What Is a Pulse Test?

The Divergent Learning Model always starts with people first, which is why we begin with values. Goals and processes are only determined after values are established. In the summer of 2019, Divergent U created the Pulse Test to help their students reflect on their values and continue working towards their best selves. This test has not only been a cornerstone of Divergent U’s value-driven learning model, but it has also proven to be an extremely effective tool in building company culture in a small business environment. 


How to start a Pulse Test

Step 1- Get Clear on Your Values

A Pulse Test helps you determine your values, but you can still use this tool even if you’ve already determined them. It will help you reassess and refine your values. 

Every Pulse Test starts with a series of questions to help you gain clarity on your values. The goal of these questions is to draw out single word adjectives to describe your best self or the version of yourself you want to become. The pulse test helps determine how you want to operate on a day-to-day basis. It can be completed alone or with the help of a facilitator.

Here are some questions to help you come up with your values:


  • How do you want to be?
  • How do you want to feel?
  • How do you want to approach life?
  • How do you want to approach family/friends?
  • How do you want to approach work? 

Here are some examples of answers:

Happy, excited, patient, active, healthy, giving, consistent, loving, respectful, productive, meaningful, learning, engaged, etc. 

The goal is to have 10-20 adjectives listed before moving forward. Sometimes this requires sitting with each question for 15-30 seconds. Sometimes the answers will arise within only a second or two. These are rapid-fire words and shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to get a solid list of adjectives. The words should come directly from you. It’s not the facilitator’s job to guess the words for you unless they are stuck trying to find a specific word to describe a thought.


Step 2- Review the Words

Once a list of 10-20 adjectives is completed, it’s time to review the words. List out words line by line so that there is space to rate each one. You will then rate the words on a scale from 1-10 based on how well you think you are living out these words (1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest).

Next, you will review the values with the lowest scores and self-reflect on what’s holding them back from being higher. This will also help you determine what is holding you back from being your most authentic and pure self. If you feel stumped on what’s holding you back, journal about it. 


Step 3 – Use the Pulse Test to Perform Weekly Check-ins

The pulse test is not something you complete once and move on. It’s a tool that produces radical results over time. It has been proven through every single student that has completed the Divergent U program. For best results, we recommend using the pulse test to check-in weekly to see how well you are staying aligned with your values.

If you’re ready to start living life as your best self on a day-to-day basis, schedule a pulse test with a facilitator

You can also complete a pulse test on your own by using the our pulse test questionnaire.