What is the Big Five Test?

What is the Big Five Test?

The Big Five Test is a tool that measures the characteristics of people in different situations. According to many researchers, five trait dimensions determine our personality makeup. 

So, what is the Big Five Test used for, or what does the Big Five personality test measure? What theory was the Big Five test based on? Does the Big Five personality test give accurate information about your personality? Keep reading this article to learn the answers.

Have you ever looked at someone and wondered why they act in a particular way? Or do you think you are different from the majority of your friends? For instance, a shy and reserved person will unlikely be motivated by parties and functions.

Similarly, an extrovert will have challenges thriving in a work environment where socialisation is highly restricted. When our personality doesn't fit into a particular social group, we get frustrated and overwhelmed. It makes you start questioning yourself and wonder if something is wrong. Why am I different from others? How do I relate to different people?

Fortunately, the Big Five personality can help you address these questions. You can use the Big Five personality quiz or test to determine your most essential characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. That allows you to know your place in the world with awareness of your characteristics. 

For example, educationists and parents can use the Big Five personality test to determine students' future careers. Besides, recruiters can use the Big Five personality test to find candidates with the right skill set for their roles. What psychological theory is it based on if the Big Five test is truly beneficial?

What is the Big Five Personality Test Theory Based on?

The Big Five Personality test theory is based on the work of some independent researchers. These researchers seem convinced that one can narrow down humans' whole personality into five dimensions encompassing many descriptive words. The five trait dimensions the model measures are:

  • Openness: This describes how open and enthusiastic a person is to experiences
  • Conscientiousness: How organised, focused, determined, and goal-driven you are.
  • Extraversion: Extraversion talks about people who are social, outgoing, and thrilled by the outside world.
  • Agreeableness: How much a person puts others' interests and needs above theirs.
  • Neuroticism: How a person responds to stress and negative emotions.

One of the reasons the Big Five personality test is accepted widely is because of the accuracy of its result. Unlike other tests, the Big Five measures your traits on a continuum. That is, you can score low, high, or average but not particularly dominant in one trait.

Many of the famous Big Five personality tests give you a score for each of the five personality traits. That means you can tell if you score higher or lower than other test-takers. Then, it lets you know how you perform compared to others who have taken the test. For example, let's assume the following is your score for the Big Five personality test:

Openness: 85

Conscientiousness: 90

Extraversion: 30

Agreeableness: 89

Neuroticism: 20

For some Big Five tests, the numbers are the percentage of people who scored lower than you for each trait. In Openness, 85 percent of people who took the test scored lower than you. That means you are more open to new ideas and experiences than 85% of the people who took the test. With a 20 percent score in Neuroticism, you are less likely to respond to stress with negative emotions.

After taking the Big Five test online, what next? What can you do with the result? How can you use the information in your personal and career life?

Importance of the Big Five Test Result

The Big Five test result generally helps you take the right direction in life. Career choice is one area the Big Five test result can be helpful. It can help you narrow down your career choices and determine if you are in the proper role. 

For example, if you hate that your job demands pressure and meeting many people, and you scored low on extraversion, that might explain why you struggle with keeping up with the pressure at your workplace. Your result can help you find jobs that fit your personality better. Also, you will be able to demand other things you feel will help you perform excellently during job interviews. 

You don't need to leave your present organisation before finding a suitable role. You can renegotiate new terms to help you and your company achieve your goals. Moreover, employers can use the Big Five test and other recruitment tests to find suitable candidates for the advertised roles.

Another area that the Big Five test has proved helpful is in education. Students come from different families, backgrounds, and environments which have helped in shaping their unique personalities. Being in the midst of others might be surreal for them at first, but a Big Five test can help them realise their potential, improve their academic performance, and relate better with classmates. It also allows teachers to identify suitable teaching strategies and learning styles.

Meanwhile, a personality test for students is not to outcast them or segregate them. Instead, it helps parents, teachers, and educational counsellors discover students' strengths and developmental needs.


The Big Five test measures your personality using five trait dimensions: Openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and Neuroticism. The test offers many advantages, such as helping you understand your nature and the roles that suit you. Also, recruiters can use it to match candidates' personalities to the right job positions. 

Finally, it helps students understand themselves, relate better with their classmates, and discover their potentials, strengths, and weaknesses. Teachers can also formulate better teaching approaches to improve academic performance.

Looking to understand your personality in more depth? Why not take our 
Big 5 Personality Test.