The Ultimate Guide to Personality Tests: Which Ones You Should Take + My Results
Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by a personality test. 🙋♀️ Buzzfeed quizzes that tell you which Kardashian you are, or even astrology explainers that go into detail about the type of person you are based on your sign are addicting. I’ve spent hours (and dollars - gulp) taking personality tests in a quest to understand who I am and who I could be. As a relatively self-aware person, I don’t think they’re super necessary for me, but I find them entertaining and revealing nonetheless.
Contemporary personality tests are quite a bit different than their traditional predecessors, so if it’s been a few year since you’ve taken one, it might be time to update your results. Today’s personality tests can tell you how you’d react in certain social situations, what career paths might make sense for you, and even how you give and receive love.
Before we jump into the types of personality tests, and why you should take them, let’s start with a simple definition.
What is a personality test?
A personality test is a series of questions or prompts that, when answered honestly, can identify an individual’s unique traits, characteristics, talents, and emotional needs.
Personality tests are usually created by psychologists whose research can back up the test’s results. For example, the Myers-Briggs test was created by, you guessed it, Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers who based their test off of the concepts of psychologist Carl Jung. You could say that the personality tests that I’m talking about are a bit more trustworthy than Buzzfeed.
Why should you take a personality test?
First, personality tests are fun. As human beings, we like to be able to put ourselves into boxes, to define who we are absolutely. Taking a personality test allows you to come out with a clear idea of who you are as a person, an identity that helps you relate to and understand others who have taken the same test. That’s the reason behind why so many companies have new employees take personality tests. It allows them to get a quick read on a person, how they’ll interact with colleagues, and what they can expect from them as an employee, without having to spend months trying to figure it out for themselves.
Second, personality tests can tell you a lot about yourself. If you haven’t spent a lot of time self-reflecting (can’t say I relate), they are a great way to understand why you think the way you do, why you act the way you do, and why you feel the way you do. They can be used to identify your personality in nearly any situation, from instances of fear and disappointment to times of love or elation. Once you fundamentally understand your tendencies and characteristics, moving through the world, and making choices that serve you, becomes a whole lot easier.
Which personality tests should you take?
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of personality tests out there, but not all are worth your time and effort.
These five are.
I’d recommend the following personality tests to anyone who is looking to learn something about themselves. Choose the one that excites you the most, or try them all! It never hurts to have information from multiple sources.
Probably one of the most well-known personality tests out there, Myers-Briggs should be your first stop on the personality test train. Defined by its 16 personality types derived from four principal psychological functions (thanks, Wikipedia!), Myers-Briggs seeks to determine which side of each spectrum is most dominant for you.
The four psychological functions that make up the Myers-Briggs test are:
The formal Myers-Briggs test consists of 93 questions during which you have to pick from one of two answers. There’s no maybe in this test!
Take the Myers-Briggs test if you’re interested in finding out if you are outwardly or inwardly focused, how you prefer to take in information, how you prefer to make decisions, and how you prefer to live your public life.
Click here to take the original Myers-Briggs test ($50).
Click here to take the 16 Personalities test, a free version of the Myers-Briggs test.
The Enneagram test has had a lot of momentum lately, with many in the creative entrepreneur space proclaiming their Enneagram number loud and proud on their social profiles. There’s even a viral Instagram account called @enneagramandcoffee that solely posts memes about different Enneagram types.
These are the different Enneagram types according to the Enneagram Institute:
Type One is The Reformer: principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.
Type Two is The Helper: generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing, and possessive.
Type Three is The Achiever: adaptable, excelling, driven, and image-conscious.
Type Four is The Individualist: expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental.
Type Five is The Investigator: perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated.
Type Six is The Loyalist: engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious.
Type Seven is The Enthusiast: spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, and scattered.
Type Eight is The Challenger: self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational.
Type Nine is The Peacemaker: receptive, reassuring, complacent, and resigned.
The number that you score highest on represents your basic personality type and is the number that you would say if someone asked you what your Enneagram number was.
However, nobody is ever just one personality type. In the Enneagram test, you have what is called a “wing”, which is one of the two numbers on either side of your basic personality number (for example: an Enneagram 6 can be a 6 wing 5 (6w5) or a 6 wing 7 (6w7), while an Enneagram 2 can be a 2 wing 1 (2w1) or a 2 wing 3 (2w3). Your wing represents the “second side” to your personality, and it adds complementary and contradictory characteristics to your overall personality.
When you take the Enneagram test, you’re given a set of statements, and it is your job to indicate how closely they resemble something you would say or do. The online test determines your Enneagram number and your wing through your responses.
Take this test if you want to gain a general understanding of your underlying motivations and tendencies.
