Aptitude Tests, Personality Quizzes, and Guides to Self-Knowledge

Aptitude Tests, Personality Quizzes, and Guides to Self-Knowledge

(as referenced on page 159 of Rethinking School: How to Take Charge of Your Child’s Education, by Susan Wise Bauer)

            Self-awareness is difficult—and essential for every maturing adult.

Taking personality quizzes and aptitude tests won’t automatically grant you self-knowledge, but it will put you in an objective, self-evaluative mode that isn’t necessarily natural. And if you do enough of them, uyou’ll start to see patterns.

Here are some starting places. Do these for fun. If the results ring true, you’ve gained useful knowledge. If not, shrug and forget about them.




What Color Is Your Parachute? 2018: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career Changers, by Richard N. Bolles.

What Color Is Your Parachute? For Teens. Third Edition: Discover Yourself, Design Your Future, and Plan for Your Dream Job, by Carol Christen and Richard N. Bolles.

Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type, by Paul D. Tieger, Kelly Tieger, and Barbara Barron.

Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type, by Isabel Briggs-Myers and Peter B. Myers.

The Essential Enneagram: The Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide, by David Daniels and Virginia Price, rev.  and updated edition.

Be a Free Range Human: Escape the 9-5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the Bills, by Marianne Cantwell.


Personality Tests

You can take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test online here. Although you can find free knockoff versions of the test, it’s worth paying the $49.95 for the full version, which includes feedback on strengths and weaknesses, coping skills, and more. Or, take the test with a licensed assessor. Details here.

The RHETI (Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator) test can be taken at the Enneagram Institute website.

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter test (KTS-II) is available at the Keirsey website. A basic report is free; more detailed reports can be purchased for $8-$20.

The Princeton Review hosts a Career Quiz.

Psychology Today has a whole range of “self tests” that you can view here.

The MAPP test, best for older students, matches personality and aptitude with possible career options.

A selection of fun, open-source personality tests can be found at the Open Source Psychometrics Project.

The Balance provides links to a variety of career and aptitude tests.


Susan Wise Bauer

Susan Wise Bauer is an educator, writer, and historian. She is the co-author of The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (now in its fourth edition), and the author of (among others) The Well- Educated Mind, The Story of Western Science, the Story of the World series, the History of the World series, the elementary series Writing With Ease, and the pre-rhetoric series Writing With Skill. Susan was home educated through high school and has taught all four of her children at home. She has a B.A. and M.A. in English language and literature, an M.Div., and a Ph.D. in the history of American religion from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where she taught writing and literature for over fifteen years.


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