Another standardized test you can take

You need to take the SAT, ACT, or both for college admissions, but there's another test you should consider taking for yourself. It's called the Myers-Briggs. The first thing a professional would point out is that the Myers-Briggs is an "instrument," not a test. There aren't It's a way of gauging and categorizing personality.

To get a true, certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, you need to go to a certified professional who can give a full inventory and discuss the results with you. However, there are a number of free diagnostics online you can use to get a feel for your personality type, like this one.

The result you get is a series of four letters.

The first is either E, for extroversion, or I, for introversion. It indicates how you relate to others in your own interior self. If you have a strong I indicator, you might consider reading Susan Cain's bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking.

The second letter is either S, for sensing, or N, for intuition. It indicates how you like to process information.

The third letter is T, for thinking, or F, for feeling. It has to do with how you make decisions.

The last letter is J, for judging, or P, for perceiving. It shows how you do things in the world.

So you end up with a type, like INFJ, which is my personality type. Usually. More on that a little bit below.

So now that you know your personality type, so what? What's it good for? The main reason I like people to take this test is for pure self-knowledge and self-analysis. To go through the exercise is to remind yourself that the way you do things isn't the only way. It's a reminder that your way of doing things may feel "right" to you, but it's not the only right way out there. It's a way to stop and think about yourself and how you make decisions. That in itself is worth a whole lot. Apply with Sanity believes that self-knowledge is the best kind if knowledge (but an INFJ would say that, wouldn't he). 

Personality tests like these are also good for understanding others. It's a reminder to introverts that extroverts are acting completely normal...for extroverts. It's a way to understand why some people want to use their feelings more than basic facts to make decisions. It's a way to understand who you're dealing with. A good friend of mine asks people their Myers-Briggs type as part of her basic "get to know you questions."

Lots of employers use Myers-Briggs types to facilitate team-building and group work. According to to this article in Forbes, about 80% of Fortune 100 companies administer or use Myers-Briggs in some way.

I encourage you to explore your personality type. But before you get too into it, there are some things to keep in mind:

  * It only goes so far. Not all the people in the world fit neatly into one of 16 types. In fact, none of them fit neatly into one of 16 types.

  * You can influence the outcome. Especially if you're using a short, do-it-yourself quiz, the results rely on your input. And your input can be flawed. The first time I took a Myers-Briggs-type test, I was 13. Like a lot of middle school students, I was in complete denial (or maybe it was panic?) about being quiet and shy. So I answered the questions in a way that showed me to be Extroverted, even though I am about as Introverted as they come. Make sure you're doing it as well as you can.

  * The test and its development has a bit of a racist, sexist, secretive past

  * Your type isn't set in stone. When it comes to the middle two indicators, I'm usually in the middle. So depending on my mood, what I've been working on, and which test I take, I can have a number of different results. I'm usually INFJ, but some days I'm more ISTJ. That doesn't make the test useless, though. To know that I'm flexible in my thinking but ALWAYS introverted is really good for me to know.

Please share this with someone who will enjoy it. Thanks for reading.

[Myer-Briggs Type Indicator is a registered trademark of The Myers & Briggs Foundation. Apply with Sanity has no relationship with them. The Myers & Briggs Foundation does not endorse or represent Apply with Sanity in any way, nor vice-versa.]