Mallory McCreary

You always knew you were smart. Your brother thinks you're too emotional. Your friends all say you should be in sales. Find out where your true aptitudes lie with these tests that measure the full range of your talents.


World Wide Brain Club

Alfred Binet devised the first intelligence (IQ) test in 1900 and the controversy over their validity has raged ever since. In 1983 Howard Gardner argued that intelligence has many different facets, encompassing word, number, body, art, music, people, and self smarts. Click on "online tests" in the left navigation bar at this site and then click on "7 intelligences" to take this 35-question test. There's no rocket science here; simply check off activities ("I enjoy participating in lively debate," "I like to use background music to create a mood") that appeal to you to find out which of the seven intelligences are your strongest and weakest. The goal is to try and emphasize each equally, in order to be a balanced person. From the graph of your results, click on each of the intelligences to find out more about them and what they mean. I found out that my spatial and intra personal skills are strongest, even though I would have guessed verbal-linguistic to be dominant. (It came in third). Two other tests on this site measure your "Learning Mode" (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) and your "Reading Quotient". The Learning Mode test is good in that it forces you to think of how you process certain types of information in interesting ways. (For example, "When relating the plot of a film to a friend you describe how the hero behaved. Are you most likely to talk in terms of: a) What made him do what he did, b) What he said, or c) The actions of the main characters.") The Reading Quotient test is basically a waste of time, and not supported by adequate information and explanations.


Emotional Intelligence Test

By now you've heard of "emotional intelligence," a way of measuring interpersonal, as opposed to academic smarts. This "EQ" test was developed by Daniel Goleman, a Harvard psychology PhD and author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ for Character, Health and Lifelong Achievement. Here you're asked to assess how you think you'd feel and react in a number of difficult situations. Just 10 simple questions on this Utne Reader magazine site will tell you whether you're a decent person or a miserable wretch. Once you find out, you can discuss your test with others in the Café Utne. Includes score averages and answers to test questions. Some situations may seem irrelevant or difficult to imagine, depending on your life experiences. An interesting theory that makes you think about how you'd behave in a variety of situations. Worth a visit.



Personality Test

This confusing first-page design-- with competing headlines and links and no clear idea of what to do or where to go-- is enough to make most people leave before ever exploring. But don't! The two "personality sorter" tests here challenge you to think about aspects of yourself in new ways. Taken from the book Please Understand Me, this site uses the belief that different personality types see and understand things in their own unique ways. The two tests here measure personalities by looking at character, or habits that emerge throughout our lifetimes, and temperament, or our inherent desires which we possess from birth.

The Keirsey Character Sorter consists of 16 questions in part I, where you rank the four answers to each question by how closely they describe you. For the 20 questions in part II, you simply select the answer that best describes how you feel or act, skipping those that are difficult or not applicable. Your answers classify you as either a rational (Albert Einstein), idealist (Mohandas Gandhi), artisan (Ernest Hemingway), or guardian (George Washington), with descriptions of what each mean.

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter II is 70 questions, many of which are the same as part II of the Character Sorter. The results here also label you as a rational, idealist, artisan, or guardian, but sort out your inclinations to be expressive or attentive, introspective or observant, and tender or tough.

The site can be a little confusing, primarily because it is trying to convey complex personality information. Not all results will be accurate, so it's a good idea to read about all the temperaments after you've taken the test to see if you agree with your classification. The personality tests are also available in Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Norwegian.

While the site is neither easy to navigate or, at times, to understand, it is an interesting way to see another view of yourself and to recognize the characteristics that make other people unique. Just remember, the only person who really knows you is you.



Tests, Tests, Tests

A battery of 21 tests on this site measures everything from your communications skills to your level of anxiety, jealousy, depression, relationship satisfaction, burnout, coping skills, and more. Some are better than others; many are pretty straightforward and probably won't tell you anything about yourself you don't already know. Some explanations with your score equivocate more than assess. For example, this reviewer's median score on the communications skills inventory invited the following response: "According to this test, your communication skills are good... you seem to be doing very well, but unless [you achieved a perfect score], there is room for improvement." Duh. The self-esteem, sales personality, and introversion/extroversion tests here are pretty good, but the depression test, like many others, is pretty self-evident. Try the EQ test, which is much more comprehensive than others and provides an overall score, a behavioral score, and knowledge score so you can separate what you practice from what you preach. Versions of all tests are available in both English and French.


Curious about the more traditional tests of intelligence? Click on over to BRAIN DRAIN to read reviews of sites that'll tell you your true IQ, or so they say. home