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Make your own Reaction Timer

Here is a simple method for making your own reaction timer. It is basic, and probably not the most accurate test of reaction time, but it is interesting activity to do, and you'll have lots of fun with it. A variation of this test is the Ruler Reaction Test. There are some commercially available variations of this test too, see the review of Reaction Sticks.

Equipment Required

Construction Method

  1. Cut the card to at least 20cm long and 5 cm wide.
  2. Mark the piece of paper or cardboard as illustrated (use the figure on right as a guide).make the reaction timer just like this.
  3. The numbers 40 to 200 (time in milliseconds) are to be written on the card at the specified distances (in centimeters) from the bottom of the card.

Note: all measurements are approximate

Test Method


Speed (milliseconds) Rating
40 pretty good
60 a little below average
80 slow
100 very slow
120 have another go
140 I wouldn't get into a car with you
160 what drugs are you on?
180 hello?
200 wake up!

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Testing Extra

We have over 400 fitness tests listed, so it's not easy to choose the best one to use. You should consider the validity, reliability, costs and ease of use for each test. Use our testing guide to conducting, recording, and interpreting fitness tests. Any questions, please ask or search for your answer.

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