need to prepare before taking the test.

So, let’s get started.

How do you confirm ADHD?

The most reliable ADHD test is the Wender-Reimherr Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Scale.

However, there are many other ways to diagnose ADHD or determine if you might have ADHD symptoms that require attention.

For example, an ADHD evaluation for adults can be done with a variety of different ADHD tests used in combination with ADHD questionnaires.

The ADHD test assesses how well you focus, your impulsivity and hyperactivity levels, among other things.

The ADHD screening questionnaire asks about the frequency of various ADHD symptoms often associated with ADHD, such as the following:

  • difficulty staying focused at work or school
  • feeling restless when having to sit still for long periods of time
  • losing track of things
  • having trouble completing tasks
  • experiencing problems getting along with other people.

If you have all of the symptoms listed above and more, you likely have ADHD.

The doctor or professional administering your ADHD test can help determine whether or not you should seek treatment for ADHD and which type would best suit your needs.

In addition to an ADHD questionnaire, a physical exam is also essential in determining whether other conditions are causing ADHD-like symptoms.

ADHD tests can be administered in a variety of ways, whether it’s through an ADHD screening questionnaire or an ADHD test for adults that requires you to answer questions and then report back your answers on paper.

However, today the most common ADHD testing methods use computers and tablets with touch screens.

What tests confirm ADHD?

Some ADHD tests for adults can also help rule out other potential causes of ADHD symptoms such as depression, anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder.

The doctor may recommend an ADHD test to make sure there isn’t anything else going on with your brain that is causing ADHD-like symptoms not related to ADHD.

For example, an ADHD test for adults that measure impulsivity and hyperactivity levels can help the doctor determine if ADHD is causing ADHD symptoms or if another condition like bipolar disorder causes these symptoms.

ADHD tests also identify whether there’s a co-existing condition such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse going on simultaneously. 

ADHD tests are not meant to diagnose ADHD.

Instead, ADHD tests just rule out other potential causes of ADHD symptoms and provide insight into which type of treatment would most benefit you.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for ADHD treatments, so that each person will have different needs depending on their ADHD symptoms.

In the ADHD test, you’ll be asked questions about ADHD symptoms, and then those answers help determine which ADHD treatment would work best for you.

The types of ADHD treatments vary from medications to therapy sessions.

If your ADHD tests indicate that medication is a good option, several different options are available depending on how ADHD symptoms affect you.

For example, some ADHD medications help with hyperactivity and impulse control, while others are designed to increase focus and attention span.

The doctor may prescribe a combination of ADHD medications depending on the severity of your ADHD symptoms.

ADHD tests can do more than just confirm ADHD or rule out other conditions causing ADHD-like symptoms.

ADHD testing can also help identify ADHD co-existing conditions and ADHD medications that would be most beneficial for you without causing too many unwanted side effects.

These factors play into which type of ADHD treatment is best suited to your unique needs as an individual with ADHD.

Answering the questions on ADHD tests can help determine ADHD treatment options that will benefit you the most.

The ADHD test is meant to be a starting point for determining which ADHD treatments would work best for your unique needs and abilities.

ADHD testing should not replace in-depth neuropsychological evaluation, especially when looking for possible learning disabilities or other conditions in children.

Remember that ADHD tests are not perfect, but these tests can be an integral part of ADHD treatment.

What is included in an ADHD test?

Most ADHD tests are structured in the same way, with ADHD screening questionnaires or ADHD tests for adults that ask you to answer questions and then report back your answers on paper.

More ADHD testing methods use computers and tablets with touch screens to measure impulsivity levels through computer games explicitly designed for ADHD testing.

Most ADHD tests screen patients use an ADHD test screening questionnaire, a series of ADHD-related questions meant to help ADHD specialists understand symptoms and how attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may affect their lives.

The doctor will use the answers from ADHD screening questionnaires to determine if an in-depth ADHD evaluation is needed.

If you’re taking a computerized ADHD test, these are usually split up into different sections that measure the following:

  • Impulsivity
  • ADHD symptoms in adults
  • ADHD symptoms in children
  • ADHD co-existing conditions

The results from computerized ADHD tests will give the doctor a clear picture of how attention deficit hyperactivity disorder impacts your life to prescribe an appropriate treatment plan.

While no single ADHD test can diagnose ADHD or determine if another condition may be causing ADHD-like symptoms, ADHD testing is an essential first step in treating ADHD.

If you’re taking ADHD tests at home or in your doctor’s office, it’s important to remember that these are meant as screening tools and not diagnostic exams.

How long does it take to get ADHD test results?

Most ADHD test results are available immediately after you complete ADHD testing.

However, computerized ADHD tests may take up to two weeks to generate ADHD test reports due to the amount of data involved in completing these types of evaluations.

A more extensive neuropsychological evaluation can take several days or even longer if additional testing is needed to identify ADHD co-existing conditions or ADHD medications that would work best for your ADHD.

Remember, ADHD tests are not perfect, and the results of ADHD testing should only be used as a starting point to determine which type of ADHD treatment is right for you.

Who can diagnose ADHD?

Only ADHD specialists, also known as ADHD doctors or ADHD therapists, can diagnose attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

This is important because it means that only a professional with the proper training and experience in diagnosing ADHD should make this type of diagnosis.

A psychiatrist specializing in treating people dealing with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has received special education to learn how ADHD impacts the brain.

That means they have a better understanding of how ADHD affects patients and can provide more accurate ADHD testing results when compared to other types of doctors, such as general practitioners or pediatricians who may not be able to identify ADHD in adults or children with the symptoms.

In some cases, your family doctor can diagnose ADHD, such as when ADHD symptoms are so severe they impact the patient’s daily life.

