What is the Rice Purity Test and What Does Your Score Mean?

What is the Rice Purity Test? It is a self-report measure that assesses the level of personal purity and innocence in various areas of life. The Rice Purity Test consists of a series of questions that ask respondents to report whether they have engaged in certain activities or behaviors, such as using drugs, having sex, or committing a crime. The test is named after Rice University, where it originated in the early 1980s as a way to measure the degree of conformity among college students. Today, the Rice Purity Test is a popular and enduring tradition among college students, reflecting the cultural and social norms of higher education.

How Does It Work?

The Rice Purity Test consists of 100 questions, each with a “yes” or “no” response option. The questions cover a wide range of topics, including sexual behavior, substance use, academic dishonesty, and criminal activity. Respondents are instructed to answer each question honestly and to the best of their ability, based on their personal experience.

The test is often administered in a group setting, where participants can compare their scores and discuss their responses. However, it can also be taken online or individually. Once the test is completed, the respondent receives a score out of 100, which reflects the percentage of questions they answered “no” to. A higher score indicates a higher level of purity or innocence, while a lower score indicates a greater level of experience or deviance.

What Do the Different Scores on the Rice Purity Test Mean?

The Rice Purity Test scores are divided into categories, each of which reflects a different level of purity or experience. The categories are as follows:

  • 100-98: “Pure as the driven snow”
  • 97-94: “Very pure”
  • 93-77: “Pure”
  • 76-45: “Average”
  • 44-12: “Unpure”
  • 11-0: “Degenerate”

These categories are not intended to be a definitive judgment of a person’s character or behavior. Rather, they provide a general sense of how the respondent compares to others who have taken the test. The categories can also serve as a source of social comparison and competition among college students, who often take the test as a way to bond with their peers or to establish their social status.

How Accurate Is the Rice Purity Test in Predicting Behavior?

What is a Rice Purity Test? It is a self-report measure that assesses the level of personal purity and innocence in various areas of life. People may underreport or overreport their behavior for various reasons, such as social desirability bias, memory errors, or a lack of insight into their own behavior. Therefore, the Rice Purity Test should not be used as a definitive indicator of a person’s behavior or personality.

However, research has shown that there is a correlation between Rice Purity Test scores and actual behavior. For example, a study conducted at a university in the US found that students who scored high on the Rice Purity Test were less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as substance use, unsafe sex, or academic cheating. This suggests that the Rice Purity Test may be a useful screening tool for identifying students who are at risk for negative outcomes.

How Does the Rice Purity Test Reflect Cultural and Social Norms?

The Rice Purity Test has become a cultural phenomenon among college students, particularly in the US. It is often used as a way to bond with peers, to establish social hierarchies, or to express one’s identity or values. The test reflects the cultural norms and expectations of college life, which often emphasize academic achievement, social conformity, and sexual purity.

The Rice Purity Test also reflects the social and political climate of the time and place where it is taken. For example, some versions of the test include questions about racism , sexism, or other forms of prejudice or discrimination, reflecting the awareness and activism of college students around social justice issues. Similarly, some versions of the test include questions about mental health or well-being, indicating a growing concern about student stress and anxiety in higher education.

However, the Rice Purity Test has also been criticized for perpetuating harmful stereotypes or stigmatizing certain groups of people. For example, the test may reinforce the idea that sexual activity or substance use is inherently immoral or shameful, leading to feelings of guilt or anxiety among respondents who do not conform to these norms. The test may also overlook the diversity and complexity of individual experiences, reducing people to a single score or label.

What Are the Implications and Applications of the Rice Purity Test?

The Rice Purity Test has both potential benefits and drawbacks, depending on how it is used and interpreted. On the one hand, the test can serve as a useful tool for assessing risk factors or identifying students who may need additional support or guidance. It can also foster social connections and facilitate open and honest communication among peers or between students and advisors.

On the other hand, the test can also have negative consequences, such as reinforcing harmful stereotypes, promoting social comparison and competition, or trivializing complex issues. It may also create a false sense of security or invincibility among students who score high on the test, leading to risky or reckless behavior.

Therefore, it is important to use the Rice Purity Test in a thoughtful and responsible manner, taking into account its limitations and potential impact. The test should be used as one tool among many for promoting healthy and safe behavior, rather than as a definitive measure of a person’s worth or character.


The Rice Purity Test is a popular and enduring tradition among college students, reflecting the cultural and social norms of higher education. The test can provide valuable information about students’ experiences and behaviors, as well as their attitudes and values. However, it is important to recognize the limitations and biases of the test, and to use it in a way that is respectful, sensitive, and non-judgmental. By doing so, we can promote a more inclusive and supportive environment for all students, regardless of their Rice Purity Test score.