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Enneagram Personality Test (2024 Guide)

Enneagram Personality Test (2024 Guide)

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The Enneagram test, also known as the Enneagram of Personality, is a psychological model of nine personality types, each of which carries their own drives, fears and characteristics.

With its origins in the distant past, the modern model of the Enneagram was developed in the twentieth century, leading to the currently used personality test.

Through a series of questions, the Enneagram personality test offers insights into:

  • Who we are
  • Why we behave the way we do
  • How we can be our best self

There are plenty of theories on the origins of the Enneagram, ranging from Pythagorean mathematicians to fourth-century monks to Ancient Egypt, but the modern Enneagram model owes its format to minds such as Oscar Ichazo, the Bolivian-born founder of the Arica School in the 1960s, the Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo, and more recently, Don Riso and Russ Hudson.

Knowledge of your Enneagram type can prove useful when seeking insight into your personality and self-development.

What Is an Enneagram?

The Enneagram test uses a series of questions with answers ranging from 'accurate' to 'neutral' to 'inaccurate' to decide which of the nine personality types is your best match.

The test also points to your secondary personality type, known as your ‘wing’, and the role of the center that your personality type falls into.

The Enneagram personality test can be complemented by a further test, the Instinctual Variants Questionnaire, which produces your score for the three instincts:

  • Self-preservation
  • Sexual
  • Social
Enneagram Wheel of the basic personality types
Enneagram Wheel of the basic personality types

Enneagram Test Format

The Enneagram personality test is an online series of questions with answers ranging on a five-point scale from 'accurate' to 'neutral' to 'inaccurate'.

For instance:

  • Are you a creative person?
  • Do you enjoy working with detailed reports?
  • Do you think people should always follow the rules?
  • Do you think you are different from other people?
  • Do you need an external impetus to motivate you?

How to Use the Enneagram System for Success

At the core of the Enneagram test is the process of understanding ourselves, our drives and fears, and how to be our best selves.

The most intuitive use of your test result is self-development but as with any personality test, a knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses can inform the career paths that are suitable for you.

Enneagram Careers

While the Enneagram personality test is not designed to point out which career type might suit you, it does point to characteristics and drives that you can match to particular career paths.

1. The Reformer

Ideal careers include:

  • Attorney

  • Accountant

  • Architect

  • Editor

  • Surgeon

  • Strengths: Hard-working, ethical and honest

  • Weaknesses: Can become resentful, overly critical and hampered by perfectionism

  • Motivations: To be useful, beyond criticism, and to make everything the best it can be

2. The Helper

Ideal careers for the Helper include:

  • Teacher

  • Therapist

  • Doctor

  • Nurse

  • Veterinary surgeon

  • Strengths: Caring, a good communicator and sincere

  • Weaknesses: Seeking validation through others, possessiveness and manipulating others

  • Motivations: To be needed and appreciated, to prove their self-worth and to express their emotions

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3. The Achiever

Ideal careers include the following:

  • Attorney

  • Agent

  • Entrepreneur

  • Marketing director

  • CEO

  • Strengths: Charming, driven and competent

  • Weaknesses: Prone to being a workaholic, self-deceit and basing their self-worth on their success

  • Motivations: Recognition of their accomplishments, to set themselves apart from others based on their success and to be admired

4. The Individualist

Ideal careers include:

  • Therapist

  • Graphic designer

  • Artist

  • Author

  • Social media manager

  • Strengths: Creative, emotionally deep and compassionate

  • Weaknesses: Moodiness, can become withdrawn and can avoid what they see as mundane tasks

  • Motivations: To be seen as a unique individual, to be surrounded by beauty and to be balanced

5. The Investigator

Ideal careers for the Investigator include:

  • App or game designer

  • Researcher

  • Scientist

  • Engineer

  • Analyst

  • Strengths: Independent thinker, intellectual and ahead of their time

  • Weaknesses: Can become detached and wrapped up in their thoughts, can neglect their well being and may not easily trust others

  • Motivations: To understand the world around them, to seek their own truths and be protected against the unexpected

6. The Loyalist

Ideal careers include the following:

  • Teacher or college professor

  • Banker

  • Paralegal

  • Business manager

  • Auditor

  • Strengths: Loyalty, co-operative nature and strategic thinking

  • Weaknesses: Self-doubt, a need to be supported and guided, and suspicious of others

