Why would one need to take a career aptitude test?
There's a lot of pressure on you to choose the right profession. Right after graduating high school, you are expected to have an idea of what you want to do for the rest of your life. Regardless of whether you plan to go to college or not.
Yet, only about 57% of professionals say they are satisfied with their job - and that's a record high for the past two decades!
"The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle."
Maybe you have just graduated or are in the 43% that yearns for something more out of your career. You're due for a big change, but how do you know where to start?
Career assessments and personality tests provide insight regarding personal strengths and weaknesses. Using these as reference points can help identify a career path that aligns with your goals and skills. It can also guide your career planning and prepare for job interviews. (Penn State University)
Thankfully, there are tons of career and personality tests, both free and paid, that can illuminate your skills, values, and motivations. To help you sift through the numerous options, we have compiled a list of the 7 most reputable job aptitude tests.
Can you rely on a career aptitude test?
While founded on research and boasting plenty of success stories, career assessment tests offer broad suggestions, not one clear-cut answer. They can lead you to your next big opportunity. However, it will still take some trial and error for you to find your dream job.
Don't expect a career path test to point you to your dream job. Most job aptitude tests measure one aspect of a person, such as interests or personality, and the results are merely suggestions based on that one area of assessment. (CNN)
Also, they cannot circumvent your unconscious biases about yourself or certain situations. This might skew your results, so it's best to be as objective as possible. Even afterward, it would be beneficial to consult a career coach, colleague, or friend about your results and thoughts before you start treading your next career path.
With this, consider taking these job personality tests multiple times, separated by a few months. Your results might be different the second time, giving you a more holistic picture of what your dynamic personality could be.
Top benefits of taking a career test for adults (from LinkedIn):
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses. You will know what you are good at and which areas you need to work on.
- Get ideas for career options. You may haven't even thought about certain careers that the test suggests.
- Make an informed decision. A test will help you pick a career path based on your talents and strong sides.
- Boost confidence. If the results you get are aligned with your current profession, you will be more sure that you are on the right path.
Interests & Personality Tests
Before choosing a career quiz, you have to make sure you understand what it is designed to assess. Generally, career assessments can be divided into four major types:
- personality tests,
- interest quizzes,
- skills inventories,
- value assessments.
Some tests explore different aspects of your personality, while others focus more on work preferences, abilities, skills, or professional ethics. (LinkedIn)
While a personality career test may not make a decision for you, they are still valuable tools. They allow you to look more introspectively at your values, motivations, emotionality, and personal style.
From a career point of view, these assessments can help you determine what type of work culture you would best fit into. You will also explore how you can leverage your innate strengths to create value and build your network.
"No one can discover you until you do. Exploit your talents, skills, and strengths and make the world sit up and take notice."
The Keirsey online career assessment is developed based on more than seven decades of behavioral research and has been taken by over 50 million people. It aims to try to assign you to one of the four different "temperaments", arranged by your communication and action styles.
The categories are:
- Artisan (Concrete and Utilitarian);
- Rational (Abstract and Utilitarian);
- Idealist (Abstract and Cooperative);
- Guardian (Concrete and Cooperative).
This job personality test takes around 10 minutes to complete and has you answer 70 questions with only two choices. Altogether, it is a very straightforward career quiz that makes you look deeper at your core qualities, such as your level of compassion or proneness to daydreams.
There are two types of access and the results provided:
- Free. When taking this career aptitude test for free, you can see which one of the four categories you fit into. Then, you can complete your research on what that generally implies.
- Paid. However, the paid option, which costs $29.95, will have multiple report portals for everything from how you work in a team to how you build a relationship.
Overall, this is a good assessment to get a macro view of what your working temperament is. It doesn't take too much time to complete but provides a comprehensive enough result.
It's a good starting point for someone new to career and personality tests.
2. Big Five Personality Test
Chances are if you've taken a collegiate psychology class, this career quiz may seem somewhat familiar to you. It's heavily research-based and tries to answer the question "What is the best way to summarize an individual?".
While the interface may not be a flashy one, the Big Five Personality Test is a free career test that contains a 50-item questionnaire.
This test uses a five-point scale to assess your levels of:
- Openness to Experience.
Each one is presented as a score percentile, meaning there's a better barometer of how intense each of these characteristics relates to you.
Taking this career personality test will only take you around 5 minutes. Afterward, you'll be presented with those scores and a general description of what the psychology-lingo means practically. The service offers a deep personality assessment and there is an abundance of free resources that explain the five traits even further.
Sparketype is a free career test that aims to label you based on your preferences, wants, and dislikes. With the blending of "spark" and "archetype", this quiz will ask questions on how you relate to a variety of situations. You will need to rank your answers on a scale of one to seven.
Instead of general situations, the career aptitude test tries to delve deep into what you are passionate about. The prompts are often phrased with "if you were financially set for life" or "the work that makes me feel most alive is".
It then will then place you into one of ten "Sparketypes":
- The Maven;
- The Maker;
- The Scientist;
- The Essentialist;
- The Performer;
- The Sage;
- The Warrior;
- The Advisor;
- The Advocate;
- The Nurturer.
