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About 4 years ago when I first discovered enneagram, I tested as a 9 and I as soon as I read the description for it, I put enneagram aside for along time. Why? Because 9 did not sit down well with me.
I went back to enneagram about a year ago and again tested as a 9. So I read into it and understood some points that where sort of me, but then went into 'confirmation bias mode' and was entirely convinced I was a 9, even though I wasn't entirely at peace.

I continued to do the tests and at times tested as a 1, 4, 5, 7 & 8. Yup I may have over killed on the testing!

It wasn't until I started noticing the people around me and their types. It clicked when I sat next to an enneagram 9 for several weeks at work, that I realised I was very clearly not a 9.

Sooo...how did I come to the conclusion I was a 6? Because it was the only enneagram I avoided getting to know well and when I finally decided to be open and learn about the 6, the unhealthy traits of a 6 where screaming at me and my troubled youth, whilst learning the more healthy sides of a counterphobic 6 makes me feel so much more at peace.

My question is ... how reliable are these test?

Did you figure it out yourself, or have based your type by an online test?
 

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I have tried a lot of online tests during many years too (including payed ones) and allways tested high on few types which later showed out to be my tritype or at least a wing, so to some extent they are reliable - but it is not so hard to see more possibilities in yourself even without test, so it's questionable whether it's really helpful somehow in finding your core and eliminating other options.

There is also a risk of seeing thru questions, so I personally think at some point it becomes meaningless to try new tests - questions will start to be predictable, especially if you are really interested in this system and you have read a lot about it. Therefore I would say the most reliable results on tests are for someone who knows verry little about Enneagram theory and who tried just two or three tests ideally during longer period of time.

I am still not sure which is my core type myself, those core results varied a lot which each test. The only consistent result in probably every test I ever took was Enneagram type 8 last. I wonder if there is some correlation with last and most used enneagram strategy...?
 

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In a nutshell, I think the online tests play matchmaker between how you see yourself right now, and what the test thinks a type looks like to an outsider. The intended outcome is that you take the test not knowing what you are, and walk away with a type description that you think fits you well. The tests, as well as kitschy type descriptions entirely overlook the Inquiry that is required to intimately understand Enneagram types. I really do believe if you want to get the type of result a test can provide, you might as well just google type descriptions and choose one you aspire to be like, or think you fit. The tests cannot expose hidden defensive postures, nor can they push us to ask difficult questions of ourselves. They don't provide any credible extension of your own self-impressions - which, ironically, the Enneagram warns us (at Types 2, 3, and 4) are subject to being lies we tell ourselves anyway.

I just find it so blissfully ironic that the Enneagram was designed in part to encourage objective self observation and "inner work" - while Enneagram tests are designed to tell you which vague type you fit, from the POV of someone who's on the outside of both your type and the types themselves. It's work we have to do for ourselves.

One reason I absolutely disdain Enneagram tests (as well as many questionnaires) is that I feel strongly that your experience as an Enneagram type is highly personal, and that the real fruits of the tool cannot be standardized, or addressed by a test. Although yes, all 6's for example should share common issues of having the extreme 6-like bias - each 6 is going to have experienced 6-ness through very different life circumstances, and these experiences are critical to "keying in" what is and has remained 6-like about that 6's childhood and more recent past.

A second thing I disdain - there is an art to listening to people talk about their past, pushing them to inquire further into the "why's" of it, guiding them to focus on the habits themselves (not the type it may be part of), and allowing the type to naturally surface that requires a human being to steer. A test cannot sense times when, for example, thinking about or recalling something causes someone to feel tense or uncomfortable - and it certainly cannot push them to investigate these thoughts further let alone expose which Fear, Passion, or Defense is generating the discomfort. And we all acknowledge here that Fears and Defense Mechanisms are crucial to enneatype.
 

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@11times

I think all the online tests do is narrow things down, then you have to do some homework and eliminate the rest.

I took the tests and always got head type, sometimes 7 sometimes 5. Going over it with actual Enneagram experts in the field, I'm a 5w6 So/Sx 584.
 

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My question is ... how reliable are these test?
Personally, before I get into any new typology system, I take quizzes first to help me narrow things down. I learned that I am definitely not a 2, 7, or 8. And likely not 1. So it's helpful in that case. Now I just take them for fun. When you know too much about enneagram, you can pretty much manipulate any test into getting the types that you want, so they'd be much less reliable after a while.

