What Is a TOVA Test?

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Casey Serin

TOVA is an actually an acronym that stands for Test of Variables of Attention. The test is used to screen attention disorders like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, better known as ADHD. The test helps to screen, diagnose and treat the disorder.


The TOVA test is an objective, not subjective, test. It objectively measures attention but does not subjectively rate behavior. The measurements the test takes are compared to a group of individuals who do not have ADHD or other attention disorders.

The Actual Test

The test is a rather short test; in fact, it takes 21.6 minutes. The test is set up like a computer game and measures the test takers' responses to visual and auditory stimuli.

Who Can Use TOVA

There are two versions of TOVA--clinical and screening. The clinical version is used by psychologists, neurologists, pediatricians and licensed social workers, to name a few professions. The screening version is used by schools, rehabilitation programs and human resource departments.

How TOVA Helps

TOVA assists clinicians by verifying treatment given to patients, confirming a clinical diagnosis and following attention over time.

TOVA's Validity

There is no valid test for ADHD or any other attention disorder. TOVA has diagnosed some individuals correctly.

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