  • Motivations: To feel secure and supported, to have certainty in their life, and to predict any threat

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7. The Enthusiast

Ideal careers for this personality type include:

  • Travel writer

  • Actor

  • Photographer

  • Content creator

  • Chef

  • Strengths: Idea generators, versatile and adventurous

  • Weaknesses: Can be scattered, impatient and make bad decisions

  • Motivations: To be free and happy, to avoid suffering and pain, and to be stimulated

8. The Challenger

Ideal careers for the Challenger personality include:

  • Sales director

  • Head of publicity

  • Financial advisor

  • Politician

  • Entrepreneur

  • Strengths: Good at decision making, happy to take on challenges and at their best, can inspire others

  • Weaknesses: Domineering, confrontational and ego-centric

  • Motivations: To be independent, to be seen as a strong and capable individual, and to be in control

9. The Peacemaker

Peacemaker ideal careers include:

  • Therapist

  • Human resources manager

  • Mediator

  • Social worker

  • Teacher

  • Strengths: Have a talent for bringing people together, stable and harmonious

  • Weaknesses: Can avoid conflict and harsh truths, be ambivalent, and dismiss details to reach a simple solution

  • Motivations: To create harmony, to avoid conflict and to maintain the world as it is

Which Enneagram Personality Is the Rarest and Most Common?

The rarest Enneagram personality type appears to be the Individualist. However, this perception of rarity may be caused by the fact that most Individualists are introverts who naturally avoid large groups of people, thus reducing the chance of meeting one.

The most common Enneagram personality types appear to be Enthusiasts, Loyalists and Peacemakers.

Loyalists and Enthusiasts are both assertive, confident types who are easy to spot, which again may point to the fact that it is only a perception that these two types are common.

By comparison, Peacemakers are not so obvious because they avoid conflict.

However, the growing popularity of self-help material available would suggest that there is an audience seeking self-knowledge in an attempt to avoid conflict, which would point to a growing audience of Peacemakers.

Wings, Centers and Instincts

The Continuum of the Levels of Development

All of these factors affect how your Enneagram personality type is expressed:

The Wings

While your Enneagram personality type is your overall character, your wing adds further elements, personalizing your type to a closer match.

Your wing will generally be one of the personality types on either side of your main personality type, which marks like XWX.

So for instance, an Individualist (4) personality type may have an Investigator (5) wing or an Achiever (3) wing.

Understanding the characteristics, fears and drives of your wing personality type can further enhance your understanding of yourself.

The Centers

The nine personality types fall into three centers, each of which has a core emotional response:

  • Feeling (shame) – types 2, 3 and 4
  • Thinking (fear) – types 5, 6 and 7
  • Instinctive (anger) – types 8, 9 and 1

Each personality type has an individual way of coping with their linked emotional response.

For instance, in the feeling center, the Individualist (4) handles shame by concentrating on their own uniqueness. By comparison, the Helper (2) copes with shame by encouraging others to like and value them.

The Instincts

You can further personalize your personality type by investigating your three instinctual scores.

  • Self-preservation is concerned with one’s safety, health, comfort and having sufficient resources to survive.
  • The sexual instinct expresses a drive towards stimulation and an awareness of levels of attraction between themselves and others.
  • The social instinct expresses an awareness of others and how to adapt their behavior to fit in with and serve those others.

For any individual, one of the three instincts will always be dominant, one secondary and one under-developed.

Generally, a separate test called the Instinctual Variants Questionnaire must be taken to discover your instincts scores.

Personal Growth and Stress

If you examine the Enneagram itself, you will see that each personality type is connected by lines to two other types. These connections represent growth and stress.

When the individual is developing in a healthy fashion, they will move towards the personality type that represents growth.

When the individual is developing in an unhealthy and destructive way, they will move towards the personality type that represents stress.

For instance, an Investigator (5) moving in the direction of growth will behave like a Challenger (8), whereas the direction of stress will cause them to behave like an Enthusiast (7).

How Is the Enneagram Test Scored and What Will the Results Show?

Your question responses are scored against each personality type to find which is your closest match. Further than this, your responses may be used to find your dominant wing and your instinctual score.

What exactly is included in your results will vary depending on the test organizer.

