5 Most Popular Personality Tests for Personal & Career Growth

The most popular personality tests, such as the 16 personalities test, the Big 5 personality inventory, and the DiSC assessment, to name a few, are, by definition, assessment tools designed to measure different facets of your personality and reveal who you truly are.

These tests can help you not only get to know yourself better but also pick a career path that complements your personality, understand how you relate to other people, and more. They are also often used in psychology research, business, and other fields.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the five most popular, accurate, and fun personality tests you can take to gain insight into your true self and tap into your full potential.

Key Takeaways

  • The most popular personality tests are the 16 personality test, the Big 5 personality inventory, the DiSC assessment, the Enneagram test, and the HEXACO model of personality structure.
  • The 16 personality and the Enneagram tests assign test takers a specific personality type, such as ENFP or Type Seven.
  • The Big 5, DiSC, and HEXACO models assess where you fall on the spectrum of different personality traits, such as conscientiousness and extraversion.
  • The 16 personality test, the Enneagram test, and the DiSC assessment are often used for both personal and professional development; they are also commonly employed in recruitment.
  • The Big 5 and HEXACO models are commonly used in academia, but they can also be utilized for self-improvement.

5 Top Personality Tests For Best Insight Into Yourself & Others

There are numerous personality tests online, but not all of them are equally insightful and accurate.

So, to help you pick a test that best suits your needs, we’ve compiled a list of the top personality tests for personal and professional development:

#1. 16 Personality Test

16 Personality Test

The 16 personality test is one of the most popular personality tests in the world. Inspired by Carl Jung’s personality type theory, it is a favorite among personal growth enthusiasts and recruiters, and it’s not without good reason.

By determining which of the 16 personality types you belong to, this personality test allows you to gain insight into your unique strengths and weaknesses, best and worst career matches, and even compatibility with other personality types.

The 16 personality test consists of 60 expertly selected statements that reveal who you truly are, meaning you can complete it within minutes. To find out what your personality type is, you’ll need to mark how accurately each statement describes you.

How Does the 16 Personality Test Work?

The 16 personality test works by assessing your preferences across four dichotomies, also known as personality dimensions. These are:

The statements on the 16 personality test are designed to show where you stand on these dichotomies by assessing how you approach the world, gather information, and make decisions.

After completing the test, you will receive a four-letter code revealing your personality type. It will be accompanied by an additional letter—A or T, which stand for assertiveness and turbulence, respectively. These letters indicate your level of self-confidence and emotional stability.

For instance, someone who favors extraversion, sensing, feeling, and perceiving is an ESFP, denoting an outgoing, practical, compassionate, and spontaneous personality.

16 Personality Types Explained

The 16 personality types are grouped into the following four categories based on their shared personality traits:

  • Analysts ( INTP, ENTP, ENTJ, and INTJ). Analysts share a preference for intuition (N) and thinking (T) traits, which create a rational yet imaginative personality. They approach the world from a logical perspective and have an unmatched talent for coming up with innovative solutions to problems.
  • Diplomats ( INFP, ENFP, ENFJ, and INFJ). As intuitive (N) and feeling (F) personalities, Diplomats are idealistic and empathetic individuals. Guided by a vision of a better world, they seek to build harmonious relationships with others and make a positive impact on those around them.
  • Sentinels ( ISTJ, ESTJ, ESFJ, and ISFJ). Sentinels, who are characterized by a preference for sensing (S) and judging (J) traits, are practical, detail-oriented, and organized individuals. Thanks to their exceptional sense of responsibility and respect for order and structure, they are often regarded as the backbone of society.
  • Explorers ( ISTP, ESTP, ESFP, and ISFP). Explorers—or sensing (S) and perceiving (P) types—are adaptable and spontaneous individuals who welcome change with open arms. Rather than ruminating about yesterday or planning for tomorrow, they live in the here and now, savoring each moment and striving to make the most of it.

#2. Big 5 Personality Test

Big 5 Personality Test

The Big 5 personality test is a self-report personality inventory based on the five-factor model of personality theory that breaks down the personality into five basic traits, such as extraversion and neuroticism. Developed over decades of research, it is more accurate and reliable than many other personality assessments.

As such, the Big 5 framework is very prevalent in academic research, with researchers relying on it to study and understand personality along with its various facets. Though it has some limitations, such as a broad, generalized nature, it is used in psychological research to study everything from creativity to job burnout and beyond.

