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Kolbe Personality Test – Guide for 2023

Kolbe Personality Test – Guide for 2023

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What Is the Kolbe Personality Test?

The Kolbe personality test, officially referred to as the Kolbe A™ Index or the Kolbe Index, is a unique psychological assessment that explores an individual's innate conative instincts.

When we talk about conative instincts, we refer to how someone makes decisions and approaches tasks based on their intrinsic preferences and inclinations.

This makes the Kolbe A™ Index assessment different from other personality tests that measure emotions, interpersonal skills and personality traits, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI).

The Kolbe test differs from traditional personality tests in other ways too.

Instead of classifying individuals as introverts, extroverts or specific personality types, it provides a unique conative profile that details how an individual is naturally inclined to act in various scenarios.

This focus on how someone operates, rather than who they are, offers practical insights into work styles, problem-solving and decision-making processes.

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What Does the Kolbe Personality Test Measure?

The Kolbe test assessment method looks at an individual's conative instincts through four areas, each of which represents a unique way of approaching tasks and problem-solving.

These areas, known as Action Modes®, are:

  • Fact Finder
  • Follow Thru
  • Quick Start
  • Implementor

Think of each one as a spectrum, and where you fall on that spectrum as your natural instinct.

When your natural tendencies in each of the Action Modes® come together, they form your method of operation (MO).

This highlights the instinctive ways in which you approach tasks, providing a deeper understanding of how you work best.

Fact Finder (FF)

Fact Finder assesses how you gather and process information.

At one end of the scale are those who prefer exhaustive research and data collection before making decisions.

They are meticulous in their quest for information and often strive for certainty before acting.

These individuals are highly detail-oriented and may be perceived as analytical.

On the opposite end of the scale are those who are intuitive and tend to make decisions swiftly, relying on their instincts and general knowledge.

They are comfortable with uncertainty and are more inclined to take action based on broad information, trusting their gut feelings and experiences.

Follow Thru (FT)

Follow Thru examines how you organize and systematize tasks. On one end, there are those who excel in structured and systematic approaches.

They meticulously plan, set deadlines and prefer step-by-step processes, thriving in environments where routines and predictability are valued.

At the opposite end you find those who are flexible and adaptable.

They embrace spontaneity, often adjusting their plans as they go.

These individuals may be seen as creative problem-solvers who find innovative ways to tackle challenges, even if it means deviating from traditional methods.

Quick Start (QS)

Quick Start measures your willingness to take risks and your comfort with uncertainty.

Those on one end of the scale are enthusiastic risk-takers.

They eagerly jump into new projects, love innovation and thrive in environments where change is constant.

At the opposite end you have cautious individuals who prefer well-planned and controlled approaches.

They carefully consider the potential risks and consequences before taking action and excel in environments that value stability and reliability.

Implementor (IM)

The Implementor trait looks at your physical and tactile instincts, with those who excel in hands-on, tangible activities at one end of the scale.

These individuals enjoy building, creating and working with physical objects and typically have a knack for craftsmanship and practical problem-solving.

At the opposite end are those who prefer working with abstract concepts and ideas rather than physical objects.

They thrive in intellectual and theoretical fields, finding solutions through mental processes rather than direct manipulation of physical elements.

What Is the Format of the Kolbe Test?

The Kolbe Personality Test consists of a series of 36 scenario-based questions.

Each question presents you with a specific situation or challenge that you might encounter in your personal or professional life.

These scenarios cover a wide range of activities, from problem-solving tasks to interpersonal interactions.

For each scenario, you are given four potential responses.

Instead of choosing a single response or rating the options on a scale, you’re asked to select two options – one for the way you’re MOST likely to act, and one for the LEAST likely.

There are no right or wrong answers in the Kolbe personality assessment, as it aims to uncover your unique conative strengths.

The entire test is designed to be completed in around 20 to 30 minutes.

Example Kolbe Assessment Test Questions

Below is a series of questions similar to those you’ll find on the Kolbe personality assessment.

Remember there are no right or wrong answers here. It’s simply a matter of which of the response options you most and least likely relate to.

You can find more free Kolbe test style questions on sites like JobTestPrep.

