Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D): A Screening Test for Depression

One of the most common screening tests for helping an individual to determine his or her depression quotient, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) was originally developed by Lenore Radloff of Utah State University. The quick self-test measures depressive feelings and behaviours during the past week.

Completing this Psychological Screening Test

To take the questionnaire, please click the radio button next to the selection which best reflects how each statement applies to you. The items refer to how you have felt and behaved over the last week.

Take the Quiz

Please note: This test will only be scored correctly if you answer each one of the questions. Please also check our disclaimer on psychological testing and our psychological testing privacy guarantee.

1. I was bothered by things that don’t usually bother me.

2. I did not feel like eating; my appetite was poor.

3. I felt that I could not shake off the blues even with the help of my family or friends.

4. I felt that I was just as good as other people.

5. I had trouble keeping my mind on what I was doing.

6. I felt depressed.

7. I felt everything I did was an effort.

8. I felt hopeful about the future.

9. I thought my life had been a failure.

10. I felt fearful.

11. My sleep was restless.

12. I was happy.

13. I talked less than usual.

14. I felt lonely.

15. People were unfriendly.

16. I enjoyed life.

17. I had crying spells.

18. I felt sad.

19. I felt that people disliked me.

20. I could not get “going”.

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About Scoring this Psychological Questionnaire

Scoring for All Except Questions 4, 8, 12, and 16:

  • 0 points Rarely or none of the time (< 1 day)
  • 1 point Some or a little of the time (1-2 days)
  • 2 points Occasionally or a moderate amount of the time (3-4 days)
  • 3 points Most or all of the time (5-7 days)

For questions 4, 8, 12, and 16, the scoring is exactly the same except that it is reversed: “Most or all of the time” is scored 0 points, “Rarely or none of the time” is scored 3 points, etc. Roughly speaking, the higher the score, the greater the depressive symptoms.

Screening test scoring ranges:

  • Less than 15
  • 15-21, Mild to Moderate Depression
  • Over 21, Possibility of Major Depression

When your quiz is scored, one of 3 different information pages will appear to describe the results for scores in your range.

Additional Information

The CES-D was developed in the 1970s by Lenore Radloff while she was a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health. Almost 85% of those found to have depression after an in-depth structured interview with a psychiatrist will have a high score on the CESD. However, about 20% of those who score high on the CESD will have rapid resolution of their symptoms and not meet full criteria for major or clinical depression.

Original reference:

Radloff, L.S. (1977) ‘The CES-D scale: A self report depression scale for research in the general population’. Applied Psychological Measurement 1: 385-401.

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