I used to do the quizzes in Jackie magazine when I was teenager. They were generally pretty disappointing because I could usually see where they were heading while I was doing it. I would decide what sort of person I wanted to be that day and tick accordingly.
A few years ago the rage was Facebook quizzes. You got all sorts of smart alecs dreaming up ridiculous quizzes to amuse the gallery - What sort of Dalek are you? (Lethal/Rogue/Awaiting repairs), and so on. You'd actually learn nothing but it passed the time, as with most stuff on Facebook which is the greatest time-waster known to man. Twitter comes a close second, followed by looking for smart phone apps...
Some people get to do in-depth quizzes when they apply for jobs and I suppose it can be quite enlightening to discover that you are not at all kitted out mentally to do the job you're applying for and should be a lighthouse keeper instead. That's what the careers advice quiz at university told me I should try as a job anyway. Maybe it was right too as I certainly failed to pass the Foreign Office exams having forgotten all my O'Level maths.
Those were the days when I was young and didn't have a clue about myself. It took another twenty years before the light switched on upstairs. I suppose I should have tried to do more quizzes, but in the end it was good ol' experience that saved the day. Only by living your life do you in fact learn how to answer the questions.
Still, there's always room for improvement, and I was intrigued to try out a quiz that my DB sent me the other day. It's called Via Me and is a pretty serious organisation from the look of their website. They maintain that if you can discover your strengths, you'll be able to realise your potential in all of your relationships.
"Your character strengths are already within you, but isolating and identifying those strengths can be complicated, confusing and incredibly time-consuming. The VIA Me! Character Strengths Profile is designed to help you easily discover the strengths you already have and gain deeper insight into what makes you who you are."Now I don't think for a minute that even a serious quiz can cut through decades of experience, but it's always nice to have one's ideas confirmed about oneself. So I tried the quiz, all 240 questions of it. I got my free character assessment which identified my five main strengths. It takes about half an hour to do, so way more than your average Facebook Dalek quiz, but is a lot more illuminating.
This was my score:
Your Top Character Strength: Love of learning
You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.
Your Second Character Strength: Curiosity
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.
Your Third Character Strength: Love
You value close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated. The people to whom you feel most close are the same people who feel most close to you.
Your Fourth Character Strength: Honesty
You are an honest person, not only by speaking the truth but by living your life in a genuine and authentic way. You are down to earth and without pretense; you are a "real" person.
Your Fifth Character Strength: Self-Regulation
You self-consciously regulate what you feel and what you do. You are a disciplined person. You are in control of your appetites and your emotions, not vice versa.
If you pay you can find out about all the minor strengths too, don't know about weaknesses (You are a lying conniving bitch. You do not have any friends. Everyone hates you), but I decided not to spoil things... You can have a go here. I was quite happy with my results and relieved I hadn't got myself wrong all these years.