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Student SDS®

Student Self-Directed Search®

John L. Holland, PhD, and Melissa A. Messer, MHS

Helps students explore interests for educational and career planning
Paper and pencil
Grade range:
Grade 6 to Grade 12
25-35 minutes
Qualification level:
No special qualifications are required, although the range of products eligible for purchase is limited. Close

Paper and Pencil Career Test for Students Grade 6 to 12


The StudentSDS is a career assessment and exploration tool designed and tailored specifically to middle school, junior high, and high school students.

A revision of the SDS Career Explorer (CE), the Student SDS is based on data collected for the SDS Form R, 5th Edition (2013). The new Student SDS allows students to learn about programs of study and careers that best match their personalities. 

Watch this video to learn how
the SDS can help you
explore educational
and career options.

Features and benefits

  • Includes activities for classroom use. 
  • Captures students' personalities, skills, and interests. 
  • Guides students as they explore occupations and programs of study that might best suit them and lead to job satisfaction.
  • Includes a Professional Manual with Teacher's Guide to assist practitioners with administration, scoring, and interpretation.
  • Developed using the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model and aligns with eight Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) Quality Indicators: self-awareness, career awareness, postsecondary aspirations, postsecondary options, environmental expectations, academic planning, employability skills, and financial literacy.
  • Online administration and scoring and interactive digital reports (see sample reports under "Resources" tab) are available via the mobile-friendly Self-Directed Search website, which generates a fully customized report that allows users to sort, filter, save, and print results.



A presentation from NCDA 2019, Develop Your Students' Passion for Career Exploration: The Student SDS, is available in the Resources area.