Besides academia, the Big 5 personality test can also be used in personal development, recruitment, business management, and counseling. A study conducted by Donald A. Redelmeier et al. from the University of Toronto suggests that it could even be utilized in medical settings to better understand patient personalities.

How Does the Big 5 Personality Test Work?

The Big 5 personality test works by assessing where you fall on the spectrum of five fundamental personality traits:

  • Openness. Openness measures your willingness to entertain novel ideas and engage in new experiences.
  • Conscientiousness. Conscientiousness assesses how self-disciplined, goal-oriented, and organized you are.
  • Extraversion. Extraversion describes your eagerness to interact with the world around you and measures your sociability.
  • Agreeableness. Agreeableness is associated with prosocial behaviors, such as compassion, kindness, and trust.
  • Neuroticism. Neuroticism evaluates your emotional stability and susceptibility to negative emotions, such as sadness and anxiety.

The Big 5 personality tests often consist of upwards of 100 statements, but it shouldn’t take you longer than 10–15 minutes to indicate to what degree each of them describes you. Rather than assigning you a specific personality type, the results will show an individual score for each of the Big 5 personality traits.

Big 5 Personality Traits Explained

Let’s take a closer look at the Big 5 personality traits, also referred to as OCEAN:

  • Openness. Those who score high on openness are intellectually curious and creative individuals who think conceptually and embrace novelty, while those who score lower can be best described as pragmatic and traditional.
  • Conscientiousness. Highly conscientious individuals tend to be responsible, hardworking, and consistent. Those who are less conscientious have more difficulty controlling their impulses yet tend to be more laid-back, flexible, and spontaneous.
  • Extraversion. People who score high on extraversion are energetic, outgoing, and expressive. They gain energy from socializing and relish being the center of attention. Meanwhile, low extraversion denotes a more introspective, reserved personality.
  • Agreeableness. Highly agreeable people seek social harmony and find it easy to empathize with and cooperate with others. Meanwhile, those with low agreeableness scores tend to show less interest in other people.
  • Neuroticism. Those who are highly neurotic are more prone to anxiety and mood swings than those who score low on neuroticism, and they also have a harder time recovering from stressful situations. Low scorers tend to be more relaxed and resilient.

#3. DiSC Personality Test

DiSC Personality Test

The DiSC personality test is a self-assessment tool based on the work of William Moulton Marston, an American psychologist who developed the DiSC theory to explain people’s behavioral patterns and emotional responses.

While it can be used for self-discovery and self-improvement, the DiSC assessment is most commonly used in work environments. Organizations can leverage this personality test not only to sift through candidates but also to improve collaboration, productivity, and communication within teams.

Upon taking the DiSC personality test, you will be presented with 38 statements. To find out your DiSC personality type, you will need to assess to what degree each statement applies to you and mark your answer.

How Does the DiSC Personality Test Work?

The DiSC personality test works by determining your behavioral patterns and tendencies, which is achieved by assessing the following four personality aspects:

  • D (Dominance). Dominance measures assertiveness, drive, and directness. It is characterized by a willingness to take charge of situations and an urge to succeed.
  • I (Influence). Influence is associated with enthusiasm, sociability, and persuasion. It assesses your desire and ability to connect with others and impact them.
  • S (Steadiness). Steadiness primarily indicates your attitude toward change. It is linked to reliability and a craving for stability and harmony.
  • C (Conscientiousness). Conscientiousness is related to accuracy, precision, attention to detail, logic, and objectivity.

DiSC Personality Types Explained

The main DiSC personality types are:

  • D. Predominantly D-type personalities are assertive, result-oriented, decisive, and self-motivated. They enjoy working independently and taking on challenging tasks. However, they can have trouble getting along with others due to their domineering and competitive natures.
  • i. These personality types are persuasive, sociable, and charismatic individuals who thrive in team settings. Nothing brings them quite as much satisfaction as uniting and encouraging people to work toward a common goal. Sometimes their excessive focus on people can take a hit on their results.
  • S. Those with the S personality type are easygoing, patient, and loyal. They prioritize group harmony above all else and try their best to prevent conflict and tension within the group. Though they make great listeners and teammates, S types tend to struggle with people-pleasing and conflict avoidance.
  • C. C-type personalities are detail-oriented, analytical, and systematic. They strive to deliver top-quality work and make phenomenal problem-solvers. That said, their keen attention to detail and high expectations make them prone to perfectionism and nitpicking.

Each DiSC personality type has two variations, creating 12 subtypes. Most people will fall somewhere in between different types (e.g., the DC subtype is a blend of dominance and conscientiousness) rather than representing a pure type.

