Self-discovery can be found in a lot of places: religion, meditation, a solo trek through the Andes.
Luckily, it can also be found on the internet. There are almost as many quizzes, tests and questionnaires online devoted to deciphering the Complex Wonder that is You online as there are kitten gifs and ads for Horny Wives In You Area, meaning understanding yourself is only a few clicks – and occasionally a modest subscription fee – away.
But which are worthwhile, and which are a waste of time? As ever, Esquire is on hand to sort the scams from the savants, paving the way for true self-enlightenment. Jump in.
1 | What Your Politics Really Are
“A man who is not a liberal at 16 has no heart. A man who is not a conservative at 60 has no head.”
So said Benjamin Disraeli / Winston Churchill / your grumpy Granddad (no one can quite decide who). The point is, for most people, political convictions are something that change over time.
By testing how much you agree with various statements – some relatively straight forward (‘Possessing marijuana for personal use should not be a criminal offence’), some a little more challenging (‘People with serious inheritable disabilities should not be allowed to reproduce’) – the Political Compass plots where you on a scale of Stalin to Ghandi. Check back every few years to see if your own inevitable lurch to the right is on course.
2 | What Personality Type Are You
The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator is probably the most famous – and strongly contested – personality test in the world. It uses four indexes – Introverted or Extrovered (I/E), Intuitive or Sensing (N/S), Thinking or Feeling (T/F), and Perceiving or Judging (P/J) – to fit you into one of sixteen possible personalities. This well-designed version of the test is the best online. Esquire is a ‘Protagonist’, apparently. Could be worse.
3 | How Smart You Are
Esquire spent a migraine-inducing couple of hours trying out the plethora of free online tests that claim to tell you your IQ, and weren't terribly convinced. Then we grudging handed over $4.99 (£3.33) to try the official test used by the International High IQ Society – who sound about as much fun as the Real Ale Society, but hey – and realised this was the real deal. You have 30 minutes to answer 40 questions, which involves identifying the correct missing pattern in a sequence. At the end you not only get your score but a series of helpful charts explaining where you come on the line between 'mentally deficienct' and 'gifted'. And no, we're not sharing.
4 | Who You Find Attractive
This admittedly pointless test is nevertheless fun as it involves everyone’s favourite pastime: looking at strangers and deciding whether they’re hot or not. The result purports to tell you which race, age and physical attributes you find most attractive, as if you don’t know that already.
5 | How Emotionally Intelligent You Are
Can you tell a grimace from a grin? Reading facial expressions is, according to this test, an accurate measure of whether you’re emotionally in tune with others or utterly oblivious to anyone’s feelings but your own. Surprisingly difficult. Or maybe that’s just us.
5 | What Your Sexuality Is
In 1948, sexologist Alfred Kinsey (later depicted by a decidedly non-Taken like Liam Neeson in 2004 film Kinsey) devised a simple test to see where you fall on the spectrum between hetero and homosexuality, claiming:
“Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats... The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects.”
It only takes a minute, and who knows, it might open up a whole new world for you.
7 | What You Should Do With Your Life
Like IQ tests, there is no shortage of online quizzes designed to tell you what career you’d be best suited to. Sokanu is one of the best, using a sophisticated algorithm and encompassing a broad range of possible outcomes. Looks nice, too. Most of the features require signing up and paying, but you can get some suggestions based on your work-based preferences for free. See ours above, and note neither 'journalist' nor 'online quiz researcher' gets a look in.