Click here to take the original Enneagram test ($12).
Click here to a free version of the Enneagram test.
The 5 Love Languages
The 5 Love Languages isn’t a general personality test. It focuses in on one aspect of your personality: the way you give and receive love.
There are 5 Love Languages according to Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of the book with the same name (and now a corresponding quiz):
Words of affirmation
Acts of service
Knowing your love language can help you understand why you act the way you do with your partner. For example, if your love language is quality time, the fact that you’re incredibly stressed whenever your partner is gone for long periods on work trips might start to make sense.
Bonus tip: have your partner take this test as well. Knowing their love language is a great way for you to understand what you need to do or say as their partner in order for them to feel loved and appreciated. It’s possible for people to give and receive love in different ways, so this information might not be something you could figure out without deep conversation and self-reflection. So… why not let a quiz figure it out for you instead?
Click here to take the 5 Love Languages test for free.
Gallup, the company known for polling and analytics, created the Strengthsfinder test as a tool for professionals to identify their unique strengths. I took this one for the first time last year at a work retreat and recently retook it to see if I’d evolved in any way. I’ll reveal my answers further down in this post, but the results were surprising!
There are 34 (yes, 34) different CliftonStrengths themes, and when you take the basic Strengthsfinder test you’ll get to see your top 5:
As you can see, the CliftonStrengths themes cover a variety of aspects of life, from relationships and working style to internal values and forms of learning. The breadth of this test makes it a great one to take as a professional assessment, and, when you’re able to review your results with your team, it allows you to get a better understanding of what lights people up, what annoys them, and how you can best work together. It might even reveal your capacity to excel on a project that you would have never raised your hand for!
Click here to take the CliftonStrengths Strengthsfinder test ($19.99).
Pottermore Sorting Hat
Okay, okay, so this one’s not actually scientific, but I take my Hogwarts house very seriously! If you’re not familiar with Harry Potter, this might not be the test for you. Essentially, in the Harry Potter universe there is a wizarding school called Hogwarts where students are sorted into four different houses based on personality traits. Avid fans of the series spent years deciding for themselves which house they belonged to, defending their house on online forums, and even getting tattoos of the house’s symbol.
Then, the author of the series, J.K. Rowling, launched a website called Pottermore, where Harry Potter fans could once and for all find out what Hogwarts house they would be sorted into.
There are four Hogwarts houses:
Gryffindor, the lion
Ravenclaw, the eagle
Hufflepuff, the badger
Slytherin, the snake
Take this quiz if you’re interested in what Hogwarts house you would be sorted into based on your personality. It’s fun to identify yourself with some of the series’ famous characters!
Click here to get sorted into your Hogwarts house for free.
My personality test results
And now, the moment you’ve really been waiting for: my results! I am a personality test junkie, so I always love to see what other people get on them, and compare. This is your chance to get a peek at all of my results! You’re going to know me pretty well after this post!
I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs test a few times, both for professional positions, and just for fun. No matter how many times I’ve taken it though, no matter the mood I’m in, or where I’m at in my life, I always get the same answer: INFJ.
INFJ broken out into the psychological functions is: Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging.
I can’t say that I was surprised. The 16 Personalities website has a great explainer for each of the 16 Myers-Briggs personalities, but I’ll break down INFJ a little more for you here.
INFJs are also known as “The Advocate”. We are very rare individuals, making up less than 1% of the population according to 16 Personalities. We’re very idealistic and have high morals, but we also have the ability to act on those ideals and morals. This makes us doers rather than just dreamers.
We’re very mission-driven, which means that often we see helping others as our purpose in life. Because we can be idealistic and forward-thinking, we ideally seek out overarching solutions to a problem instead of bandaid fixes.
I also liked this paragraph from 16 Personalities:
"INFJs indeed share a unique combination of traits: though soft-spoken, they have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in. They are decisive and strong-willed, but will rarely use that energy for personal gain – INFJs will act with creativity, imagination, conviction and sensitivity not to create advantage, but to create balance. Egalitarianism and karma are very attractive ideas to INFJs, and they tend to believe that nothing would help the world so much as using love and compassion to soften the hearts of tyrants.”
Some famous faces who are INFJs are: MLK Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter, Nicole Kidman, and Carrie Fisher. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, Jon Snow is another INFJ, as is Rose from The Titanic.
The Enneagram is pretty new to me, so I’ve only taken it once, but I immediately identified with my results.
My Enneagram type is: 3w4.
As mentioned above, Type 3 is known as The Achiever, while Type 4 is known as The Individualist. I couldn’t have identified myself any better than the Enneagram test did! The Enneagram website has a lot of information about each type, but let me give you a quick insight into what being a 3w4 means.