Here’s an overview of these subtypes:

  • DC: DC personality types are bold, independent, analytical, strong-minded, and demanding.
  • Di: Di-type personalities are resourceful, dynamic, enthusiastic, innovative, and charming.
  • iD: iD personalities are characterized by passion, ambition, boldness, persuasiveness, and impatience.
  • iS: iS types are empathetic, positive, accommodating, patient, and conflict-averse.
  • Si: Si-type personalities are team-spirited, generous, compassionate, agreeable, and encouraging.
  • SC: SC personalities are meticulous, analytical, reliable, thoughtful, and predictable.
  • CD: CD personality types are methodical, objective, skeptical, resolute, and straightforward.
  • CS: CS types are even-tempered, well-prepared, dependable, responsible, and cautious.

#4. Enneagram Test

Enneagram Test

The Enneagram test is a personality inventory based on the Enneagram system, which classifies the personality into nine basic types, each with unique motivations, fears, desires, strengths, and weaknesses.

The term “Enneagram” is a blend of two Greek words—“ennea” and “gramma”—meaning “nine” and “drawing,” respectively. The symbol was reintroduced to the modern world by George Gurdjieff, an Armenian philosopher who used this term to describe a nine-pointed spiritual symbol he used in his teachings.

With the efforts of Oscar Ichazo, Claudio Naranjo, and other researchers, Enneagram has transcended its spiritual roots and become a popular tool for self-discovery and personal growth. Today, this personality test is also used in coaching and therapy.

How Does the Enneagram Test Work?

The Enneagram test works by asking a series of questions or scenarios and assigning one of the following nine personality types based on your answers:

  • Type One (The Reformer)
  • Type Two (The Helper)
  • Type Three (The Achiever)
  • Type Four (The Individualist)
  • Type Five (The Investigator)
  • Type Six (The Loyalist)
  • Type Seven (The Enthusiast)
  • Type Eight (The Challenger)
  • Type Nine (The Peacemaker)

Most Enneagram tests are quite lengthy, consisting of 100–180 statements, though some have as little as 36. Like with other personality tests, you are required to mark how well each statement describes you. Some tests also provide additional information besides your primary type, such as your wing type (e.g., 5w6 is a primary Type Five influenced by Type Six).

Enneagram Personality Types Explained

Here’s an overview of the nine Enneagram personality types:

  • Type One (The Reformer). Type Ones are responsible, self-disciplined, and organized individuals who strive for perfection and integrity. They hold themselves to high standards but can be too critical, both of themselves and others.
  • Type Two (The Helper). Type Twos are warm, caring, and helpful individuals driven by a desire to feel loved and appreciated. Since they often prioritize other people’s needs above their own, they may have a hard time setting boundaries with others.
  • Type Three (The Achiever). Type Threes have a deep-seated fear of failure that prompts them to work relentlessly to achieve success and admiration. They are goal-oriented, dedicated, and charismatic.
  • Type Four (The Individualist). Sensitive and introspective, Type Fours strive for authenticity and embrace emotional depth and intensity. Although they often long for meaningful relationships, they tend to feel fundamentally different from others.
  • Type Five (The Investigator). Type Fives are reserved, independent, and insightful. They have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and show more interest in intellectual pursuits than interpersonal relationships.
  • Type Six (The Loyalist). Dedicated and protective, Type Sixes strive to create and lead a stable, predictable, and safe life. However, they can be overly cautious, skeptical, and change-averse.
  • Type Seven (The Enthusiast). Type Sevens are contagiously optimistic, fun-loving individuals who crave to experience life to the fullest. They are prone to boredom and may avoid unpleasant emotions.
  • Type Eight (The Challenger). Type Eights are self-assured, resilient, and self-sufficient people with a propensity for leadership. Since they like to be in control at all times, they may resist authority.
  • Type Nine (The Peacemaker). Type Nines are easygoing, approachable, and agreeable individuals who desire to achieve inner and outer harmony. Because of this, they tend to avoid conflict and voicing their needs.

#5. HEXACO Model of Personality Structure

HEXACO Model of Personality Structure

The HEXACO model of personality structure is a personality assessment tool developed by Michael C. Ashton and Kibeom Lee. Inspired by the Big 5 model, it expands the structure of personality to six, rather than five, dimensions.

Though not nearly as popular as the Big 5, HEXACO is increasingly used in psychology, organizational behavior, and cross-cultural research. It can also be a great self-discovery tool, especially for those looking to expand their self-knowledge and self-awareness beyond the Big 5 model.

