Academic Diligence Task (ADT)

General Information on the Measure
Purpose of the measure

The ADT is a direct assessment of students' willingness to focus on tedious academic tasks rather than play games.

Main constructs measured

Intrapersonal competencies

Applicable grade levels

High school

Publication year for the most recent version


Year originally developed


Related measures
Measure Administration


Method of administration


Number of items

There are five tasks in which students are given the choice between working on math problems and playing an online game.

Item format


Administration time
Available languages


Fee for use Free and publicly available
Credentials required for administration


Overall score reporting

No overall score is reported.

Subscore reporting

There are two subscores:

  • Productivity
  • Time on task

Students also self-assess boredom following each block.

Scoring procedures

The scores are calculated automatically.

Interpretive information

No information is available in the references reviewed.

Evidence of Technical Quality
Populations for which technical quality evidence has been collected

Evidence has been collected from high school seniors (N=921) enrolled in two large public high schools in the Northeast United States (Galla et al., 2014).

Reliability evidence

Reliability was assessed by examining correlations in the three subscores across tasks. Coefficients ranged from 0.41 to 0.66. Internal consistency (alpha) was also estimated by treating tasks as items. Coefficients ranged from 0.84 to 0.89. (Galla et al., 2014).

Validity evidence
Evidence based on content
No information is available in the references reviewed.
Evidence based on response processes
There is empirical evidence that productivity declined, on average, over time, as did time-on-task. This response pattern was interpreted as suggesting that a reduction in focused engagement, rather than math ability, was the primary driver in task performance.
Evidence based on internal structure
No information is available in the references reviewed.
Evidence based on relations with other variables
ADT scores correlated positively with Big Five measures of conscientiousness, including self-control and grit, consistent with theory. ADT scores were not associated with Big Five extraversion, openness and emotional stability, also consistent with theory. Productivity was predictive of math and ELA achievement and the odds of on-time high school graduation (Galla et al., 2014).
Locating the Measure
Obtaining a copy of the measure

Galla, B. M., Plummer, B. D., White, R. E., Meketon, D., D'Mello, S. K., & Duckworth, A. L. "The Academic Diligence Task (ADT): Assessing individual differences in effort on tedious but important schoolwork," Contemporary Educational Psychology, Vol. 39, No. 4, 2014, pp. 314–325.


The ADT is free to use, provided that the source (Galla et al., 2014) is cited.

Measure summary updated January 24, 2019.