According to the Enneagram Institute, a 3w4 is also known as “The Professional”. Essentially, my personality type combines the ambitiousness of a Type 3 (my dominant personality trait) with the individualism and creativity of a Type 4. We like to create and control our own lives, and we want to be recognized for being exceptional. That contradiction between wanting to do what I want to do, while still gaining approval from others, is something that I can definitely relate to.
There is also the interesting relationship between wanting to achieve constantly and seeking validation, while simultaneously internally believing that we’re better than others. That 4 wing means that I can have a tendency to be self-absorbed, but never selfish. However, that self-self-absorption has a flipside: the feeling of not belonging. I’m basically a walking contradiction. I’ve never felt so understood. 😂
Celebrity 3w4s are: Paul McCartney, Sting, and get this - Taylor Swift. I nearly fell to the floor when I found that out. In fact, I’m still dying a little inside to know that we have this personality type in common!
The 5 Love Languages:
I don’t know if I even had to take the 5 Love Languages quiz in order to find this out about myself, but here goes!
My love language is Words of Affirmation.
Are we surprised? First, I love to write and read. I show my love by telling people how much I care about them, writing letters, sharing books and quotes that remind me of them. And I feel loved when people show their appreciation for me through positive words.
Knowing this has definitely helped me understand what I need out of a relationship (either with my partner or with my friends!), and it confirmed what I already knew about myself: I’m a word nerd.
So, as I mentioned above, I’ve taken the Strengthsfinder on two separate occasions about a year apart. I took it for the second time to see if I had changed at all since last year, especially after undergoing an interesting career shift.
This year’s results were: Learner, Maximizer, Input, Intellection, and Relator.
Two of my strengths have changed since the last time I took this test. Last year, I had Positivity and Achiever as two of my strengths, and this year Maximizer and Learner replaced them. Definitely an interesting turn of events!
Let me give you a little insight into each of these:
Surprise! I love to learn.The process itself is what I crave, which could point to why I love reading, researching, and listening to podcasts so much. I love the feeling of getting better at something, or gaining information. Having this strength means I’m always looking for classes to take, or new skills to learn, even as an adult.
This strength says that I am motivated by the potential for excellence, not average. Not only do I push myself to be the best I can be and do the best that I can do, I use this strength in my personal and professional relationships as well. I’m sure my friends can attest to this. I’m always pushing them to use their unique skillsets to live a life that has major impact. I enjoy seeking out skills in others, and will encourage them to let them shine once I find them. It can all be found in the guiding light of this blog: “I want to be the girl that makes you believe you can be the you you want to be.”
This strength ties in with my Learner tendency. Input means that I am curious and inquisitive, and that I like to collect information. CliftonStrengths says that I’m likely to be an avid reader because I like to add new information to my internal archive - and I have to say that’s pretty accurate. On the flipside, I can sometimes feel like I will never know enough, and wear myself out in the quest to have a deep understanding of every topic that crosses my path.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a human who is obsessed with information and learning. Intellection is a strength that basically says I like to think. I like to have deep conversations and learn from others along the way. However, this strength can also lead to introspection (it definitely does in me!). CliftonStrengths says, “In a sense you are your own best companion, as you pose yourself questions and try out answers on yourself to see how they sound. This introspection may lead you to a slight sense of discontent as you compare what you are actually doing with all the thoughts and ideas that your mind conceives.” Hit the nail on the head with this one.
While many of my strengths have to do with the ways I take in and absorb information, this final strength talks to the way that I interact with others, and it’s a strength that puts into words something that I had thought about for a long time but had never been able to explain. I’ve never been great at meeting new people, and the Relator strength says that I’m more drawn to people I already know. This strength says that once I do become friends with someone, and decide that they’re trustworthy and interesting, I “encourage a deepening of the relationship”. I want to get into the good stuff, understand their hopes and fears, and share mine with them. I’ve never been one for small talk, and this strength puts that into sharp relief.
Pottermore Sorting Hat:
If you’re a Potterhead like me, then maybe you scrolled right to the bottom of this post to find out what Hogwarts house I’m in. I won’t make you wait any longer!
I’m a Ravenclaw!
If you read the results of my other personality tests you’re probably thinking, “No shit.” Ravenclaws are known for prizing “wit, learning, and wisdom”. The ethos of Ravenclaw is, “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”
Like Luna Lovegood, I’m fascinated by the world around me, and I have a craving for learning. I can sometimes be blunt, but I have good intentions behind whatever I do. I’m a Ravenclaw through and through and I could not be prouder!
There you have it, folks, the Ultimate Guide to Personality Tests. What did you think? Which tests are you going to take? Leave a comment below (or send me a DM on Instagram!) and tell me what your results were. I’d love to compare and nerd out over any and every one of these assessments.