Standard neuropsychological tests administered in a constrained and artificial laboratory environment are often insensitive to the real-life deficits faced by patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Revised Strategy Application Test (R-SAT) creates an unstructured environment in the laboratory in which environmental cues and internal habits oppose the most efficient strategy, thus mimicking the real-life situations that are problematic for patients with TBI. In this study, R-SAT performance was related both to severity of TBI (i.e., depth of coma) sustained 2-3 years earlier and to quality of life outcome as assessed by the Sickness Impact Profile. This relationship held after accounting for variance attributable to TBI-related slowing and inattention. These findings support the validity of the R-SAT and suggest that behavioral correlates of quality of life outcome in TBI can be assessed in the laboratory with unstructured tasks.