(Closed) FOCCUS Test

posted 10 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
54 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

no way. when you take it, it’s like this 200 something long questionnaire and statements. your responses will be agree, disagree, and undecided. in a few weeks, you’ll get the results. 

they always stress that the test is not perfect and anything that you guys slightly differ in answering, it just marks it as you guys aren’t AS in sync. the purpose of the FOCCUS test is to get you started on talking about these topics in case you haven’t already.

my Fi and i were laughing so hard after we took the test because some of the questions are just plain ridiculous and on how we each answered the question/statement. so have fun with it. it’s a fun growing experience.

oh and just so you know, the only thing that my Fiance and i were totally in sync were friends and interests.

Post # 4
Member
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

No, do NOT be nervous! There are no right or wrong answers (seriously), it just tells you the correlation between your and your fiance’s answers. Here’s a sample of real questions (from the US Catholic Bishop’s site):

  1. We are in agreement about the husband and wife roles each of us expects of the other in our marriage relationship.
  2. There are qualities about my future spouse that I do not respect.
  3. We have discussed the ways our families solved problems and how this may affect our problem solving.
  4. We disagree with each other over some teachings of the church.
  5. My future spouse and I are open to having children.
  6. I am concerned that in-laws may interfere in our marriage relationship.
  7. My future spouse and I can talk about our sexual fears, hopes and preferences.
  8. We are in agreement about how we will make financial decisions between us.
  9. I sometimes feel that this may not be the right person for me to marry.
  10. My future spouse and I agree that our marriage commitment means we intend to pledge love under all circumstances.

…plus another 190 questions! (yeah, it’s really long…but not hard.) Afterward your priest or a counselor will discuss how much in sync you were in various areas. It’s a great tool to start discussions you haven’t had yet—heck, discussions you may not have even thought to have yet. Even if you have many areas where you really disagree, usually it means that you just haven’t discussed it yet, and the solution to that is…to discuss it (not get barred from getting married!). That’s it! Easy-peasy. 

Post # 5
Member
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2009

just be COMPLETELY HONEST about EVERYTHING, We learned so much about about eachother and ourselves.

 

 

Post # 6
Member
1508 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

We get our resuts tonight. I’m very interested to see what they come up with as far as where wea re on the same page and are not on the same page.  specially since we met through E-Harmony with it’s 29 dimensions of compatibility.

Post # 7
Member
1508 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Well we got our results last night and we have a lot of differences. The priest really didn’t discuss it at all. Told us to go over it together ourselves.  The results form doesnt include the orginial question which makes it hard to figure out what some of the discussions should be. I answered Uncertain a lot which turns out not to be good. Many times I did this if I thought the question could be read two ways and I couldn’t decide which way to read it or if it was something I hought we needed to talk about more like I wasn’t sure how Fiance felt about something.

Our best score was a 76% in Readiness and our worst was 8% in financial. Most were in  the 38% to 55% range.

UGh

I just wish we were geting more actual counseling from the priest. We don’t have a mentor couple we have to go to a series of meeting with a group of couples at different older couples homes which each older couple talks on a different topic. We don’t even know what all the topics are. The first one was how to use the Catholic caticism by a retired religion teacher. Ugh.

 It just seems like more direction on how to discuss things, since I have a hard time opening up.

 

Post # 8
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I would ask for more help from your church.  Who is the Pre-Cana course organizer?  If it’s not the priest (maybe it’s a secretary or volunteer from the parish), you should call and specifically ask them questions about your concerns.  They might even be able to get a hold of a copy of the FOCCUS test so you can see the original questions (our results actually had all of the questions for the non-matching anwsers on it, so I was surprised that yours didn’t).  Also, the organizer would probably be able to give you a list of topics that will be covered in your upcoming classes.

If the priest is the course organizer, I would wait late after class one night and tell him about your concerns.  Explain that you want to know the class subjects beforehand so you can come prepared and that you can’t exactly discuss your FOCCUS results without the original questions.  If he doesn’t want to give you the information you’re looking for, I’ve found our parish secretary/receptionist to be very helpful.  Might be worth a shot.

Honestly, though, I wouldn’t put too much stock in the FOCCUS test results.  The questions are soooooo ambigious and badly worded, and every single question you wrote "uncertain" on was probably flagged as unmatching.  When we went through our test, we found out we had only 3 questions we actually disagreed on (which were things we already knew we have differing opinions on), and everything else we either read the questions differently or the church’s answer differed from our answer even though we answered the same way (e.g. "I have experienced interference from family members regarding the wedding plans."  We both answered yes because our families are both contributing, i.e. interfering, but the church said the answer is no).  The only thing it helps with is if you can go through question by question to discuss how you read the question, what your feelings are, and how any actual difference might cause problems for the future.   Good luck!

Post # 9
Member
1508 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Thank you Mrs. Spring.

Post # 10
Member
6 posts
Newbee

We just got our results… and I’ll admit, I was hurt my some of his answers.  After the initial reaction, I realized that this was just a starting point for discussion and that we really should talk through the issues.  I was completely reassured my SO and I’m definitely looking at this as another way to improve our relationship.

Post # 11
Member
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

Ugh, I’m so sorry you ladies are having some negative interpretation experiences with the FOCCUS. I too had one, as we did not even get our results interpreted for us…the priest looked at them and said that he would tell us if any areas were lacking. He never said anything, so one can only assume all was reasonably well…. (too late now, as we’re married…)

Most priests do not have training in administering or interpreting psychological tests or inventories. As a counselor trained in psychological test administration, I was very displeased with the way that the results process was handled for us and it looks like you all are having some of the same problems. If they are going to interpret your results they should absolutely have the questions on hand so that you can go through item by item—particularly if you answered a lot of questions with "uncertain." Above all, remember that the FOCCUS is just a tool, and not even the greatest tool. If you’re getting feedback that’s highly discrepant with what your situation truly is, chances are the fault is with how you took the test or how it was interpreted for you, not with you yourself. Take what you can from it, but at the end of the day what matters is your relationship, not some numbers on a piece of paper.

The best way the test spurred discussion for us was right after we took it we started talking about some of the questions, what they meant, how we interpreted them, how we felt about them, etc. So my "interpretation" was a total bust too. Instead of relying on the FOCCUS test, I would recommend getting one of those "100 questions for couples before they get married" books and going through it to give you areas for discussion.

Also, I would seek the services of an actual professional counselor to do some premarital work. The insight of laypeople (or even of priests) is all well and good, but you do learn something extra in psychology school about how to relay information and relate to others that you’re not going to find elsewhere. 

 

Post # 12
Member
400 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

My Fiance and I did the FOCCUS test, and had a group session. It was kinda funny. We didn’t know we were supposed to dress up, so we waltz in in jeans and t-shirts, and everyone else was dressed super nice! (it was 9 am on a saturday- give me a break!)

We ended up scoring very highly on everything- BUT we’ve been together for almost 5 years, and living together for over a year- so we’ve discussed A LOT of stuff.

Post # 13
Member
1508 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Thanks ChelseaMorning. It helps to know we’re not the only ones whose discussion of the FOCCUS results really lacked. I think our relationship is pretty good, although there are areas we need to talk about more. I like your suggestion on the 100 questions book. Additinal counseling by a trained counselor might be a good extra measure as I think we need to learn to communicate better, ie. I don’t talk enough and he worries about upsetting me too much.

 

 

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