Career Test Review
Why Career Tests?
You may take an online career test for a variety of reasons. You may be in high school or college trying to decide what classes to take or what major to choose. You may be at the beginning of your career, or you may be changing jobs mid-career. Different than aptitude tests like the SAT or I.Q. tests, self-directed career assessment quizzes recommend various job paths for which you have a natural ability. To find the best career aptitude test, you will need to look elsewhere.
This review offers the best career test comparisons and reviews. We focus on career tests or assessments (we use the words interchangeably) that you can take online and which match your personality characteristics and preferences with a list of complementary job types. The tests that we ranked the highest include Your Life's Path, Discover Your Personality and My Career Profile.
Career tests help you identify various facets of your personality, which can play a role in the kind of profession you choose. You may prefer to lead or to follow. You may desire a steady path or you may be a risk taker. You may get your energy from being around people, or you may prefer solitude. The two services we ranked highest offer the combined Strong Interest Inventory and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test report, which does a very good job of measuring these preferences. The Strong test uses facets of the Holland Code theory, something we discuss in more detail in articles about career tests.
The Myers-Briggs test is based on Jungian theory. Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung developed a group of four dichotomies or sets of opposites, including Extrovert-Introvert, Sensing-Intuition, Thinking-Feeling and Judging-Perceiving. Your personality type consists of each side of the four dichotomies that you most prefer. They are represented by four-letter codes such as ESTP or INFJ.
Taking a formal, standardized career test may be intimidating to some people. You may worry that you could answer a question wrong or that a test could reveal that you are depressed or anxious. But career tests are not designed to determine your mental state, and there are no wrong answers to the questions. Although they may measure your career aptitude towards certain subjects, they do not measure your mental aptitude like the SAT or I.Q. tests. Instead, career assessments are designed to help you identify career paths you may not have recognized before.
Career Tests: What to Look For
Most career assessment tests use population statistics to evaluate your test results. This means that the results of other individuals who have taken the test are compiled and compared with yours to provide you with more accurate results. Assessments that have larger population bases tend to be more accurate than those that don't. Although tests can be very informative, they cannot paint the entire picture of who you are, a unique and special individual.
The interface where a career test is taken should not include advertisements, as that can be distracting to you while you take the test. Advertisements have even been found to influence your test answers.
As we discussed above, many career tests use either the Holland Code, Jung theory or a combination of both. The best tests also cater to different stages in your career, whether you are just starting out or are already in the workforce.
The report provided after you take the assessment needs to include the best careers for you to pursue including job descriptions for those careers. Some of the best reports function as planning worksheets to provide a place for you to keep track of your research about various career paths you are considering.
The best career tests provide personalized reports after you complete an assessment. The report should include a summary and it should be easy to read. Scoring for the best tests is gender-specific, meaning that your responses are compared to the responses of the average individual of your gender. The way that men and women answer questions can vary greatly, and their responses can signify different things. The scoring for the Strong Interest Inventory, for example, is gender-specific.
The best tests also include a follow-up phone consultation with a certified career coach to provide guidance in interpreting your test report. A consultation will help to personalize your assessment report more and provide you with personalized career advice. Many coaches also have additional resources on their websites, such as tips on writing a resume or preparing for a job interview.
Ease of Use
Online career tests should have web interfaces that are easy to navigate. A website should be informative about the services it provides. You should know what to expect when you take the test, receive the subsequent report and utilize any follow-up services that are included in the package. The service should also notify you by email when you have registered or completed a test.
Help & Support
The website of a career test should include contact information, either a phone number, email address or online form. It should also include answers to frequently asked questions, sample reports and other career-related resources in the form of articles or databases.
Selecting your career is one of the most important decisions you can make in your life, as it can influence other lifestyle factors such as where you live and with whom you associate. Career tests are great guides to help you select a career that will best meet your personality characteristics and provide an environment where you can be the most successful.
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