Take a Depression Test: Your First Clue for Needing Further Help
A depression test can be a first step to help assess whether you have depression
and need further evaluation and treatment. Depression tests can have different
purposes such as: 1) being used as an initial screening for depression signs indicating a need for further assessment, 2) helping
confirm or diagnose clinical depression, 3) assessing the severity of depressive
symptoms and 4) tracking progress (depressive symptoms over time). Tests are
either self-administered (paper or online) and or must be given by a health
care/mental health provider.
Below are some of the common quizzes used to assess for depression. These tests
are grouped by 1) self-tests (ones you can take yourself), 2) free online tests
and 3) questionnaires given by health care/mental health providers in a medical
office setting. All tests are for adults unless otherwise indicated.
Caution: If you take a depression quiz and score high enough to indicate
depression, see a health care/mental health professional right away. These tests do
not take the place of proper evaluation and assessment by a qualified health
care/mental health provider. It is a good idea to print out your test responses
and results and bring them to your appointment. If you feel like hurting
yourself, call a 24 hour crisis hotline (800-273-8255 or 800-784-2433), call
“911” or go to the nearest emergency room.
For those wondering “What depression tests can I take?” below are several
quizzes you can access immediately. Just print out a test and answer all
questions. Then follow the instructions for scoring.
Zung Depression Scale
- Description/Purpose: A 20 questions screening test assessing
depression symptoms in the past two weeks. Takes 10 minutes to complete.
Comes in various languages such as Chinese, Czech, Farsi, Indonesian,
Lithuanian, Russian and Thai.
- Scoring: 50-69 is the common range for people with depression. 70
or higher indicates severe depression (range 20-80).
Free copy of Zung
Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D)
- Description/Purpose: Developed by Lenore S. Radloff in 1977. 20
questions quiz which assesses symptoms of depression for the past week and
need for further assessment. This test is also used to track weekly progress
and is available in a short form (10 questions).
- Scoring: 16+ points may indicate depression. Short Form - 10+
points may indicate depression.
Free copy of CES-D
Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)
- Description/Purpose: A 30 questions screening test for depression
in older adults. Quiz also comes in a short form (15 questions) and
various languages (e.g. Spanish, Chinese, French and more).
- Scoring: 10-19 = Mild Depression, 20-30 = Severe Depression. For
the Short Form, 4-10 = Mild Depression, 10-14 = Severe Depression
Free copy of GDS
Free Depression Tests Online
Here is an easy and fast way to take a “Am I depressed?”
quiz. Fill in your answer for each question and hit the appropriate button for
results. Scoring is done automatically and your results will be displayed
immediately. Make sure you fill in all test questions.
- Description/Purpose: Brief 9 questions test addressing depressive
signs over the past two weeks.
- Scoring: Quiz results will indicate likelihood of depression
(mild, moderate, severe) and need for further evaluation and treatment.
- Source: Sponsored by the
Mental Health Association
Anxiety and Depression Screening Test
This test has been included because anxiety often accompanies depression.
Anxiety and depressive disorders are the most common mental health illnesses.
- Description/Purpose: Screening questions to assess for various
anxiety disorders and depression.
- Scoring: At end of quiz, results indicate which anxiety disorders
you may be experiencing.
Goldberg Depression Questionnaire
- Description/Purpose: Quiz consisting of 18 questions which assess
for depression signs over the past week. Used to determine further need for
evaluation and treatment and to track mood weekly.
- Scoring: 54+ = Severely Depressed, 36-53 = Moderate to Severe,
22-35 = Mild to Moderate, 18-21 = Borderline Depressed, 10-17 = Possible
Mild Depression, 0-9 = Likely Not Depressed
Wakefield Depression Questionnaire
- Description/Purpose: 12 test items assessing depressive signs you
are feeling now.
- Scoring: 15+ points indicates a need for a further assessment by
a mental health professional.
Tests Given By Health Care/Mental Health Professionals
Like the self-administered tests above, individuals fill out the
questionnaire based on their experience, but these tests are obtained or given
by a health care provider. The two exceptions below are the Hamilton Depression
Scale and Cornell Dysthymia Rating Scale, which are completed by a health care
provider. These tests have also been used in research studies.
Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)
- Description/Purpose: Developed by Dr. Aaron Beck and one of the
most commonly used depression questionnaires by health care/mental health
providers and researchers. This 21 multiple-choice test assesses severity of
depressive symptoms in the past two weeks and need for further assessment
and treatment. Takes 5 minutes to complete. There have been three revisions
(the latest BDI-II in 1996). Also available in Spanish.
- Scoring: The higher the total score the more severe the
depression symptoms, which are classified as minimal (0-13), mild (14-19),
moderate (20-28) and severe (29-63).
- Audience: Latest version - individuals aged 13 to 80
- Cost/Source: 25 forms is $42. Manual plus 25 forms is $79. 100
forms is $152. Test must be purchased by the publisher, Harcourt Assessment.
The Depression-Arkansas Scale (D-ARK)
- Description/Purpose: Developed by Dr. G. Richard Smith at al. at
the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. This brief instrument (11
questions) assesses major depressive disorder, symptom severity in the past
four weeks and need for depression treatment. Takes less than five minutes
- Scoring: Test results are categorized into symptom severity
level: minimal (0-8), mild (9-12), moderate (13-18) and severe (19+).
- Cost/Source: Free for use by health care/mental health providers.
Published by University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)
- Description/Purpose: Developed for women who have recently given
birth, this 10 questions depression screening assesses for depressive signs
in the previous 7 days and detects need for further evaluation. Quiz takes
less than 5 minutes to complete.
- Scoring: 9+ points or indication of suicidal thinking (score of
1+ on question 10) indicates a need for further assessment by a health
care/mental health provider.
Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D)
- Description/Purpose: 21 questions to assess severity of symptoms
in individuals who have been diagnosed with depression. The test is filled
out by a health care professional and used to help monitor and manage
- Scoring: Higher scores indicate more severe depression
- Cost/Source: Free from
Cornell Dysthymia Rating Scale (CDRS)
- Description/Purpose: Developed by Mason at al. to assess
dysthymia symptoms (less severe chronic depression). The 20 test items are
rated by a health care professional.
- Scoring: Higher scores indicate greater dysthymia symptoms
Also see: [ depression help ] [
natural remedies ] [
signs ] [
The depression information provided is for educational and informational
purposes only. This information should not replace proper evaluation and
diagnosis of depression by a mental health professional. Before taking any
action, please consult with a mental health professional. Please see