Also, tests are too fucking stereotypical. They're all really similar and have really similar questions, and only go over the basic stuff. This is a bad thing especially because some types can be poorly described. For instance, I don't tend to score highly on 6 or 9 because I don't relate to the 6 "reliable and loyal" descriptors, or the 9 "fear of separation." Instead, I score highly on 5, since I'm an analytical introvert.

Did you figure it out yourself, or have based your type by an online test?
I think that it would be ridiculous for anyone to base their type on an online test. To figure out my type, I did some reading and I have also had other people type me. I've done many questionnaires, but I don't find them much helpful either. Instead I've preferred talking with people who are interested in enneagram, answer their own questions and ask some of my own. That way you can talk about more stuff that is personal to you. I agree that it can be helpful to compare yourself to others who exemplify their types, and it's also a good way to better your enneagram knowledge so you can type yourself more accurately.
 

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I learned my type because of other people who knew about the enneagram, not because of an online test. (And that kind of makes sense because I'm a 9...)

The tests just confused me and made me hate the system. I hated how there was one specific weakness and one specific focus for every type, and I rejected that a person could be doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again with no hope of improvement.

Outside the test, my friend said I seemed like a 9 to him. I opened my mind a bit and found descriptions of Type 9 that were not about idleness and indecisiveness (which I am prone to, but refuse to make part of my mental vocabulary towards myself. I don't want it to define me.) but were instead about finding harmony and unity, which I was happy to relate to. Friendly people on the forum helped me figure out that I have an 8 wing.

Online tests are nice because they can get your journey started. Maybe they can work if you have a clear view of how other people see you vs. how you see yourself ...and if you know your one strength and one weakness right off the bat and are willing to acknowledge it...

I like the descriptions at enneagraminstitute.com, but I still haven't found enneagram descriptions that I feel are complete enough.
 
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Sooo...how did I come to the conclusion I was a 6?
The way you recognized your type is soo sixish. :happy:



My question is ... how reliable are these test?

Did you figure it out yourself, or have based your type by an online test?
The tests aren't reliable since they are solely behaviorist. And they don't take the instinctual variant into account which I learned is a significant factor.

Every test I took brought me consistent results in the head center, mostly 5 and sometimes 6, seldom 7 and gave me a hint. But tests don't offer any valuable information or insights. You don't get to understand how the psychological mechanism functions for each type. So I bought the Riso Hudson's Wisdom of the Enneagram and found the illustrations of the energy directions and the childhood pattern description helpful.
 

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About 4 years ago when I first discovered enneagram, I tested as a 9 and I as soon as I read the description for it, I put enneagram aside for along time. Why? Because 9 did not sit down well with me.
I went back to enneagram about a year ago and again tested as a 9. So I read into it and understood some points that where sort of me, but then went into 'confirmation bias mode' and was entirely convinced I was a 9, even though I wasn't entirely at peace.

I continued to do the tests and at times tested as a 1, 4, 5, 7 & 8. Yup I may have over killed on the testing!

It wasn't until I started noticing the people around me and their types. It clicked when I sat next to an enneagram 9 for several weeks at work, that I realised I was very clearly not a 9.

Sooo...how did I come to the conclusion I was a 6? Because it was the only enneagram I avoided getting to know well and when I finally decided to be open and learn about the 6, the unhealthy traits of a 6 where screaming at me and my troubled youth, whilst learning the more healthy sides of a counterphobic 6 makes me feel so much more at peace.

My question is ... how reliable are these test?

Did you figure it out yourself, or have based your type by an online test?
They are more or less accurate. The thing is you pretty much have to use the test as a starting point, but in the end, to get a definitive answer regarding your type you have to simply see for yourself which matches you.

Now the best test I know of is this one: http://app.trueself.io/home/(enneagram-test:enneagram/questions)?testName=enneagramv2

When looking for type, I would recommend the following:

1. Do and redo tests. An average of the results should indicate you in the right direction, even if they are ultimately wrong.

2. Since we are here, read up on the experiences of people with different types. See which type are the people who describe experiences similar to yours.

