The REACH Survey

Gain insight into middle and high school students’ social and emotional skills that are essential for motivating them to become self-propelled young adults.


The REACH survey is a tool to measure academic motivation that examines Relationships, Effort, Aspirations, Cognition, and Heart—interests and talents. It also examines external factors experienced by youth, such as school climate, obstacles to perseverance, and perceived discrimination.

Whether you are focused on strengthening student-teacher relationships or building character strengths, by using the REACH Survey you can measure key widely-used indicators. You will receive results in these areas:

The Relationships category provides schools with data on the degree to which students believe that their teachers do the following:

  • Believe in them
  • Set high expectations for them
  • Help them learn and grow from failures
  • Give them a voice to express their ideas
  • Respect them
  • Guide them
  • Inspire them
  • Know about and tap into their sparks (their talents and interests)

The Effort category provides schools with data on the ways their students think about intelligence and effort in the following areas:

  • Mastery vs. performance orientation
  • Belief in malleable intelligence
  • Academic self-efficacy

The Aspirations category provides schools with data on the degree to which their students do the following:

  • Have a positive vision of themselves in the future
  • Set and work toward goals
  • Believe that they can influence what happens in their lives

The Cognition category provides schools with data on how well students think about and manage their own thinking in three important areas:

  • Maintaining focus on an issue or objective for an extended period of time
  • Delaying gratification to achieve academic success
  • Staying positive in the face of a challenge

The Heart category provides schools with data on the degree to which their students do the following:

  • Develop their sparks
  • Share their sparks
  • Leverage their sparks to motivate effort in school and other areas of life

Students’ motivation and perseverance are not, of course, determined only by their personal attitudes, abilities and other internal factors. They are also influenced by the environments in which students live their lives. In order to help educators understand the ways that those broader factors influence student behavior, the REACH Survey also provides schools with data on student perceptions of the following:

  • School climate
  • Sense of belonging in school
  • Perception of discrimination in school
  • Degree to which instruction is interesting and engaging
  • Degree to which instruction is culturally inclusive and affirming
  • Degree to which teachers encourage students to respect other cultures
  • Degree to which factors outside school influence effort in school

REACH Survey Administration

The REACH survey is an 110-question online survey for use by youth in grades 6 to 12. The survey is written at a 6th-grade reading level.*


REACH Survey

Survey Time

Middle School Students

30 minutes

High School Students

30 minutes

Allow an additional 10 minutes for survey administration to give instructions and answer questions.

*An abbreviated version of the survey is available upon request

Most students can complete the REACH Survey in 30 minutes or less. Ten minutes should be allowed to give students the instructions for completing the survey.

REACH data can be combined with data on attendance, achievement, and other measures of students’ effort and performance to gain a more complete picture of young people’s lives. When data from those sources are combined with data from the REACH Survey, it is possible to get a much better answer to a question that educators and parents find themselves asking often about kids: Why do they act the way they do?

The REACH Survey can be administered one time to capture a snapshot of students’ academic motivation and the factors that influence it. The REACH survey can also be used as a pre- and post-assessment to measure change in students’ character strengths over time.

Pilot studies of the REACH Survey have demonstrated promising predictive validity, with higher REACH scores correlating with better grades and intentions to attend college, and fewer class failures and suspensions.

Each REACH Survey package:

Always includes:

  • Access to the online survey
  • A thorough user guide for planning your survey administration
  • In-depth site reports to guide your data utilization
  • Survey administration support

Also included with your purchase:

  • The REACH Strategies Guidebook: Take action on your REACH survey results with the interventions provided in the guidebook. The guidebook contains specific techniques that schools can integrate into their practices to strengthen students’ social and emotional skills.

Optionally includes:

  • Site reports based on a specific cohort of youth, determined by you
  • Individually scored data file
  • Technical Assistance, Consulting, Workshops, or Presentations

For more information on the REACH Survey, please click the links below:

Click for more information on other REACH Resources

To learn more about the REACH Survey, call 800-888-7828, Ext. 526 or email us. To order, click here.