Question 1

In team meetings, I contribute by:

  • Proposing ideas
  • Setting agendas
  • Challenging assumptions
  • Summarizing discussions

Question 2

When tackling a complex project, I prefer to:

  • Dive into it headfirst, figuring things out as I go
  • Plan out each step meticulously before starting
  • Experiment with different approaches to see what works best
  • Seek guidance from experts to ensure I'm on the right track

Question 3

In a crisis at work, I am likely to rely on:

  • Instincts
  • Procedures
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration

Question 4

When faced with competing priorities, I manage by:

  • Prioritizing urgent tasks first
  • Following established schedules and guidelines
  • Finding innovative ways to balance demands
  • Collaborating with team members on solutions

Question 5

When receiving feedback, I appreciate:

  • Recognition
  • Constructive criticism
  • New ideas
  • Clarification

How Is the Kolbe Personality Test Scored?

The Kolbe test does not provide a traditional score like other psychometric assessments.

Instead, it generates a personalized profile that outlines your conative strengths.

This profile consists of four numbers ranging from one to 10, each representing your level of instinct in the Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start and Implementor traits.

Higher numbers indicate a stronger preference for that particular instinct.

Take the following Kolbe test results as an example:

  • Fact Finder: 7
  • Follow Thru: 5
  • Quick Start: 9
  • Implementor: 3

This profile suggests an individual has a relatively high preference for Quick Start (9), indicating a propensity for taking risks and initiating action quickly.

Conversely, they have a lower preference for Implementor (3), suggesting they may not be as inclined towards hands-on, tactile activities.

Using these scores, your Kolbe test report will provide valuable insights into your conative strengths and preferences, offering guidance and understanding in various aspects of your life, including:

  • Workplace performance
  • Task management
  • Team dynamics
  • Personal growth
  • Problem-solving strategies
  • Communication and relationships
  • Career alignment
What Is the Kolbe Test and How to Pass It
What Is the Kolbe Test and How to Pass It

What Is the Kolbe Personality Test Used For?

There are many applications for the Kolbe personality test, in both educational and employment settings.

It can also be used for personal reasons:


Individuals often take the Kolbe A Index to gain insight into their own conative strengths and tendencies, helping them understand their preferred methods of problem-solving and working.

This self-awareness can be valuable for personal development and career planning.

Team Building

The Kolbe A Index can be used in a team setting to understand each team member's unique approach to tasks.

By knowing the conative strengths and weaknesses of team members, leaders and managers can better assign roles and responsibilities, foster collaboration and build more effective teams.

Hiring and Recruitment

Some organizations use the Kolbe A Index assessment as part of their hiring and recruitment process.

It can help match candidates with roles that align with their natural problem-solving abilities and work preferences.

This can lead to better job satisfaction and productivity.

Conflict Resolution

Understanding the conative preferences of individuals can help resolve conflicts within teams.

By recognizing and respecting each person's unique approach to tasks, teams can reduce misunderstandings and friction.

Personal Growth and Coaching

Coaches and consultants may use the Kolbe A Index to work with individuals and help them leverage their conative strengths.

It can be a tool for personal and professional development, assisting individuals in making more informed decisions about their careers and goals.

Educational Settings

The Kolbe A Index can be used in educational contexts to help students and teachers understand how students naturally learn and solve problems.

This information can be used to tailor teaching methods to better match students' conative styles.

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How to Prepare for Your Kolbe Personality Assessment

Preparing for your Kolbe personality assessment is essential to ensure that you provide accurate and meaningful responses.

This assessment aims to reveal your natural conative instincts, so being authentic and true to yourself is crucial. Here are several tips to help you prepare effectively.

Step 1. Understand the Purpose of the Kolbe Personality Assessment

Before you begin, it's essential to have a clear understanding of why you’re taking the Kolbe test.

Whether it's for personal growth, career development or team building, knowing the purpose will help you approach the assessment with the right mindset.

Step 2. Be Well-Rested and Alert

On the day of the assessment, ensure that you’re in good physical condition.

Fatigue or distraction can affect your ability to provide genuine responses. Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can focus without interruptions.

Step 3. Review the Assessment Instructions

Read through the assessment instructions carefully. Understand how the assessment works, including the "most" and "least" response format.

Familiarize yourself with the concepts of Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start and Implementor, so you can respond accurately.

Step 4. Reflect on Your Natural Tendencies

Take some time to reflect on your natural tendencies in various situations. Think about how you approach problem-solving, decision-making and taking action in both your personal and professional life.

Understanding yourself better will help you provide more authentic responses.