One of these categories will be assigned to you as the "primary sparketype", or the main driving force in your life. You are also will be provided with a "shadow sparketype". This describes a trait that works in harmony with your main trait to compose your true motivation in life.
Additionally, the job test also describes your "anti-sparketype", or the type that is the opposite of who you are. Therefore, explain the type of situations that require the most effort from you.
While this is primarily a personality test, there is a $20 paid version. It dives deeper into your results in how they pertain to leadership style, entrepreneurship, and even how you would fair in remote work, specifically.
In summary, this assessment is a fun and quick quiz that can be used as a free career aptitude test. And it only takes about 10 minutes to complete.
Traditional Career Tests
So you have an idea of what your demeanor is, but you're still looking for a direction to take your career. Below you will find 4 more career tests that are dedicated to fuse your interests and skills to shortlist the thousands of paths initially available to you.
"Don't limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe you can achieve."
For these career path tests to give a somewhat accurate result, it's best to try multiple options and see where they align. Each one is going to have slightly different questions and algorithms. However, if all the tests you take say you might like data science, you should probably take a closer look and research this professional field.
4. O*NET Interest Profiler
O*Net Interest Profiler is sponsored by the US Department of Labor. Similarly to other personality career tests, this quiz will have you respond to questions on a scale. For such a quick test (you can easily complete it in under 5 minutes), it seems to return fairly accurate results.
This free career aptitude test has 60 questions that focus on the effects your interests have on your profession. You have to evaluate your perspective on different careers and tasks, disregarding any previous schooling or the potential salary of a position.
It then scores you according to your levels of RIASEC:
|Trait||Type of Person|
|Realistic||Doers - Practical, hands-on problems|
|Investigative||Thinkers - Ideas and thinking|
|Artistic||Creators - Music, art, and design|
|Social||Helpers - Collaboration with others|
|Enterprising||Persuaders - Initiating and executing business projects|
|Conventional||Organizers - Set procedures and routines|
After you complete the initial career aptitude test, you are scored on each category, with your top three scores emphasized. The career assessment test then tries to narrow your options even further by having you choose one of five "Job Zones". These are groups of careers that have similar levels of experience, education, and training.
Based on the level of required preparation you wish to put into a career, the service will return a shortlist of 10 careers you might be suited for. Your matches will also lead you to separate web pages where you can research what knowledge, professional skills, technologies, and abilities you might need for that profession.
5. MAPP Career Test
Clocking in at over 20 minutes is the MAPP Career Test. This popular job personality test has undergone extensive testing to ensure the results are consistent and valid. This is, by far, the most exhaustive option we've so far covered.
This career assessment test is presented by a series of 71 prompts. In each question, you will have to rank three options from the most to the least enjoyable one.
The free report then will give you a glimpse into what your tendencies are in the "Worker Traits":
- Interest in job contents;
- Temperament for the job;
- Aptitude for the job;
You can explore how you match with specific careers in a roundabout way, so if you had a specific career in mind, this test could let you know if it is truly your calling.
More data is available upon purchase. The extensive report comes with a $90 price tag. It includes a 30-page assessment, potential resume content, and a complete ranking of all 1,000 careers.
They boast a complete end-to-end service for everyone, from entry-level to executive. It evaluates your test results against hundreds of potential career paths, letting you explore potential options even more according to categories and keywords.
Next up, we have Jobtest - another extensive career quiz that should take you about 20 minutes to finish. This can be of great use for professionals considering a change of career or looking to advance in their industry.
The job test runs in stages. First, it analyzes your personality. Then, it uses this data to adjust the test to your specific interests. this allows you to receive deeper insights than the same questions as everyone else.
The evaluation takes into account your current career, your aspirations (both in terms of seniority and compensation), fields you've considered, and positions you wish to avoid. Apart from having a career test for adults, there is a special job personality test for teens.
The only downside is that you cannot take this career aptitude test for free. The basic report will cost you $25, and the comprehensive report at $35 will give you a more detailed analysis.
7. Career Explorer
Career Explorer is a job assessment test that has been described as "shockingly accurate". Prepare that it will take about 30 minutes to finish.
The career quiz begins with an assessment of your personality archetype using that five-point scale. Then, the test presents you with a series of careers and academic degrees to rate. The first few sections contain built-in breaks where you can get a preview of your results.
The matches are based on 4 dimensions of career fit:
- Workplace. Will the typical workplace of this career make you happy?
- History. Will your past work and education help you get a job in this career?
- Interests. Will you find this career interesting?
- Personality. Will you be good at this career?
At the end of the personality career test, you are presented with a comprehensive report completely free of charge. It will suggest about 30 potential careers that might suit you with the top 3 highlighted first. You will also get a list of suggested collegiate degrees that could be a good choice for you.
"Your career is like a garden. It can hold an assortment of life's energy that yields a bounty for you. You do not need to grow just one thing in your garden. You do not need to do just one thing in your career."
Job assessment tests can help set you in the right direction, no matter where you might be in your career. When looking for the best career aptitude test, always refer to users' reviews and see what experts have to say on the effectiveness of the one you pick.
With the multitude of free and paid career quizzes, take a few that fit your needs and budget. This will give a more accurate result. See how they align, and, who knows, you might just find your true calling.