Online Personality Tests - What can we learn from them?

13/05/2021

Quizes and personality tests can be fun, and they can be a good way to help us understand ourselves, and others. 

There are many good reasons for doing a good, reliable personality test:

  • They can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, which can help with your personal development
  • They can help with career choices and your professional development
  • They help you understand others
  • They can help you cope in tough times
  • Some employers use them in their recruitment processes

There are also many tests out there, so it's hard to decide on one to try. Criteria to consider include:

  • The scientific study underpinning the questionnaire, and what other scientists think of the research (peer review)
  • What is the focus of the test - some look at skills, others at personality, and others at intelligence and reasoning. What type of test are you looking for?
  • Be wary of the tests you see on social media -while they can be fun, the can also be an attempt at stealing personal information. 

You may find some tests more helpful than others, and there are many experts who doubt the validity of these tests. You may also find that results vary, or that you don't fall clearly into one category. However, they can give you some interesting insights, and help you in your daily life. 

Some tests to try:

Myers Briggs Test

This is the one I've found most helpful, and the full version should really only be conducted by a professional. However, there are online versions that will give you your personality type: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test and you can read more about the different types and the test here. 

The Honey and Mumford Learning Styles test

This one looks at ways people learn, and can be really helpful in finding out which exam and learning tips work for you. Spider diagrams simply don't do it for me, but making mnemonics and rhymes does. It's a learning style thing. Knowing how you learn will help you identify effective ways to study. 

The VARK questionnaire

This is another type of learning style questionnaire, which looks at ways of learning. Vark stands for Visual, Aural, Read /Write, Kinesthetic which are the different learning styles identified by the test. 

IQ Test

If you think you're smart enough to join MENSA (the qualification is an IQ in the top 2% of the population) you can try your hand at their test. Or you can try this one here

Four Temperaments Test

This test is based on the idea from Greek medicine that there are 4 basic personality types: sanguine, choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic. You can try it here.

The Big 5 Personality test

This test aims to identify Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. You can try it out here.

If at the end of these, you want to explore further, this blog has links to some great options.

Next time, we'll look at how testing can help with finding the right job.