Step 5. Answer Honestly and Instinctively

During the assessment, trust your instincts and answer the questions honestly.

Remember that there are no right or wrong answers; the goal is to capture your natural preferences. Avoid overthinking or second-guessing your responses.

Step 6. Consider Different Scenarios

The Kolbe personality test covers a wide range of scenarios, from work-related tasks to personal challenges.

Be open to considering different scenarios and how your instincts might vary depending on the context.

Respond to each question based on how you would naturally react in that specific situation.

Step 7. Stay Consistent

Try to maintain consistency in your responses throughout the assessment. While it's natural to have varying preferences in different situations, avoid extreme fluctuations in your answers.

Consistency in your responses helps create a more accurate conative profile.

Step 8. Seek Clarification if Needed

If you encounter a question that you find confusing or unclear, don't hesitate to seek clarification.

Reach out to the assessment administrator or support team to ensure that you fully understand the scenario and response options.

Step 9. Take a Free Kolbe Personality Test Online

There are many online platforms that offer free Kolbe A assessment style questions. These are a great way to get a feel for this type of assessment and explore your natural strengths and preferences.

To get started, simply search for "Free Kolbe Test Online" using a reputable search engine. Be sure to choose a trusted source and follow their instructions for taking the test.

Be aware that you will need to pay for your results if taking the real test online. However, free Kolbe personality test practice questions are a good way to prepare and familiarize yourself with the assessment.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Kolbe test, also known as the Kolbe Index, is a popular assessment tool used to measure an individual's instinctive strengths and natural way of taking action.

Unlike many other personality assessments, the Kolbe test focuses on an individual's conative drives, which are the innate methods they use to solve problems and make decisions.

It is often used in personal development, team-building and organizational settings to enhance productivity and collaboration by aligning individuals with roles that suit their natural inclinations.

You can take the Kolbe Index free online to get a feel for this assessment, but you will need to pay for your personal results profile.

The duration of the Kolbe personality assessment varies depending on the individual test taker, but on average it takes between 20 and 30 minutes to complete.

While the time may vary slightly, it's generally a relatively quick assessment, making it convenient for individuals and organizations looking to gain insights into their problem-solving and decision-making tendencies.

Your Kolbe test results can help you work better and live a more balanced life.

They can be used for personal development and career exploration, helping you understand your strengths and make choices aligned with your natural abilities.

They can also be used in an existing employment setting to improve communication and collaboration and to help you understand your problem-solving and work-style approaches.

There is no such thing as a "perfect score" on the Kolbe assessment test.

Unlike some standardized assessments where higher scores might be considered better, the Kolbe test is designed to measure an individual's innate conative strengths and preferences, not to rank or grade them.

The assessment simply provides insights into how an individual approaches problem-solving and decision-making, with no judgment attached to the outcomes.

The Kolbe test is not a traditional test that you can "pass" or "fail".

It doesn't evaluate your knowledge or skills; instead, it assesses your natural instincts and conative strengths, with no right or wrong answers.

To get the most accurate results, simply be yourself and respond honestly based on how you naturally approach tasks and decision-making.

To do well in a Kolbe test, be authentic in your responses. The test assesses your natural instincts, so don't overthink your answers.

Focus on how you naturally approach tasks and problem-solving, rather than trying to provide "right" or ideal responses.

Lastly, take the test in a calm, focused environment to ensure your answers reflect your true tendencies accurately.

The Kolbe personality assessment consists of a series of statements or scenarios related to problem-solving, decision-making and task execution.

Test-takers are asked to respond to these prompts by indicating their natural preferences and instincts in how they would approach each situation.

The answers provided help generate a personalized profile that reveals how an individual is inclined to take action and make decisions.

The Kolbe Index test is typically not available for free online, as it's a proprietary assessment tool.

It's offered through the official Kolbe website, and it charges a fee for individuals and organizations to access and take the test.

That said, you can find free Kolbe assessment style questions online so you can familiarize yourself with this testing format and get a feel for your natural instincts and tendencies.

Final Thoughts

The Kolbe A Index does not measure intelligence, personality traits or skills.

Instead, it focuses on the way individuals take action and make decisions.

This makes it a valuable tool in many settings, from employment to personal development.

If you’re asked to take the Kolbe personality test, remember that it's about self-discovery and understanding your unique strengths rather than achieving a passing score.

Be genuine and embrace your natural instincts to gain the most benefit from the assessment.

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