The Signature Strength Test Reveals Your Top 5 Strengths, And They May Surprise You

As human beings we tend to focus on our personal negatives instead of looking at our strengths. By taking this signature strength test, designed at University of Pennsylvania, you can finally see what your strengths really are — and whether the ones you come up with match the ones that you might have guessed for yourself.

Created by the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, this website teaches people the concept of Positive Psychology, "the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive". It comes from the idea that we all want to have meaning life experiences and live up to our full potential weather it is in our personal or professional lives. By learning more about our positive traits and characteristics we can play them up and use them to further our personal growth. I have been exposed to this technique during job training in the past and I can comfortably say that I did in fact benefit tremendously. When I was in college, our Resident Adviser training included taking a similar test that calculated the strengths of myself and my fellow RAs. Some of us shared common traits and some didn't. The important thing was that we understood each other better and were also able to pair people up in order to work more efficiently. What I found to be the most helpful was the idea that you are not bad in a certain area, but that you are great in certain areas. This positive outlook made sure that the best traits were brought to the surface.

The founder of Positive Psychology is Dr. Martin Seligman. According to his bio, his goal is "to make people happier" and I find that mighty noble. He accomplishes this goal by creating this system for teachers, students, athletes and just normal folks like me and you. I ended up taking the signature strength test and learned some interesting facts about myself. Below are my results, thoughts, and comments on the test:

1. The Test Has A Lot Of Questions

I've taken standardized exams, so I'm used to long tests. But I've never taken such a comprehensive test about myself. There were 240 questions spread over 20 pages. Don't let this discourage you, because as most people know, in order to get accurate results you have to ask a lot of questions.

2. Format

This is multiple choice and you answer to the best of your ability. You are given five choices: Very Much Like Me, Like Me, Neutral, Unlike Me, Very Much Unlike Me.

3. Sample Question

These questions will start to seem repetitive after the first 30 but thats only because it is measuring you on 24 strengths a person possess. Be honest, or as honest as you can be about questions like this. I find that some are much easier to answer while other require a minute or two.

4. My Results

Once you have submitted all of your answers, your results page will pop up. The first five strengths are the ones you should be paying attention to, but they will provide you with a full list of them below. In order to delve deeper into each one you can purchase a separate book from a link they provide but that is totally optional.

5. Surprise

What I found to be the most surprising was that Humor and Playfulness was ranked at #5 when I felt that my answers to the questions dealing with that strength were the most solid. Turns out I am more honest than I am funny. That stings a little.

At the end of the day I was pretty happy with my results. I realized that what I value the most in other people is the exact trait that I am strongest in. That's always a nice surprise. I think more people should take this test and figure out their strengths. In a world of unknowns it's nice to finally get some answers.

Take the Signature Strength Test yourself by visiting their website here.

Images: Giphy (1), Pexels