Unvalidated Graduate School Potential Test


Your answers to the following 22 yes-no questions (modified from Fretz and Stang, 1988) will give you a good idea of your potential for success in graduate school, as determined by your current values and level of motivation. Answer each question honestly and truthfully. This is not a standardized or validated test, and its items are so transparent that anyone can fake them. Unless you are completely honest with yourself, the results will be of no value.

Circle One:


Yes No (1) Does the idea of living at near-poverty level for two to seven years while studying most of the time repulse you?
Yes No (2) Do you enjoy writing term papers?
Yes No (3) Does the idea of making verbal presentations of academic material in front of a group bother you?
Yes No (4) Do you enjoy reading psychology books even if they are not assigned?
Yes No (5) Do you put off studying for tests or writing papers as long as possible?
Yes No (6) Do you often give up desirable social opportunities in order to study?
Yes No (7) Do you want to earn a high salary when you finish graduate school?
Yes No (8) Do you like to study?
Yes No (9) Do you have trouble concentrating on your studies for hours at a time?
Yes No (10) Do you occasionally read recent issues of psychology journals?
Yes No (11) Do you dislike library research?
Yes No (12) Do you have a drive to enter the profession of psychology?
Yes No (13) Are there many other careers, besides being a psychologist, that you would like to pursue?
Yes No (14) Do you intend to work full-time at a career?
Yes No (15) Are you sick of school right now?
Yes No (16) Are your grades mostly A's and B's?
Yes No (17) Have any of your teachers ever suggested that you go to graduate school?
Yes No (18) Did you do well (i.e., receive an A or B) in statistics?
Yes No (19) Do you feel a Ph.D. is desirable primarily because of the social status it gives to those who hold it?
Yes No (20) Do you like doing research?
Yes No (21) Do you dislike competing with other students?
Yes No (22) Can you carry out projects and study without direction from anyone else?


Scoring the Test:

  • Give yourself one point for each "yes" you said to items 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, and 22.
  • Give yourself one point for each "no" you said to items 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 19, and 21.
  • Total your points.
  • Your score can range from 0 to 22. The higher your score, the greater your graduate school potential

The Test should also make you aware of some of the issues that are often relevant to the successful completion of graduate school.

Department of Psychology