Looking to do a career assessment? A career test, also known as a job aptitude test or a profile test for employment, can be hugely enlightening. Essentially, it'll match you up with jobs that match who you are and what you're capable of accomplishing.
What Is a Career Aptitude Test?
A career test is a tool that is ultimately designed to assess your interests, values, skills and overall preferences surrounding your career. It will do so by offering you a series of questions, and then it will offer you an interesting look at yourself, your motivations and interests. With that information, it will also suggest jobs for which you might be a fit and for which you might be interested in pursuing. Some will actually pull current job openings for you to start searching, as well.
While it's up to you to take the initiative to learn more about the career test's suggestions to decide if the jobs it recommends are actually legitimate matches for you, a career test can get you started looking in the right direction. Its intentions, after all, are to guide you to a career that would, in theory, work well for you.
What Can You Learn About Yourself With a Career Test?
Ultimately, there are four dimensions of the self that should guide your career decisions, and those are your interests, values, skills and preferences — all of which you'll learn about in a career test. By exploring the four dimensions of yourself, you'll feel empowered and confident when making career decisions.
If a career test is too difficult to fill out, you may want to try some personality tests first. Once you have a clearer understanding of your personality, you can better select choices on a test that reflect your interests, values, skills and preferences on a career test.
What Is the Accuracy of a Career Quiz?
Career tests take what information you provide them about your interests, values, skills and preferences and simply make recommendations. At the end of the day, however, your success in a job is determined by what you put into it. Maybe you have the skills to be a successful interior designer, for example, but if you don't apply those skills or if you're uninspired and are lazy with your work, you'll have a difficult time attracting and retaining clients.
Therefore, a career quiz is accurate when it comes to what jobs would work for you in theory. But what jobs work for you in practicality are up to you and the effort you're willing to put in.
What Are Some Examples of Free Job Assessment Tests?
There are tons of free job tests.
Buzzfeed offers tons of quizzes — so many that you could get lost for hours in a rabbit hole of life questions. Though Buzzfeed might not be the most credible authority, their quizzes are fun and will get you thinking. BuzzFeed’s “What Career Should You Actually Have?” quiz and the "What Ridiculous Dream Job Were You Destined to Do? quizzes, for examples, are great places to start.
Career Clusters Interest survey tests you on your personality type, hobbies and things you like studying. The test only takes about five to 10 minutes to complete and will offer you a series of career clusters designed by university career services centers.
If answering a bunch of written questions about your life sounds boring, this test might be better for you. The test still asks you questions, but instead of choosing a written response, you choose one of two images that appeal most to you.
4. 123 Test
This short test takes just a few minutes to complete. All you need to do is choose your favorite work activity from an array of four pictures. You're tasked with ignoring the status or money associated with the activity — you just choose your favorite and least favorite from each set.
The Sokanu aptitude test assesses your current interests, as well as who you want to be as a professional. Ultimately, it dives into your work style preferences, personality and even salary expectations by exploring more than 140 unique traits of yours.
This test takes 20 minutes to complete because it has over 80 questions to answer. You'll be asked about topics that don't quite seem relevant and it'll test your level of interest in random tasks. At the end, you'll receive a score in the five major professional areas of interest, as well as a whole bunch of careers that could suit you.
This test takes less than five minutes but it's extremely accurate. You circle words from a list that best describe you, and you also circle words from the same list that you think others would use to describe you. Then you measure them all against four main characteristics to determine your work style and how you'd handle team dynamics.
MyPlan offers a host of career planning tools, including this test of 20 questions that'll take 12 minutes to finish up. When you do, it'll give you six core work values (like independence and support), as well as a rank ordering those needs and a ranking of job titles reflecting your answers.
The O*Net Profiler provided by My Next Move and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor looks into your personal interests and then pairs you up with different careers. It also gives you the option to explore more information about each career path in case any of them get you particularly curious.
10. Career Hunter
Career Hunter matches your unique talents and professional goals jobs by offering six self-assessment tools that are used to dive into your interests and abilities. The platform looks into how those interests and abilities relate to your professional aspirations and different industries.
11. Psychology Today
Psychology Today's aptitude test helps you explore your skills, interests, values and career preferences with 240 questions. It may take a while to finish, but you will receive one of your career matches with the option to purchase your full results.
12. Princeton Review
The Princeton Review's career quiz explores your career interests and preferences via 24 questions. You only need to choose the best answer that describes your career wants, but you need to assume that all jobs are equal for it to work.
Truity's Big Five Personality Test isn't necessarily a career test, but it still will help you explore your personality type to better determine a career path.
Rasmussen College offers a free career test and measures your results against seven aspects of ability: artistic, interpersonal, communication, managerial, mathematics, mechanical and science. You'll get a number of careers suited to your skills based on the scale you choose, and you can check which ones you score the best in. Once you know, the college offers more information on questions you might have regarding salary, predicted growth and required education.
What Career is Right For Me boasts a four-step career test that takes just 10 minutes to finish. It rates your skill level in attributes like logic, management, communication, judgment and more. You rank yourself from the options low, below average, average, above average and high.
A 10-15 minute test, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter helps individuals gauge their own temperaments, which plays a role in career paths, happiness, performance and more.
17. Skills Matcher
Coming straight from the Department of Labor, this test encourages individuals to analyze their own skills and how they could apply them to their careers. There are numerous hard, soft and specialized skills that you'll assess.
What Are Some Examples of Paid-For Job Assessment Tests?
There are also paid job tests if you're looking for a career test that you may take more seriously.
Truity's TypeFinder is based on 16 personality types, according to Carl Jung and Isabel Briggs Myers. Once you know your personality type, you can check out what careers are good for you. It costs $29.
The John Holland’s SDS (Self-Directed Search) test is based on John Holland’s career theory that says that there are six different personality types. They're known as the RIASEC: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional. Combining three of these can be used to match to a number of careers. It costs about $10.
This 20-minute test will ask you to rank three statements per question as either the most preferred or the least preferred. After you take the test, you'll be matched against over 1,000 possible careers in the company's career database. Prices vary based on your career level.
This 60-question assessment will ask you questions about workplace dynamics and how'd describe yourself in certain situations. The test is free, but then it'll produce a full 10-page report for you for about $40.
CliftonStrengths uses psychometric tools to create a customized report on five different strength categories for $10.
23. Career Planner
Career Planner's test is also based on John Holland’s theory of six personality types. There are 180 true-or-false questions that lead to a detailed report explaining career paths that'd suit you. It'll only take you 18 minutes despite the number of questions, and it'll cost you about $50.
24. My Plan
My Plan will test your personality and then give you an interest inventory, a skills profile and a values assessment, and it'll offer you a CareerMatch tool to help you find a job that interests you and matches your profile. It'll cost about $20.
The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator test will tell you which of the eight Enneagram types you are most like: the reformer, the helper, the achiever, the individualist, the investigator, the loyalist, the enthusiast, the challenger or the peacemaker. This should help you understand yourself better so you know what roles you might fit well. The test, which costs $12, can also drop hints about characteristics you'd need in a career for it to be fulfilling.
All of the aforementioned career tests will help you decide on a career. Now, you just need to decide on a test!
What's your no. 1 piece of advice on finding a career you love? Leave your answer in the comments to help other FGB'ers.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.