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Enneagram Personality Test

Updated 2 March 2021

Written by Fi Phillips

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Through a series of questions and a model of nine personality types, 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.

What Does the Enneagram Test Assess?

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

How Can You Use the Results?

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.

What Are the Enneagram Personality Types?

There are nine numbered Enneagram personality types. The numbers are simply for reference and do not express that one personality type is better than another.

These personality types are:

1. The Reformer

Key factors of this personality type include:

  • A strong sense of justice
  • Conscientiousness
  • Being well-organized
  • A sense of mission
  • The drive to improve the world around them
  • The desire to be a good person
  • The need to be in the right and beyond criticism
  • The fear of becoming corrupt or making mistakes

At the highest expression of this personality, the Reformer is wise, inspiring and recognizes the best steps to take to improve the world and themselves.

At their worst, they are critical to the point of cruelty, may become depressed and express obsessive-compulsive behavior.

Famous Reformers include Mahatma Gandhi, Joan of Arc, Anita Roddick (founder of The Body Shop), Michelle Obama and Harrison Ford.

2. The Helper

Key factors of the Helper personality include:

  • Empathy
  • Sincerity
  • Friendliness
  • Generosity
  • Self-sacrifice
  • The desire to be loved, needed and appreciated
  • The fear of being unwanted and unloved
  • May seek their own worth in the opinions of others

At their best, the Helper is altruistic, gives unconditional love and appreciates the opportunity to help others.

At their worst, they feel victimized, are resentful and may burden others with their woes.

Famous Helpers include Nancy Reagan, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lionel Richie, Dolly Parton and Bishop Desmond Tutu.

3. The Achiever

Key factors include the following:

  • Ambition and drive
  • Attractiveness and charm
  • Diplomacy
  • Status consciousness
  • The drive to be valuable and worthwhile
  • The need for attention from others and their admiration
  • The fear that they are worthless
  • Prone to being a workaholic

At the best expression of this personality type, the Achiever can be authentic, modest and benevolent.

At their worst, they may seek to destroy the happiness of people around them, became obsessive and exhibit narcissistic behavior.

Famous Achievers include Bill Clinton, Muhammed Ali, Madonna, Barbara Streisand and Jamie Foxx.

4. The Individualist

Key factors of this personality type include:

  • Sensitivity
  • Self-awareness
  • Emotional honesty
  • Creativity
  • Feeling unable to fit in
  • Drive to express their individuality
  • Desire to create an identity and find their significance in the world
  • Fear they have no individual identity and do not matter

At the highest expression of this personality, the Individualist expresses their uniqueness and creativity with ease, feels inspired and is self-renewing.

At their worst, they can become self-destructive, turn to alcohol or drugs, and express depressive or narcissistic behaviors.

Famous Individualists include Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Edgar Allen Poe, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland and Nicolas Cage.

5. The Investigator

Key factors of the Investigator personality include:

  • The ability to develop complex concepts
  • Curiosity
  • Independence
  • Innovation
  • Insightfulness
  • The desire to be competent and capable
  • The drive to be knowledgeable and prepared for any threat
  • The fear of being of no use and helpless

At their best, Investigators are pioneering visionaries who take an open-minded, perceptive view of the world as a whole.

At their worst, they may become self-destructive or suicidal, and exhibit Schizotypal behavior.

Famous Investigators include Albert Einstein, Vincent Van Gogh, Ursula K LeGuin, Mark Zuckerberg and Jodie Foster.

6. The Loyalist

Key factors include the following:

  • Closely concerned with security
  • Reliability and responsibility
  • Good work ethic
  • Trustworthiness
  • Talent for trouble-shooting
  • Drive to be secure and be supported by others
  • Self-doubt and suspicion of others
  • Fear of having no support or guidance

The best expression of this personality type is an individual who trusts both themselves and others, is self-affirming, courageous and a positive leader.

At their worst, Loyalists can become hysterical, self-destructive, self-abasing, and display paranoid or passive-aggressive behavior.

Famous Loyalists include Sigmund Freud, J Edgar Hoover, Malcolm X, Jennifer Aniston and Ellen DeGeneres.

7. The Enthusiast

Key factors of this personality type include:

  • Extroversion
  • Optimism
  • Adaptability
  • Spontaneity
  • The drive to be happy and free to do what they want
  • The desire to have their needs met
  • Fear of deprivation or suffering
  • Impatience and impulsiveness

At the highest expression of this personality, the Enthusiast is grateful and appreciative of their life and all that entails.

At their worst, they can feel claustrophobic and exhausted, consider suicide, and express bipolar and histrionic behavior.

Famous Enthusiasts include Benjamin Franklin, John F Kennedy, Katy Perry, Goldie Hawn and Robert Downey Jr.

8. The Challenger

Key factors of the Challenger personality include:

  • Self-confidence and strength
  • Assertiveness
  • Resourcefulness
  • Being ego-centric
  • The drive to be self-reliant and seen as strong
  • The desire to be in control and protect self
  • Fear of being controlled or harmed
  • Controlling and domineering

At their best, Challengers are brave, generous, self-restrained and ready to put themselves at risk to achieve their goals.

At their worst, they can be brutal, vicious, vengeful, and display anti-social or sociopathic behavior.

Famous Challengers include Martin Luther King Jr, Ernest Hemingway, Serena Williams, Susan Sarandon and Matt Damon.

9. The Peacemaker

Peacemaker key factors include:

  • Creativity
  • Optimism
  • Supportive nature
  • Drive to create inner and outer harmony
  • The tendency to go with the flow to avoid conflict
  • Complacency
  • Resistance to change
  • Fear of separation and loss

The best expression of this personality type is an individual who is happy with themselves, feels fulfilled and that they have autonomy, and are able to interact with others in a healthy and constructive manner.

At their worst, the Peacemaker can become disoriented, catatonic, experience multiple personalities, and exhibit dependent or schizoid behaviors.

Famous Peacemakers include Princess Grace of Monaco, Abraham Lincoln, Jim Henson, Morgan Freeman and Whoopi Goldberg.

Enneagram Personality Test: All You Need to KnowEnneagram Personality Test: All You Need to Know

Wings, Centers and Instincts

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


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.

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 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.


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).

Does Your Enneagram Personality Type Change During Your Life?

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.

Enneagram Test Format

The Enneagram personality test is an online series of questions that ask for a response on a five-point range of ‘accurate’ 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 Is the 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.

What Careers Are Suited to Each Enneagram Personality Type?

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:

2. The Helper

Ideal careers for the Helper include:

3. The Achiever

Ideal careers include the following:

  • Attorney
  • Agent
  • Entrepreneur
  • Marketing director
  • CEO

4. The Individualist

Ideal careers include:

  • Therapist
  • Graphic designer
  • Artist
  • Author
  • Social media manager

5. The Investigator

Ideal careers for the Investigator include:

  • App or game designer
  • Researcher
  • Scientist
  • Engineer
  • Analyst

6. The Loyalist

Ideal careers include the following:

7. The Enthusiast

Ideal careers for this personality type include:

  • Travel writer
  • Actor
  • Photographer
  • Content creator
  • Chef

8. The Challenger

Ideal careers for the Challenger personality include:

9. The Peacemaker

Peacemaker ideal careers include:

  • Therapist
  • Human resources manager
  • Mediator
  • Social worker
  • Teacher

For more information on career choice, read What Career Is Right For Me?.

Where Can You Take an Enneagram Test?

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


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 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).

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.

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