FAQs

What is StrengthsQuest?
StrengthsQuest is a personality assessment inventory from the perspective of Positive Psychology. It is the first assessment instrument of this type developed expressly for the Internet. Over a secure connection, StrengthsQuest presents 177 questions to the participant. Each question consists of a pair of potential self-descriptors, such as "I read instructions carefully" versus "I like to jump right into things." The descriptors are placed as if anchoring polar ends of a continuum. The participant is then asked to choose from the pair the statement that best describes him or her, and also to what extent that chosen option is descriptive. The respondent is given 20 seconds to respond to a given pair of descriptors before the system moves on to the next pair.

After completion of the inventory, the results are calculated and the participant is provided with a list of their Top 5 Themes based on their answers.  Learning about these Themes is the first step toward learning how to excel in one’s personal, academic, and professional life by revealing ways to help the participant capitalize on skills and talents that come naturally to them.
What is a Strength?
A strength is the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance in a specific activity. The key to building a strength is to identify your dominant talents, then complement them by acquiring knowledge and skills pertinent to the activity.
What is the benefit of knowing my top 5 Strengths?
  • Interview Skills
  • Resume
  • Study skills
  • Leadership
  • Academics
  • Professional development
How do I find out my top 5 Strengths?
To learn more, visit one of the StrengthsQuest Homes here on campus.  For students, that includes the Counseling Department,  Student Development Initiatives, Career & Applied Learning Center, and the Learning Center.
Why does StrengthsQuest reveal only my Top Five Strengths?
The purpose of StrengthsQuest is to start you on the path to success by helping you discover your most dominant talents. Talents are the "raw materials" required for strengths development, and the more dominant the talents, the greater the opportunity for strength. The instrument measures the presence of talents - naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied - in 34 areas, or "themes." However, to provide focus on your most dominant talents, only your top five themes are revealed.
If I take StrengthsQuest a second time will my results be different?
Because talents are naturally enduring, it is unlikely that your talents will change significantly over the course of your life. However, by shifting your focus and acquiring new skills and knowledge to capitalize on your greatest talents in different ways, you can develop new strengths.

Personality research reveals that your talents are most unstable when you are a child, but when you become an adult, they are remarkably consistent. If you have prevalent Empathy talents as a young adult, in all likelihood, you will have prevalent Empathy talents at age 80. A Strategic teenager will be a Strategic senior.

Does this mean that you won't change during the course of your life? Of course not. You surely will change in some respects. Your values, the moral compass that focuses your life, will point you in different directions at age 20 than at age 60. Also, your self-awareness will deepen as you age, making you less defensive about your flaws and more sophisticated about where and how to apply your talents. But your essence - how you naturally feel, think, and behave - almost certainly will remain the same. As your life progresses, you more fully develop who you already are.
Can StrengthsQuest reveal whether I am in the right career path?
StrengthsQuest was designed for use in a purely developmental context. It is not designed to direct you into specific professions. Although certain themes do appear to be quite consistently dominant within certain professions, it would be wrong to say that a given profession requires dominant talents in certain themes. During our research, we discovered many individuals who were excelling in the same profession but who had very different top five themes.

The best way to use StrengthsQuest to guide your career is to closely examine your top five themes - and other themes you may claim among your most dominant - and figure out how to best capitalize on your talents in those themes in whatever role or profession you select.