I Took Career Placement Tests So You Don't Have To

After taking career placement tests for a class in my sophomore year of high school, I felt overwhelmed and confused. The results I would get on placement tests really didn’t help me decide what I wanted to do. The range of results was so vast that some would tell me to be an engineer and others would tell me to be an artist. After completing almost two years of college on a career path that is highly unlike the career’s suggested to me by placement tests in high school, I decided to go back and take some placement tests again to see if my results were any more accurate.

The first test I decided to take was by the Princeton Review. For the first few questions, I had to choose between two careers. After that, the questions delved more into my personality. The questions got into how confident or patient I was by asking me how I felt in situational questions. By the end of the quiz, I felt like maybe they might know enough about me to come up with an answer that would satisfy my curiosity. To see my results, I had to make an account on the website. The results page showed that I had “administrative” interests and that I might like to work in research, banking or accounting. If it’s any indication on the accuracy of the test, I’m a criminology major who is planning to go into law.

By the second test, I was a little discouraged, but the website 123test looked slightly more promising and less like they were trying to sell me something. The quiz starts out by asking you to choose between four jobs, and which one interests you the most and which interests you the least. The rest of the quiz included similar questions, and some were more task-based than job-based. At the end of the quiz, I was asked to provide some demographics like my age and education level. The results of this quiz went into a lot more depth than the last and included more of an explanation of how it came to my results. After the explanation, they listed careers I might be interested in and a percentage of how well each career matched with my answers. The job I had the highest percentage on was a theatre teacher, and while that isn’t even close to what I’m studying in college, I have an interest in theatre as well.

In my third test, it asked me to rate certain professions on how much or how little I was interested in each. I rated the law/criminal justice professions the highest so I would not be surprised if I saw that reflected in my results. Then it asked me to rate things like my professional strengths and weaknesses. This test included five sets of questions to rank and didn’t take me long at all. The results of this test reflected my career interests more so than others. Again, I am not surprised considering they specifically asked me to rate my interest in specific careers.

I would say that overall the career tests were somewhat accurate at reflecting my interests, but they really didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. I thought that maybe now that I have more confidence in my goals than in high-school, my results would show that. I still got suggested professions that were way out of my scope of interest. It’s possible that there are more reliable career tests out there, and I just have yet to find them. At the end of the day, I definitely wouldn’t rely on a career quiz to pick my career, but they may be helpful to guide you in the direction of your interests that you wouldn’t have otherwise considered.