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How to Use Self-Assessments to Help with College Applications

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Discovering who you are is essential to figuring out what college or career path is best for you. Before we look at what your options have to offer, you need to understand what to look for. For example, you can't answer, "does this path match my values?" if you don't know what your values are! If you're having trouble getting started, you can ask a close friend or family member who knows you well. How would they describe you? Just be sure that you only use their answers as a starting point. After all, you know yourself best. Here are a couple of areas you can dive into to explore your interests, passions, values, strengths, and talents. Understanding who you are is an important aspect of the college process and writing your essays, but other tips can be found with this article on writing personal statements and college essay examples.

Self-Reflection Checklist ✅

Budgeting Your Values 💳

This personal assessment asks you to decide how much money you would be willing to pay for various items.

Click here to access the pdf. Pick the three items with the highest amount of money you said you would be willing to spend. Then identify what value they represent:

  • 1 and 16: Justice
  • 2 and 17: Humanitarianism
  • 3 and 18: Recognition
  • 4 and 19: Achievement
  • 5 and 21: Wisdom
  • 6 and 22: Honesty
  • 7 and 23: Autonomy
  • 8 and 24: Material Wealth
  • 9: Power
  • 10 and 25: Love
  • 11: Aesthetics
  • 12: Physical Attractiveness
  • 13: Health and Physical Well-Being
  • 26: Emotional Well-Being
  • 20: Pleasure
  • 14 and 27: Knowledge
  • 15: Meaning

Finally, start thinking of what careers might match those values! For example, are your top values Justice and Meaning? Maybe a career in law would align with those. Whatever values you come up with, think of careers that could possibly satisfy those, and explore them.

Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment 🤓

The Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment is a great way to get to know yourself. Not only does it ask questions that are great for prompting high-quality introspection, but the results can also tell you a lot about yourself. It's important to use these results to analyze not only your strengths but also your weaknesses. What you learn from this test could influence your future career choices.

Click here to take the test. A quick 11-minute video explaining the test

Ask Yourself Important Questions 💭

Sit down with yourself for a while for some quality me-time! Find out your answers to these questions and think about what those answers mean for you. Bonus points if you think of extra questions!

  • What words would best describe you?
  • If you had to describe yourself in one or two sentences, what would you say?
  • What is your favorite subject in school and why?
  • What problem do you feel passionate about solving and why?
  • What do you enjoy doing so much that time seems to stand still?
  • What do you enjoy doing naturally and effortlessly?
  • What do you want to be known for?
  • What is something you could talk about for hours?
  • How do you define success?

Next Steps and Understanding Who You Are 🤔

Now that you have a better idea of who you are, what experiences might you want to have this school year? Remember, don't be afraid to try new things! For example, if, by doing these exercises, you realize you're interested in knowing how to help animals, try looking for an animal shelter where you can volunteer and start gaining insight and experience on that interest. So take a step toward your goals and interests. You never know what unique experience might turn into a life-long passion. Make sure to check out these resources for career planning and how to find the right career for you to learn more about opportunities you can take.


Guide Outline


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