About internet career/personality assessments
The Counseling Center offers two of the most widely-used assessments in the career counseling field—the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). They are taken on-line and are interpreted in an individual session with a counselor. The Counseling Center staff is professionally trained and experienced in providing quality interpretations.
Since the dawn of the internet age, we have seen numerous “tests” featured for free on various websites. Facebook, for example, offers an “MBTI-like” list of questions that will give you a “type” without costing a penny. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, unless you are relying on that information to make a major life decision—such as a career choice—and you need the information to be accurate and consistent. The problem with free internet “tests” is that you are not taking the “real” inventory and so the standards of reliability and validity—standards that are very important in the assessment industry—do not exist or are inadequately developed. What this means to you as a consumer is that you might not be able to trust that the results are truly valid.
Legitimate testing companies work diligently and invest heavily in research to establish rigorous testing standards that will ensure the user that his/her results are not by “chance” and are reliable. For example, if you took an assessment on more than one occasion and received different results, this might indicate that the instrument is not measuring very consistently.
So take that free assessment at your own risk and do NOT use it as the only evidence in making an important decision. Big decisions are best made when the data are accurate and come from several, varied sources.