There are many methods and approaches of determining the structural status of soils as a quality indicator. But there is no common method for aggregate stability measurement that can be used for all soil types and circumstances affecting aggregate disruption. This study aimed to compare different aggregate stability methods for clay-rich soil systems of semi-arid lands, where desertification is a significant threat to land resources. The study area is located in the Asartepe catchment of Ankara, Turkey, mainly including land use types of secondary forest, grassland and rainfed arable land. Four research methods were tested: (1) fast wetting (FW); (2) slow wetting (SW); (3) mechanical breakdown (MB) and (4) multiple sieve separation process (MSSP). For clay rich soils (C%38) with different land use types in the semiarid region, it was found that MSSP has a greater potential for soil aggregate stability differences to statistically reflect slight variations in SOC than FW, SW and MB. Although the research specifically includes the results from certain land uses and soil types, it is not limited to those but should provide useful findings to help interpret the impairment of soil structural stability differences under various management systems and the processes that each methodology tries to reproduce in a close linkage to given soil properties. Copyright (c) 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.