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Help your clients find a career that fits
their personality!

Standard Self-Directed Search® (SDS®)
John L. Holland, PhD, and Melissa A. Messer, MHS
Purpose:Assess career interests
Age range:11 to 70 years
Admin:Individual or group
Admin time:25-35 minutes
Scoring time:10 minutes
Qualification level:A
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The StandardSDS is a career assessment and exploration tool that uses John Holland's RIASEC theory to classify individuals according to six basic types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. The theory is based on the idea that if your personality type matches your work environment type, you are more likely to find job fulfilment and career satisfaction.

The StandardSDS asks questions about aspirations, activities, competencies, and level of interest in a variety of occupations and produces a three-letter Summary Code that helps individuals find educational and occupational matches to their personality type.

The StandardSDS is based on the SDS Form R, 5th Edition (2013). Although it has been completely redesigned and repackaged, no new data were collected for this revision, so information can be used equally and interchangeably between the two editions.

Features and benefits

  • Self-administered, self-scored, and self-interpreted, so users can complete on their own time or with a career counselor for additional interpretive assistance.
  • Summary Codes are linked to more than 1,400 jobs on the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a continually updated online database developed and maintained by the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration.
  • Online administration and scoring and new interactive digital reports (see sample reports, above) are available via the Self-Directed Search Web site.

Test structure

  • Features an assessment booklet in which users rate their like or dislike of certain activities and occupations and note which competencies (e.g., "I can read blueprints") they feel they can do well. Finally, users rate their abilities on a scale of 1-7 (e.g., "artistic ability") and calculate their results, which generates a three-letter Summary Code.
  • Using this Summary Code, users can then identify careers and programs of study that best match their personality by using the StandardSDS Occupations Finder or the SDS Educational Opportunities Finder.
  • The StandardSDS You and Your Career Workbook helps users narrow down their career matches, learn more about their matched careers, and explore other careers.
  • The StandardSDS Professional Manual includes detailed information about interpreting the SDS, calculating indexes, and assisting clients with career decision making.

Technical information

  • The StandardSDS uses normative data from the SDS Form R, 5th Edition (2013). It was standardized on 1,739 students and adults ages 11 to 70 years.
  • Coefficients for the Activities, Competencies, and Occupations scales range from .71 to .93, and summary scale coefficients range from .88 to .94.
  • Test–retest reliability ranged from .82 to .96 on the overall sample, indicating that summary scale scores have substantial stability over time.
  • Correlates significantly with three factors from the NEO Personality Inventory (Extraversion, Openness, and Agreeableness) and other measures of personality, including the Career Thoughts Inventory.

Spanish SDS materials available! The SDS Form R, 5th Edition, Spanish Version (2013) was designed specifically for Spanish-speaking individuals living in the United States. It was translated by experts and reviewed by practicing bilingual counselors.

Item numberProduct descriptionList priceAdd to Cart
WW-11254-KTStandardSDS Kit
includes the StandardSDS Professional Manual, 25 each of the StandardSDS Assessment Booklet, Occupations Finder, and You and Your Career Workbook and an SDS Educational Opportunities Finder
WW-11270-KTStandardSDS/WSA/WVI Kit
includes the StandardSDS Kit, the WSA introductory Kit, and the WVI Introductory Kit
Manuals, Books, and Equipment
Item numberProduct descriptionList priceAdd to Cart
WW-11256-TMStandardSDS Professional Manual$69.00
WW-11278-EMStandardSDS E-manual
e-Manuals are not returnable. Please see our FAQ before ordering e-Manuals.
Forms and Booklets
Item numberProduct descriptionList priceAdd to Cart
WW-11255-STStandardSDS Replacement Kit
includes 25 Assessment Booklets, 25 Occupations Finders, and 25 You and Your Career Workbooks
WW-11257-ABStandardSDS Assessment Booklet (pkg/25)$59.00
WW-11258-ABStandardSDS Occupations Finder (pkg/25)$79.00
WW-11259-IAStandardSDS You and Your Career Workbook (pkg/25)$49.00
WW-11260-ABSDS Educational Opportunities Finder (pkg/25)$69.00
Related Products
Student Self-Directed Search® (SDS®)
Self-Directed Search® (SDS®), 5th Edition
Work Values Inventory™ (WVI™)
Working Styles Assessment™ (WSA™)

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