ADHD Test for Children

If you’re wondering what ADHD test for children is, then you’re not alone.

In order to get ADHD testing done on a child, your doctor may recommend an ADHD evaluation or ADHD assessment by one of three general types:

If the child has been struggling in school and at home due to ADHD symptoms, such as restlessness, hyperactivity, distractibility, or impulsivity, ADHD testing may be conducted at school with the child’s teachers.

An ADHD test for children that is done outside of a clinical setting and in which parents or caregivers complete questionnaires about their young one can also help determine whether or not the child has ADHD symptoms.

For ADHD testing for children, the CPT-II is most often used.

It can be administered either with paper and pencil or electronically through a computer program that provides immediate results to physicians after students complete ADHD tests.

The ADHD test may also include observing your child’s behavior as they move about the room answering questions on their ADHD test.

ADHD Test for Adults

There is an ADHD quiz or ADHD test online that can help determine whether you have ADHD symptoms.

An ADHD self-test might include questions such as the following:

  • “Do I often find it hard to keep my mind on what I am doing?”
  • “Do others ever complain about my lack of attention to detail?”
  • “Do I often have trouble waiting my turn in games or group situations?”

In ADHD testing, ADHD tests for adults may also include questions related to home and work life.

For instance:

  • “Have others ever complained about the amount of time it takes me to complete tasks at work or home?”
  • “Do I often make careless mistakes in school or at work because of carelessness?”

In ADHD testing for adults, ADHD tests can be done online without a doctor’s referral.

However, it is not advisable to use ADHD test results from an ADHD quiz as a substitute for clinical evaluation by a psychologist specializing in ADHD diagnosis.

Remember that an ADHD test is not an exact science.

It does not provide a definitive diagnosis, but rather it gives the ADHD doctor clues that lead to ADHD diagnosis and ADHD treatment options.

What happens after I take an ADHD test?

After taking one of these questionnaires, ADHD tests, ADHD assessments, or ADHD evaluations to determine whether you have ADHD symptoms, your doctor may diagnose attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

If so, the next step is determining an appropriate treatment plan for your ADHD that will help improve concentration and reduce ADHD symptoms.

After taking one of these ADHD tests online, it’s important not to jump to ADHD medication as ADHD treatment.

Many other ADHD treatments may be beneficial for you, including ADHD coaching or ADHD therapy combined with ADHD medications.

What would happen if I didn’t get an ADHD test?

If you fail to take ADHD tests or don’t seek treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, it could lead to severe consequences, including:

  • The loss of friendships and relationships.
  • Failure at school and work could lead to job loss or termination from employment.
  • Substance abuse includes over-smoking, alcohol addiction, drug abuse or self-medication (including illegal drugs), eating disorders.
  • Driving accidents caused by inattention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity.
  • Increased risk of incarceration for criminal activities due to impulsive decision-making and ADHD symptoms of restlessness that lead to risky behavior.

These are some of why it is vital to take ADHD tests and that you work with ADHD doctors to get the correct diagnosis and determine the right ADHD treatment options for you.

Remember that an ADHD test is not a one-time thing that you do in order to get ADHD medication, but rather it’s the first step in getting on track with an effective ADHD treatment plan for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for ADHD screening?

No special ADHD test preparation is necessary for ADHD tests, ADHD assessments, or ADHD evaluations.

In fact, it’s best to show up for your appointment without bringing too many outside thoughts and distractions into the session because you don’t want ADHD doctors judging your behavior based on how well you do on an ADHD test in a clinical setting. 

You may have ADHD symptoms that are currently under control, but ADHD tests can be stressful.

It’s better to let ADHD doctors form their own opinions about your ADHD test results without any outside influence from you.

There is no reason why someone should not take an ADHD test if they suspect that they might have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

If ADHD symptoms impact your life, don’t delay taking the next step to determine whether ADHD tests or ADHD assessments will be most beneficial for you.

Remember that ADHD test results will not be available instantaneously; it may take up to two weeks before they’re released due to backlogs and other factors.

Additionally, ADHD tests should not be used to diagnose ADHD in children under the age of 18 years old.

Turning 18 does not mean that ADHD symptoms will disappear, but rather it means that an adult ADHD test may be more appropriate for diagnosis and treatment planning purposes.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive ADHD questionnaire or ADHD quiz online, make sure ADHD doctors administer ADHD tests in a clinical setting.

Concluding Thoughts

We recommend that you avoid using ADHD self-screening quizzes online because they were not designed for diagnostic purposes and may be too general to accurately determine whether you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or another condition, such as the following:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • schizophrenia
  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • ADHD subtype symptoms
  • ADHD co-morbid conditions.

When you take an ADHD test in a clinical setting with ADHD doctors who are experts on adult ADHD treatment, they will be able to give you personalized results that reflect the severity of your attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms.

They will also provide expert advice for which ADHD treatments may work best for your symptoms.

It’s crucial that you understand ADHD test results and how they can be used to determine the right ADHD treatment options because not all ADHD treatments are effective in treating adult ADHD.

Some of these include medications, such as stimulant medications, including:

  • methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
  • lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)

Non-medication ADHD treatments can include the following:

  • ADHD coaching
  • ADHD support groups
  • ADHD parenting classes
  • ADHD therapy for couples.

Psychotherapy for anxiety may also be beneficial because many people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder suffer from the following:

  • ADHD subtype symptoms
  • ADHD co-morbid conditions
  • ADHD comorbidity with other mental health disorders.

So, we highly recommend that you undergo an ADHD evaluation by a professional if you suspect that you have ADHD.

If you want to learn more about ADHD management and overall brain health, check out these highly-informative articles and feel free to join this community of mental health specialists and enthusiasts.

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