3. Watch YouTube videos, again of people describing their own experiences and how they relate to their own type, not necessarily type descriptions, but stuff like personal descriptions of experiences or interviews.

4. You can simply create threads around here to tell people about yourself and they will try to type you. This is how I became sure of my types (both MBTI and Enneagram).
Strangers can see things about you you might not be aware of. Or (and this was what really made the difference for me) you could see what you're saying about yourself and suddenly things might become more clear to you. That's how I realised I was an ENTJ and not an INTJ, because of the words I used to describe my reaction to Fi compared to Se. Looking on the screen and seeing the words, it was clear to me that the reaction to Fi was stronger, like an instinctive visceral repulsion towards it, while Se was unpleasant, but more in a tedious sense. Se is a chore, while Fi is revolting. For Enneagram, reading a description of 8w9 by Tom Condon (you can find threads with his type descriptions around here) really clicked with me.

5. Talk to the people around you. Just like strangers, they might see things about you, you might not be aware of.

6. Last, but not least, see where all these methods intersect. When they point you in the same direction, you've found your type(s). Just like you, I started thinking I was different types (INTJ 1, INTJ 5, INFJ 1, etc.) and ended up sure of being an ENTJ 8w9. By the way, the wing of the Enneagram type really makes a difference. In my case, being an 8w9 I couldn't really relate to the 8 description, but once you take the wing into account it makes much more sense.
 

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^bad advice. they are somewhat misleading, or at least were for me. @Strelnikov

i am a 9... one of the key traits of 9 is that we don't have a strong self identity. OP herself states she 'was' a 9. therefore self reporting tests could be useless and will only mislead. although 4w3is part of my tritype which the test gave...but not main
Sorry to hear it didn't work for you... Neither of the methods I listed??? I was thinking that overall they would average out and indicate towards a certain type or at least point you in the right direction by removing a number of types as real possibilities. I assumed no method is fool proof by itself, but together they can provide a good indication.

The tests themselves are indeed iffy. But just like you mentioned I sometimes get results which are indeed part of my tritype (I'm 853), I tend to get 3 quite a lot, but I'm definitely not a 3. I do know a 3 and he's all about appearing to be something he's not. He has this Machiavellian/manipulative vibe. I'm often surprised why others don't detect this in him, it seems so obvious to me.
 

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Sorry to hear it didn't work for you... Neither of the methods I listed??? I was thinking that overall they would average out and indicate towards a certain type or at least point you in the right direction by removing a number of types as real possibilities. I assumed no method is fool proof by itself, but together they can provide a good indication.

The tests themselves are indeed iffy. But just like you mentioned I sometimes get results which are indeed part of my tritype (I'm 853), I tend to get 3 quite a lot, but I'm definitely not a 3. I do know a 3 and he's all about appearing to be something he's not. He has this Machiavellian/manipulative vibe. I'm often surprised why others don't detect this in him, it seems so obvious to me.
sorry i didn't read your post past the first part-i had taken this test, not the one you linked
https://similarminds.com/test.html

so maybe it depends on the test. the rest of your advice seems good to me. i was talking about my situation specifically-i am bad at being objective with myself, and pretty indecisive, so i struggle. the enneagram is a bit complicated so tests are not as black and white as mbti tests (which i also struggle with ha)
 

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sorry i didn't read your post past the first part-i had taken this test, not the one you linked
https://similarminds.com/test.html

so maybe it depends on the test. the rest of your advice seems good to me. i was talking about my situation specifically-i am bad at being objective with myself, and pretty indecisive, so i struggle. the enneagram is a bit complicated so tests are not as black and white as mbti tests (which i also struggle with ha)
The similarminds test is... not very good in my view. The one I linked is apparently made by Katherine Fauvre, I think I found the link on a site connected to her... something like that. She's the one who came up with the tritype concept, so I trust her test more than the others. And it did work for me. It even had (not sure if it has anymore) a section where they would ask you some questions to use the answers to calibrate the test, to refine the test's understanding of the differences between the types. I really liked that, it showed they really tried to make it as accurate as possible.