Beyond your Enneagram personality type, your results may include:

  • Your score against each personality type
  • Your dominant wing and an explanation of how this affects your personality type
  • Your instinctual scores and how they affect your personality type
  • Your center and details of how your personality type copes with the linked emotional response
  • An explanation of your personality type, either basic or in-depth
  • An explanation of all the personality types
  • The best and worst expression of your personality type
  • How you can use your understanding of your personality type for personal development

Is the Enneagram Test Accurate?

This can be a difficult question to answer for a number of reasons.

First, the concept of ‘accurate’ for some people will really mean ‘useful’. How easy is it to apply the test results to yourself and use them for self-development?

This is where the assistance of an Enneagram expert can be useful to help you interpret your results.

Second, the format of the test may vary between different test organizers. Some tests may be extensive, such as that available from the Enneagram Institute itself, while others are intended to be short and fun.

The more questions involved in the test, the more likely your results are to match you to the correct personality type.

Third, for the results of your test to be accurate, you must be brutally honest when answering the questions.

This may mean that you have to consider the questions more deeply than you usually would. Alternatively, you may feel that one answer is the acceptable one to choose, rather than the actual truth. There are no right or wrong answers in the test, only answers that are true for you.

Finally, not everyone will like their results. Certain personality types may be deemed to be more favorable over others, on a personal basis or culturally. This dissatisfaction with a result may lead to rejection on the basis that it is inaccurate when it is actually undesirable.

Best Enneagram Test in June 2024?

There are a range of both free and paid Enneagram tests to be found online. Some will offer an initial free test but ask for a fee to release either a full report or a more in-depth result.

Enneagram Institute

You can take the Enneagram personality test through the Enneagram Institute. The cost of the test is $12.

The test results are made available in a PDF and include:

  • Your scores across the nine personality types
  • A full explanation of your three top-score personality types
  • Scores for all three instincts
  • The option to receive bonus content for your personality type

Truity

The Enneagram personality test is free to take through Truity, as is a basic result which includes:

  • Your personalized Enneagram chart showing your score for each personality type
  • Your personality type
  • A brief explanation of your personality type
  • Your percentage score for each personality type
  • One of your ‘Top 3 Superpowers’, for instance, optimism, with a brief explanation

To unlock your full report, the cost is $19.

Open-Source Psychometrics Project

This is a free test which gives a basic bar-chart result of your personality type. It offers no explanation but points to online sources for further information.

TrueSelf

TrueSelf claims to offer not only your Enneagram personality type but also your ‘TrueType’ and your ‘Instinctual Type’.

The TrueSelf Enneagram personality test is free to take. Results include:

  • Your personality type
  • Your three highest-scoring personality types
  • Explanation of your personality type

TrueSelf also offers the opportunity to view the results of people you know to find out how your two personalities interact together.

Eclectic Energies

Eclectic Energies offers the option of two tests – the Classic Enneagram Test and the Enneagram Test with Instinctual Variant. Both tests are free.

The results of your test can be read online or in a downloadable PDF and include your personality type and wings, and your scores for each personality type in order (highest to lowest).

Frequently Asked Questions

The Enneagram is a personality system that categorizes individuals into nine distinct types, each representing a unique set of motivations, fears, and behaviors. It offers a comprehensive framework for understanding human nature and personal development, exploring strengths and growth areas.

There isn't a universally agreed-upon "most common" Enneagram type, as distribution can vary based on factors such as culture, demographics, and individual circumstances. However, some studies suggest that Type 9, known as the Peacemaker or Mediator, is often cited as one of the more prevalent types.

Discovering your Enneagram type involves self-reflection, observation, and often the guidance of Enneagram experts or resources. Key indicators include identifying core motivations, fears, and habitual patterns of thinking and behaving. Many individuals find value in taking Enneagram assessments, reading about each type, and considering how they relate to the descriptions provided.

It's important to note that no Enneagram type is inherently stronger or better than another. Each type possesses unique strengths and challenges. The Enneagram framework emphasizes personal growth and self-awareness, encouraging individuals to understand and integrate the positive aspects of all nine types. Strength lies in developing a more balanced and wholehearted approach to life, transcending the limitations of one's dominant Enneagram type.

While your behavior may change, either positively or negatively, your personality type will always remain the same.

However, your expression of that personality type may alter as you move between growth and stress and in relation to your dominant wing and instinct.

Final Thoughts

The Enneagram personality test can offer valuable insight into your characteristics, drives and fears, and a path towards self-development.

Use it as part of your career exploration or career planning process to learn more about yourself and your future career path.