I Took 7 Different Personality Tests and Here's What Happened

Do you ever hear people refer to themselves as an "ENFJ" or a "Type 8"? If not, maybe you've heard people talk about their Hogwarts house or zodiac sign. Personality quizzes are everywhere these days, but how accurate are they really? There's a lot out there — from pseudoscientific personality tests to legitimate scientific personality exams. So, I thought it would be fun to take a few of these tests and see for myself how accurate — and how inaccurate — they can really be.

Here are the seven personality quizzes I decided to try:

  1. 1. Myers-Briggs

    The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a pseudoscientific personality test with sixteen different four-letter personality types. Each letter stands for your preference within four different dichotomies of personality: (I) Introversion or (E) Extraversion, (S) Sensing or (I) Intuition, (T) Thinking or (F) Feeling and (J) Judging or (P) Perceiving.

    There's a test on 16personalities.com (known as the NERIS Type Explorer) that is nearly identical to the Myers-Briggs test, but this one is free, so I used this website to get my results. The questions are statements that the quiz taker is asked to agree with, disagree with or have no opinion about. I got The Mediator (INFP) who is described as a caring and creative idealist. Overall, I think this quiz was pretty darn accurate, almost spot-on in a general aspect, but the binary nature of the "preference" system left little room for nuance or specifics.

    You can take the test here if you are interested.

  2. 2. Zodiac

    Now, I know this one isn't really a test, but it's a popular enough identifier that I figured I would include it here. I downloaded an astrology app called Co-Star, and I put in a bunch of information regarding the day I was born including the date, time and place of my birth. It even let me get super specific and move a flag to an almost exact location on Google Maps.

    As it turns out, I'm the most stereotypical Cancer ever. I'm highly sensitive and emotional, and I care a lot. However, all the information I found after my sun sign was significantly less accurate and overall a bit scattered; my ascendant in Scorpio was about as far off the mark as it could be without me saying it was just plain wrong. Nonetheless, there's something kind of cool about finding meaning in the unique alignment of the universe when we came into it.

  3. 3. Hogwarts House

    There's a lot of speculation about whether the official Hogwarts sorting quiz is actually an accurate measure of someone's personality (or even the house they identify with), but I also know people who will swear by their results. The quiz itself isn't necessarily rooted in personality at all, asking questions like "moon or stars" and what kind of pet you'd have. Aesthetically though, it's a really pretty quiz, so it gets some points for graphic design. 

    For me, I've taken the test at least five times, and I've gotten a variety — Ravenclaw three times, Hufflepuff once and a tie between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. If I had to choose for myself though, I'll always be a proud Ravenclaw, an eccentric and creative oddball whose curiosity is bound to be her undoing.

    You can take the Hogwarts sorting quiz here.

  4. 4. Patronus

    Now, the Patronus quiz is really similar to the Hogwarts sorting quiz as far as questions are concerned, asking you to choose between moon or stars, dream or dance, love or hope, etc. As far as accuracy goes, I got a White Stallion which I guess works?

    But aesthetically, this quiz is an absolute masterpiece. Complete with a VR-like experience traversing through a dark forest, timed questions, and a completely horrifying soundtrack, the quiz creates the sense of thrill and urgency that would be expected if you were running from the dementors and trying to conjure up a Patronus in spite of your fears.

    You can take the Patronus quiz here.

  5. 5. Enneagram

    The Enneagram is another pseudoscientific test more like the Myers-Briggs, with similar questions requiring the test taker to agree, disagree or remain neutral to a subject. However, the Enneagram is based on nine personality types that are in a circular relationship with each other. Instead of functioning as separate personality types, each identifier influences or complements the other in some way.

    I got a Type 9, the Peacemaker, with a Wing 1, the Perfectionist. What I liked about this personality test was that even though it still was a little confined by the limitations that come with archetypes, there was a lot of information provided about how each personality type can seek self-improvement and healing by understanding their inherent characteristics.

    You can take the test here.

  6. 6. Buzzfeed

    As far as accuracy goes, Buzzfeed personality quizzes can have anywhere from little to none — but that doesn't mean they aren't fun. There's nothing quite like finding out what age I'll meet my soulmate based on my food preferences. Careful though — you can start just taking one quiz and the next thing you know you've got seventeen tabs open and know who your Avengers soulmate is based on your dream house decor.

    Just for kicks, I decided to find out what my autumn aesthetic is based on the fall outfit I built — I got Dark Academia.

    You can take the quiz here.

  7. 7. IPIP-NEO

    Unlike the rest of the tests I've listed, the IPIP-NEO is an actual test based on real research that has been scientifically validated and standardized. The quiz divides your personality into five major categories: Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Neuroticism, Openness, and Extraversion. Each category consists of several subcategories, and, based on your results in comparison to others who have taken the exam, you are placed into a percentile for each category and subcategory.

    I got a score of 45% in Extraversion, 79% in Agreeableness, 45% in Conscientiousness, 89% in Neuroticism and 86% in Openness. Overall, I feel like the results were extremely in-depth and accurate, and the positioning of categories on a spectrum instead of more segmented labels allowed for more freedom in the results.

    You can take the test here.

All of these tests come with their own affordances and constraints, and I'd recommend each for their own reasons. I encourage you to go ahead and try them! You never know, you might end up learning something new about yourself.