General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE)

Evaluate your patient’s perceived self-efficacy using the General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE). Get access to a free PDF template and example for your practice.

By Matt Olivares on Jul 05, 2024.


Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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What is a General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE)?

Self-efficacy is the belief we have in our ability to accomplish tasks, reach goals, and overcome obstacles. It is a crucial component of personal growth and achievement, as it influences our motivation, effort, and persistence in facing challenges.

According to the Self-Efficacy Theory, a person's self-efficacy can significantly impact motivation, behavior, and emotional well-being. The higher a person's self-efficacy, the more likely they are to set challenging goals, persevere in the face of obstacles, and view failures as learning opportunities.

Healthcare professionals, especially mental health providers, use the (GSE) to measure an individual's perceived self-efficacy in handling difficult situations. This 10-item scale helps assess the degree to which people believe they can cope with challenging tasks and overcome obstacles.

Developed in 1981 by Matthias Jerusalem and Ralf Schwarzer, the GSE has been used for over thirty years and is one of the most commonly utilized scales for measuring self-efficacy. The GSE has been applied in research on physical health, academic performance, and mental health.

The GSE presents an individual with a series of statements describing complex situations. The patient then rates their confidence in their ability to handle the situation on a scale from 1 to 4. The possible scores range from 10 to 40, with higher scores indicating greater self-efficacy.

There is also an 8-Item version of the GSE created in 2001 by psychologist Gilad Chen and their team. This version is meant to be a shortened version of the original 10-item scale.

General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE) Template

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General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE) Example

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How does this General Self-Efficacy Scale work?

The GSE is administered as an individual assessment. The patient is given 10 statements describing difficult situations and asked to rate their confidence level in handling the situation. Follow these steps to get started with our free GSE Scale template:

Step One: Download the template

Access the free General Self-Efficacy Scale using the link provided on this page. Similarly, you can download the template from the Carepatron app or our resources library, which also offers tons of worksheets and templates you can use for your mental health services.

Step Two: Provide your patient with a copy

Give your patient a copy of the GSE and explain how it works. Ask them to read each question carefully and rate their confidence level in each statement.

Step Three: Score and interpret the results

Once your patient has completed the scale, you can score and interpret the results. The scores range from 10-40, with higher scores indicating greater self-efficacy. Use your findings to inform your treatment plan and help your patient set goals.

Step Four: Secure the form

This assessment tool contains confidential patient information. Make sure to store it in a secure location.

General Self-Efficacy Scale Scoring

The GSE scale consists of 10 items, each rated on a 4-point scale ranging from 1 (not at all true) to 4 (exactly true). The total score is calculated by summing the responses to each item, with a range of 10-40. A higher score indicates better self-efficacy. 

For example, a patient scoring a 10 indicates low self-efficacy and the need for more support. If they score a 40, it indicates high levels of self-efficacy and the ability to handle difficult situations successfully.

General Self-Efficacy Scale example (sample)

We have created a General Self-Efficacy Scale example to help you see how this assessment tool works. This sample is scored by a hypothetical patient wanting to measure their self-efficacy. You can view the sample here or download the PDF version as a reference.

Download the free General Self-Efficacy Scale example (sample)

General Self-Efficacy Scale example (sample)

When to use this General Self-Efficacy Test?

The GSE can be used in various settings and with different populations. You can also administer this tool if or when:

You want to measure a patient's level of self-efficacy

The GSE Scale is an efficient way to measure a patient's level of self-efficacy. You can use this tool to gain insight into their self-perception.

You need a quick and reliable way to assess someone's confidence

You can use this General Self-Efficacy Scale test to quickly and reliably determine someone's confidence level in their ability to handle difficult situations. It is a quick, easy-to-use tool that takes only a few minutes to complete.

You are trying to identify potential psychological issues

The GSE scale can help you identify potential psychological issues. A low score may indicate a lack of confidence in the patient's ability to handle difficult situations, which could point to an underlying psychological problem or factors related to subsequent behavior.

Your patient is considering making a significant life change

If your patient is considering making a major life change, the GSE can help you assess their confidence in their ability to handle the transition. A low score may indicate a lack of confidence, while a high score indicates they are likely ready to change.

Who is this General Self-Efficacy Scale PDF for?

The GSE is a valuable tool for any mental health professional who wants to assess the self-efficacy of their patients. Specifically, it's beneficial for:

  • Therapists
  • Counselors
  • Social workers
  • Life coaches
  • Other mental health-allied professionals

You can use the GSE Scale in different settings such as private practice, outpatient clinics, or educational institutions. It is also suitable for adults of all ages and backgrounds who need to assess their self-efficacy.

Benefits of free General Self-Efficacy Scale

The GSE is a simple, effective tool that can help you quickly measure and monitor a patient's self-efficacy. The benefits include the following:

It's objective

It provides an objective way to evaluate patients' confidence in their ability to handle difficult situations, allowing you to tailor the treatment to their needs.

It's fast and easy to use

The GSE scale is quick and easy to use, taking only a few minutes to complete. It's also fully digital, so you can easily collect, analyze, and store the data.

It's useful in different settings

The GSE scale suits various settings, making it a versatile tool. You can also use it to measure self-efficacy in adults and adolescents. The self efficacy scale gse can be utilized as an educational and psychological measurement as well as in organizational research methods spaces.

It gives patients an insight into their self-perception

The GSE scale can help your patient identify patterns of thought that may be contributing to low self-efficacy. It can also provide valuable insight into their own emotions and thought processes.

It improves patient outcomes

By assessing a patient's self-efficacy, you can tailor the treatment to their needs and provide customized interventions to improve outcomes and coping abilities. Individuals undergoing the GSE may find they have more optimistic self beliefs and are able to overcome novel or difficult tasks and stressful life events.

Why use this Self-Efficacy app?

Are you tired of manually managing your practice? Carepatron is here to help!

With Carepatron, you can easily manage patient records, create appointment schedules, and store billing information – all from one secure and intuitive platform. Plus, it's accessible from anywhere, anytime, so you can work on the go.

Not only that, but Carepatron helps improve workflow efficiency by automating tedious administrative tasks. No more data entry headaches or lost files; everything is safely stored in one place! You'll also get access to a library of evidenced-based templates, assessments, and worksheets you can use for your practice.

With easy-to-use client portals, you can also make life easier for your patients! Clients can securely access their records, book appointments, and pay bills without having to call or email, saving everyone time and hassle. 

Carepatron is the perfect platform for mental health professionals. Get started today with Carepatron and see the difference!

Mental health software benefit


Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. W H Freeman/Times Books/ Henry Holt & Co.

Schwarzer, R., & Jerusalem, M. (1995). Generalized Self-Efficacy scale. In J. Weinman, S. Wright, & M. Johnston, Measures in health psychology: A user’s portfolio. Causal and control beliefs (pp. 35-37). Windsor, UK: NFER-NELSON.

Who created the General Self-Efficacy Scale?
Who created the General Self-Efficacy Scale?

Commonly asked questions

Who created the General Self-Efficacy Scale?

Matthias Jerusalem and Ralf Schwarzer created the General Self-Efficacy Scale in 1981 in Germany.

How to score the General Self-Efficacy Scale?

The GSE Scale has 10 items scored on a scale from 1 to 4. A higher score indicates that the patient has a higher level of self-efficacy.

What does the General Self-Efficacy Scale measure?

The GSE Scale measures the patient’s confidence in handling difficult situations. It is a valuable tool for mental health professionals looking to assess a patient’s level of self-efficacy.

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