I also mentioned getting the opinion of others, they might see you more objectively and reveal to you things you might not be aware of. I'm also bad at being objective (though not with myself) if I don't have some unit of measurement. Listening to others, both friends and acquaintances... it's always a revelation for me. I thought I was an introvert for a very long time and I was really surprised when a coworker (ISFJ 2w1) told me she thought I was an extrovert and she was sure of it. Turns out she was right.

I'm also a perfectionist regarding some things... So how perfectionistic do I have to be or about how many things in order to be sure I'm a type 1? Things that seem normal and obvious to me, apparently are extraordinary in the eyes of others. So for a long time, I didn't really see myself as an 8, since the descriptions would have you believe we're something like barbarians from the steppe. Yes, I am more combative than the average person, but I don't fight everything and everyone I see. Actually, most of the time, I don't fight anything and just chill.
 

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I started with an online quiz for enneagram and got 6 or 5. I later found some ennagram books and took the quizzes in the books, but the results from the book for me was completely unrelatible and made no sense. So I did research on my own and read descriptions that have been posted mainly on this forum and I was able to determine that I'm 5w6. When I learned about tritype I isolated down to what that would be as well. 549 or 594
I think the way the tests were phrased were focusing on the wrong things to be applicable to me.
There are a few stereotypes that I've seen about 5 that I can't relate to, but the essence of 5 is definitely relatable and makes the most sense.

In my personal experience, many of the online tests happened to work well in typing me, but I assume that it may not work the same for everyone.
 

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My interest in enneagram is older than internet :nightmare:, and for the longest time I wasn't aware that enneagram tests even existed.

I found my type reading enneagram books, and I'm still partial to that method. Online tests have to make so many shortcuts (to remain reasonable in length) that even small details can throw off the outcome, and nobody ever fits the type descriptions 100 %. A good enneagram book gives you so much more material to process that it's easier to see the big picture and identify more with one type than the others. Of course this requires willingness and ability to analyze your own motivations, fears and shortcomings somewhat objectively, but I'm assuming that if a person really is interested in personality typing, that's not an unpleasant task.

I have no doubt that I'm a Five, but the online tests have also given me all kinds of other results. In my case the details that derail the test often have to do with the fact that even though I'm an introvert, I'm an open person, opinionated and a quick to react - not the classic type Five who only opens their mouth when they're sure that pearls of wisdom will come out.
 

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In my opinion not at all, they usually have an inaccurate idea of what types are about that's based mostly on outward personality some people of X type exhibit, they don't go into underlying motivations and general way of thinking and being and such that really make the type.
Even if you get the correct type, things tests use to type you as that type barely scratch the surface of what it really means to be that type.
 

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All self-report tests fail when the test taker doesn't have a realistic perception of themselves.
I agree. That's one of the reasons why I prefer the method of reading about different types and then making up your mind. If you're very bad at looking at yourself objectively, at first you probably don't feel like any of the types really mach, as none of them are very straightforward or only positive and without embarrassing flaws. If forces you to think deeper, whereas a test will give you an instant result anyway.
 

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So, I used to get 4 on tests pretty consistently, years back. Which was during a time when I was depressed and stayed inside a lot (no, I'm not saying that you'll only type as a 4 if you're depressed.) It was when I slowly started becoming more social that I was typed via questionnaires on here as a 6, and then later, actually scoring as a 6 on tests. I haven't gotten 4 since.

This could all mean a number of things. But my take on this is, if you're taking the test while in a certain state of mind that you might be dwelling on, your results might reflect that. I found questionnaires to be more helpful, I guess because rather than having predetermined responses to the answers I gave like a test would, someone who's listening to you will probably have responses that are more personalized. This of course depends on whether or not the one who's listening truly knows anything about the theory. Still, I prefer that approach for that reason.

There are other ways to try to find your type, such as studying up on the Hornevian + Harmonic groups. I won't go into all of that here because I think my post is long enough, I suggest looking them up if you're curious. But they helped make it clear to me that I wasn't any of the Assertive types (3, 7, and 8.) I also don't think I'm willingly socially withdrawn enough to be a 4 or a 5. I know that I almost constantly crave connection to something outside of myself, just on my own terms. So that narrowed it down to just 4 types I had to think about, and it was much easier from there. My guess is that a lot of people at least have a good idea of what they are NOT, once they understand the material. So as some others have said, I think fully understanding what each type is comprised of will likely make the process easier on a person.
 
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