Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is a belief that you are not as good as others think you are, or as good as they think you are. A person who suffers from this syndrome lives constantly with the fear of being "discovered" one day for his or her lack of skill or talent.

The Imposter Test was developed to help people determine whether or not they have characteristics of the Imposter Phenomenon and, if so, how much they suffer from it.

Instructions :

  • For each question in the table on the next page, write the number (the number of points) corresponding to the answer that best indicates how true the sentence is for you.

NB: It is best to give the first answer that comes to mind and not overthink each sentence.

  • Total your points
  • Interpret this total number of points
  • o If the total is 40 or less, you have few Impostor characteristics.

    o If the score is between 41 and 60, you have moderate experience with the Impostor phenomenon

    o A score between 61 and 80 means that you have impostor feelings

    o A score above 80 means that you often have intense experiences of the Imposter phenomenon

The higher the score, the more frequently and heavily the Imposter Phenomenon interferes with a person's life.

Imposter Phenomenon Clance Scale

Not true at all (1 point)
Rarely (2 points)
Sometimes (3 points)
Often (4 points)
Very true (5 points)
1- I have often succeeded on a test or task when I was afraid I wouldn't make it before I started.
2- I can give the impression of being more competent than I really am.
3- I avoid evaluations whenever possible and am terrified that others will evaluate me.
4- When people congratulate me on something I've accomplished, I'm afraid I won't be able to live up to their expectations in the future.
5- I sometimes think I got my current position or success because I was in the right place at the right time or because I know the right people.
6- I tend to remember the times I didn't do my best better than the times I did.
7- I'm afraid that the people who matter to me will find out that I'm not as capable as they think.
8- I rarely succeed in completing a project or task as well as I would like.
9- It's hard for me to accept compliments or praise for my intelligence or accomplishments.
10- Sometimes I think my success is due to a kind of luck.
11- I am sometimes disappointed with my current accomplishments and feel that I should have accomplished much more.
12- Sometimes I am afraid that others will discover how much I lack certain knowledge or skills.
13- When I have succeeded in something and received recognition for that accomplishment, I doubt that I will be able to repeat that success.
14- I am often afraid of failing when faced with a new request, when in general I am very successful at what I do.
15- If I receive a lot of praise and recognition for something I've accomplished, I tend to downplay the importance of what I've done.
16- I often compare my abilities to those around me and think they might be smarter than me.
17- I often worry about not passing a project or exam when those around me are confident that I will succeed.
18- If I am about to receive a promotion or some form of recognition, I hesitate to tell others until it is a fait accompli.
19- I feel bad and discouraged if I am not "the best" or at least "very special" in situations that involve success.
20- Sometimes I have the impression or the certainty that my personal or professional successes are the result of some kind of mistake

SOURCE : The above questions were taken from the book "The Impostor Phenomenon: When Success Makes You Feel Like A Fake", p20-22, P.R. Clance, 185 Toronto, Bantham Books. Coyright 1985 Pauline Rose Clance, PhD, ABPP.