What’s the Best Enneagram Test?
What is the most accurate Enneagram test, you ask? I get asked that fairly often. I don’t know if it’s a question that can be definitively answered, really. How do you measure “best” or “most accurate” when it comes to something that ends up being so personal?
Is the Enneagram test accurate? While test creators surely do their best to create reliable tests, accuracy on the part of the test-taker is also required. You need to be totally honest with your answers; respond to the questions as you actually are, not as you’d like to be or with the answer you think is “right.” So, there’s a sense in which the test is as accurate as the answers you give.
Do You Need to Take an Enneagram Test?
What I can say is that the test from the Enneagram Institute has been scientifically validated. It’s called the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI for short) and it cost $12; you can get it here (and read more about it below). I confess that I haven’t taken it, though, because I discovered my type from reading a book. Which leads us to…
That’s possibly a better question. We here in the West tend to have a right-brained way of looking at things, and we assume that a test will give us the answers we’re looking for and is the best way to go. But I discovered my type while reading a book on the Enneagram – I recognized my patterns immediately. I’m a Riso-Hudson Certified Enneagram Teacher, and I’ve still never taken a test. Didn’t need to.
But I know that for others, it isn’t so easy. So, you can take a paid test. Or take several free tests and see if you get the same answer from each one. You can read a book, or several; there are a lot of good books on the Enneagram types these days. Here’s a list of my current favorites. I say “current” because new books are popping up all the time, including several stacked on my book shelf that I haven’t read yet!
You can also take an Enneagram workshop or class. If there aren’t any in your area, look online. Speaking of online, I recommend the type panel videos from Beatrice Chestnut on YouTube. These panels bring together a group of people of the same type, giving you a good idea from the horse’s mouth of what each type is like. Watching these panels can help you recognize yourself and find your type.
It may be possible to join a local Enneagram group. I’m a big fan of this option, as it helps you learn about different types based on who’s in the group AND gives you a group of people to walk out your journey toward your true self with. I couldn’t find such a group in my area, so I created my own. You can build or attend a video-based (i.e. Zoom) Enneagram group online, too.
How Does the Enneagram Test Work?
These tests are developed in various ways. Of course, they’re all geared to quickly sort through the nine types – but they have different approaches. Some ask behavior-based questions alone. The Enneagram Institute’s QUEST (Quick Enneagram Sorting Test) uses the ingenious method of asking questions that point to your Center of Intelligence (Heart, Head or Gut) and to your Hornevian Group (assertive, withdrawn or dutiful). It’s so clever because each Enneagram type can only have one dominant Center of Intelligence and one dominant Hornevian Group. So, for instance, assertive social style + Head type = Type Seven. Withdrawn social style + Gut type = Type Nine.
You can find this test in the gold standard of Enneagram books, The Wisdom of the Enneagram (affiliate link). The authors say this test takes less than five minutes but has 70% accuracy. That’s compared to the RHETI, which takes about 45 minutes and is about 80% accurate. It uses 144 paired statements that you have to choose between.
How to Read Enneagram Test Results
Well, that depends on which test you take. They’ll present the results to you differently, depending on their methodology. One thing I like about the Enneagram Institute’s test is that it gives you your top three type scores. Now, if you have one type score that’s off-the-charts higher than the other top two, definitely look into that type first. But do make sure to look at all three. I have a friend who took this test and glanced at her top three types but only focused on one of them. Because some of the behaviors resonated, she planted her flag there – only to realize about a year later that she wasn’t that type at all!
So then, you may be wondering…
Why Take the Enneagram Test?
Well, as I noted above, some of the tests will give you the top three types you rank for. That likely narrows your search down by two-thirds! (Nine types goes down to three options.) This can be helpful at first for people who aren’t sure yet that they want to invest a lot of time and effort into learning the whole Enneagram system. Finding your type quicker is a good thing, then. It validates the accuracy of the system and will likely encourage you to dig deeper for yet more insights.
Ultimately, the best Enneagram test to take is the one that will spark your enthusiasm to learn more about this unique and uncannily accurate behavioral model. Because the Enneagram isn’t about which number you “are.” You’re not a number; you’re a human being stuck at a certain point [number], and the Enneagram helps you get unstuck. This enables you to get emotionally healthier, have better relationships, achieve goals, fulfill a greater measure of your God-given destiny, become more compassionate – and on and on! The benefits of self-understanding are immeasurable, and if it starts with a test for you, then by all means, take that test.
Want more information on the Enneagram? Check out my blog post, The Enneagram: A Complete Guide to the Basics.
Quick Start Guide to Centering Prayer
This short guide gives you the essentials for learning to be still and quiet before God so you can hear his voice and feel his love in a deeper way.