How Does the HEXACO Model Work?

The HEXACO model works by evaluating the extent to which you possess and display the following personality traits:

  • Honesty-humility (H), which measures sincerity, modesty, and fairness
  • Emotionality (E), which is associated with anxiety, fear, and sentimentality
  • eXtraversion (X), which is characterized by sociability and social esteem
  • Agreeableness (A), which assesses patience, flexibility, and forgiveness
  • Conscientiousness (C), which is linked to organization and industriousness
  • Openness (O), which encompasses curiosity, creativity, and unconventionality

As you might’ve noticed, four of the five HEXACO personality traits match the Big 5 personality traits.

In the HEXACO model, neuroticism is replaced with emotionality, which describes some behavior patterns associated with neuroticism. There’s also an additional trait, humility-honesty, which, according to the creators of this personality test, could predict unethical behaviors and power-seeking tendencies.

The HEXACO model of personality structure test consists of 60–100 statements that you have to evaluate on a scale of 1 to 5 based on how much they resonate with you. Like with the Big 5 personality test, your results will show an individual score for each trait.

HEXACO Personality Traits Explained

Let’s learn more about the HEXACO personality traits:

  • Honesty-humility. Those who score high on honesty-humility are self-effacing and modest; status and luxury mean little to them, and they aren’t likely to manipulate others for personal gain. Meanwhile, low scorers possess a strong sense of self-importance and self-entitlement. They don’t mind bending the rules if it benefits them.
  • Emotionality. High scorers on emotionality are prone to stress and anxiety; they fear danger and worry about their well-being but readily identify with other people’s pain and suffering. Conversely, those who display little emotionality aren't fazed by stressful conditions. However, they can be emotionally detached.
  • eXtraversion. People with a high eXtraversion score are energetic, confident, and outgoing. They enjoy social gatherings and derive joy from social interactions. Very low scorers, on the other hand, perceive themselves as awkward and unpopular. They are reserved and show little interest in socializing.
  • Agreeableness. Agreeable individuals are non-judgmental, patient, and understanding. They favor forgiveness over holding grudges and are open to compromise. Meanwhile, those scoring low on agreeableness are stubborn and blunt. They are prone to anger and harsh criticism of others.
  • Conscientiousness. Those who score high on conscientiousness are disciplined, efficient, consistent, and precise. They consider their options carefully and lead organized lives. By contrast, low scorers are messy, chaotic, and absent-minded. They are prone to procrastination and aren’t too concerned with the quality of their work.
  • Openness. High openness scorers are imaginative, inquisitive, and sensitive to beauty. They think outside the box and are open to different points of view. Meanwhile, low scorers are conventional and favor tradition over innovation. They may be skeptical of new ideas and aren’t particularly interested in intellectual or artistic pursuits.

Final Thoughts

Whether you simply find taking personality tests fun or are looking for a place to start your self-discovery journey, we hope you found our list of the top personality tests useful and informative.

If you’re looking for personality tests for children, keep in mind that most of these tests are designed for adults. While children can take them under parental supervision, the results may change over time as their personalities develop.

Lastly, if you are passionate about personal growth and want to gain more insight into all the different aspects that make up your personality, consider checking out our numerous tools and assessments. Whether you’re interested in personality tests focusing on personal growth, career, or relationships, you can rest assured you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for!

Personality Tests FAQ

#1. Which is the most accurate personality test?

The Big 5 personality test is generally considered the most accurate personality test within the scientific community, which is why it is often used in research. However, using this tried-and-true model in conjunction with more recent state-of-the-art tests, such as our 16 personality test, has the potential to yield the most objective and precise cross-section of your character.

One important thing to consider is that whether a personality test can accurately describe you or not largely depends on the truthfulness of your answers; being as honest with yourself as possible while taking personality tests always yields the best, most accurate results.

#2. What is the rarest personality?

The rarest personality type is INFJ (Counselor), with only 1.5% of the general population identifying with it. It is also the rarest personality type among men. Meanwhile, ENTJ and INTJ are the rarest types in the female population; less than 1% of women belong to either one of these personality types.

#3. Can your personality change?

Your personality can change with time, though it isn’t likely to change drastically. Personality changes usually occur gradually, but they can also be abrupt, especially if you make a conscious effort to change certain personality traits. If you’re looking to improve your personality and unlock your full potential, consider taking personality tests to learn more about yourself.

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