The Grit Test: a simple quiz to see whether you’ll make it as a creative professional

Grit TestPsychologist Angela Duckworth is making news by claiming “Grit” is as important to success as background, education or IQ.

The funny thing about Grit is that it’s a personality trait, and not likely to be something you just picked up along the way.

Grit is something you’re born with. If you need to take a “Grit Test” because you’re unsure whether or not you have it, I’m willing to be you don’t.

People who know where they’re going and they know that they’ll get there, and have a huge amount of confidence in themselves based on past experiences, probably have a great deal of grit.

But there are other people who merely have an inflated sense of self-competency and a skewed world-view, which tells them they are successful and valuable even if they aren’t producing anything other people want or need.

Although I’m not a psychologist…

I would put money down that “Grit” corresponds positively to introversion (those who feel more comfortable alone, in their own skin, and/or dislike large social events are far more likely to spend the amount of time it takes to finish big projects). I would also agree with Aristotle that “All those who have become eminent in philosophy or politics or poetry or the arts are clearly of the atrabilious (melancholy) temperament.”

In other words, the earth signs: Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo. I think it’s because earth signs actually complete the work: the other signs are creative but too flighty for sustained, long-term progress. Also Virgos are anal and focus on meticulous details, Capricorn are stubborn and focus on long-term goals, Taurus are sensitive and in tune with their bodies’ physical experiences.

I know this sounds absurd, but I’ll bet if Angela Duckworth released the birth-month data of all takers of her test, certain months would correlate to high grit in a statistically significant way.

(I would also predict that Sagittarius and Gemini would have very low grit scores…)

I got a 4.58. How about you?

12- Item Grit Scale

Directions for taking the Grit Scale: Please respond to the following 12 items. Be honest – there are no right or wrong answers!

1. I have overcome setbacks to conquer an important challenge.

  • Very much like me
  • Mostly like me
  • Somewhat like me
  • Not much like me
  • Not like me at all

2. New ideas and projects sometimes distract me from previous ones.*

  • Very much like me
  • Mostly like me
  • Somewhat like me
  • Not much like me
  • Not like me at all

3. My interests change from year to year.*

  • Very much like me
  • Mostly like me
  • Somewhat like me
  • Not much like me
  • Not like me at all

4. Setbacks don’t discourage me.

  • Very much like me
  • Mostly like me
  • Somewhat like me
  • Not much like me
  • Not like me at all

5. I have been obsessed with a certain idea or project for a short time but later lost interest.*

  • Very much like me
  • Mostly like me
  • Somewhat like me
  • Not much like me
  • Not like me at all

6. I am a hard worker.

  • Very much like me
  • Mostly like me
  • Somewhat like me
  • Not much like me
  • Not like me at all

7. I often set a goal but later choose to pursue a different one.*

  • Very much like me
  • Mostly like me
  • Somewhat like me
  • Not much like me
  • Not like me at all

8. I have difficulty maintaining my focus on projects that take more than a few months to complete.*

  • Very much like me
  • Mostly like me
  • Somewhat like me
  • Not much like me
  • Not like me at all

9. I finish whatever I begin.

  • Very much like me
  • Mostly like me
  • Somewhat like me
  • Not much like me
  • Not like me at all

10. I have achieved a goal that took years of work.

  • Very much like me
  • Mostly like me
  • Somewhat like me
  • Not much like me
  • Not like me at all

11. I become interested in new pursuits every few months.*

  • Very much like me
  • Mostly like me
  • Somewhat like me
  • Not much like me
  • Not like me at all

12. I am diligent.

  • Very much like me
  • Mostly like me
  • Somewhat like me
  • Not much like me
  • Not like me at all

Scoring:

1. For questions 1, 4, 6, 9, 10 and 12 assign the following points: 5 = Very much like me

4 = Mostly like me

3 = Somewhat like me

2 = Not much like me

1 = Not like me at all

2. For questions 2, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 11 assign the following points: 1 = Very much like me

2 = Mostly like me

3 = Somewhat like me

4 = Not much like me

5 = Not like me at all

 

Add up all the points and divide by 12. The maximum score on this scale is 5 (extremely gritty), and the lowest scale on this scale is 1 (not at all gritty).

Duckworth, A.L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M.D., & Kelly, D.R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 1087-1101.

About Derek Murphy

I help authors and artists turn their passions into full-time businesses, make a bigger impact, and blaze a luminous trail of creative independence. Right now I'm in Taiwan finishing a PHD in Literature, writing several books, and managing a handful of online businesses. Find me

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