Fans of do-it-yourself psychological evaluations have long been enamored of the enneagram, a personality test that categorizes people into one of nine groups depending on their answers to a standardized psychological test. There are a number of variants on the test, which has been adopted as a tool for self-analysis by people working in many psychological and spiritual traditions. In this article I will explain the enneagram model, discuss how it is believed to provide some insight into a person’s nature, and show you several places to take enneagram tests online and get results for free.
The word “enneagram” is a composite of the Greek words for nine (ennéa) and written or drawn (grámma). The enneagram is presented a psychological model of the mind, which is said in the theory to have nine interconnected but distinct personality types. There are disputes about the history of the enneagram as a concept, but it is thought to have derived from the teachings of Oscar Ichazo (a psychologist) and Claudio Naranjo (a psychiatrist) beginning around the 1950s. The nine different personality types (sometimes labeled “enneatypes”) are conceptualized as being the points of a nine-pointed geometric shape.
Although its origin lies in the work of orthodox psychologists and psychiatrists, the enneagram is not generally widely accepted within the world of scientific psychology. Critics note that the interpretation of the results can be so vague that anyone’s personality can be seen as falling into any of the nine categories, and point to the absence of clinical validation of any objective findings from the test. Proponents of the test, which is widely used in both spiritual practices and in a business-development context, say that it presents insights into workplace dynamics and a person’s mental welfare and state of being, and that the process of interpreting the test can aid in self-awareness.
It should be noted that there are numerous different interpretation systems for the enneagram, and the systems are not always consistent. However, the interpretation of enneagram results is itself more or less the point of the process, so thinking about your results in one system or the other will always have the potential to provide insight, regardless of what system you are using.
According to our trusted enneagram source, the nine basic personality types are:
- Reformer – The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic
- Helper – The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive
- Achiever – The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious
- Individualist – The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental
- Investigator – The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated
- Loyalist – The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious
- Enthusiast – The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered
- Challenger – The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational
- Peacemaker – The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent
The enneagram test (there are several different versions) asks you questions about your personality and how you react to things in daily life. The test scores your various answers and assigns you to one of the nine types. Once you know your type, you are better equipped to know what kinds of situations you are well-equipped to deal with, and what kinds of situations are going to be problematic for you. The types also predict which other types you will find to be compatible life or work partners, and which types are likely to be antagonistic to you.
Free Enneagram Tests Online
There are a lot of different enneagram tests available online, and I’ve selected a good sampling of them for your information. These sites are all free, although some will request an e-mail address to send your results to, and of course you know they’re going to send you marketing emails after that. Remember that in taking the tests, you want to answer honestly, not with how you wish you actually behave and think. The tests can only give you meaningful results if you’re honest with yourself.
Eclectic Energies has two enneagram tests you can take on their website. The first is the classic test to discover your main personality type. The second is designed to discover your subtype and dig a little deeper. Both are worth trying. Both tests are easy to do and relatively fast. The first will stop asking you questions when it has a good enough idea of what you are. The second only has a few questions anyway.
Enneagramtest.net does exactly what you would think it does. It’s a quick online enneagram test that asks similar questions to the first one but won’t give you the results until you surrender an email address. Aside from that annoyance, the test is pretty good. Much shorter than Eclectic Energies but delivers very similar results. The questions are short and to the point and initially I did not believe they would deliver the same results as more in-depth tests. But it did, and that makes it worth checking out.
Enneagram User Guide
Enneagram User Guide also offers a free test online and it’s not bad either. It’s a better looking site than some of these others but has ads. Aside from that, the test is actually one of four available. The basic personality test, a dominant type test, wings and center test and variant test. Each test is constructed well but has one question per page. This can make completing the test long and laborious. The site isn’t the quickest to load so prepare to have to spend some time entering your answers!
The TrueSelf App is a longer test, taking about ten minutes to complete, but is well worth the effort, as it is one of the more rigorously scored tests and gives a more in-depth dive in to the types. Try it for yourself if you have the patience!
Your Enneagram Coach
Your Enneagram Coach is another free enneagram test that demands your name and email address before it gives you the results, but is an in-depth test nonetheless. It’s framed differently than these others, putting the enneagram (which can work well with any spiritual tradition) into an explicitly Christian framing. It asks the same type of questions as the other assessments, with a simple True or False answer. While it has 54 questions, I had them done in under 2 minutes. It was annoying that your results are then held hostage by the requirement to enter your name and email address, especially as there was no mention at the beginning. If you’re OK with that, this is worth doing.
That wraps up our guide to the best enneagram tests online. Which did you find best on our list? Are you a true believer in enneagrams, or do you prefer to just use them for fun? Let us know in the comments below!