Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Taking Tests on the WWW

By Devin D. O'Leary

FEBRUARY 16, 1998:  The Internet is supposed to be, in large part anyway, educational. Not only are there a raft of reference and research Web sites, but there are a handful of sites that actually allow you to participate in online schooling--lectures, discussions, tests, the whole shebang. I can't exactly enroll myself in one of these online universities, so I did the next best thing and went looking for various free tests that I could take on the World Wide Web. There are plenty--everything from personality to IQ to the perfect lipstick shade for you. Carefully avoiding the Scientology test page, I plowed through a couple online exams and quickly realized why I'm no longer in school: Tests suck.

WWW Purity Test (www.nmt.edu/~kscott/purity)--This is one of the most famous (or infamous, I guess) of all online tests. In this, the newest version of the Unisex Omnisexual Purity Test, you can plow through a whopping 500 questions to find out exactly how "pure" (or impure, I guess) you really are. The questions are simple and straightforward (very straightforward, mind you). Just click the little circle next to the answer you want to give, and you're good to go (so much easier than using a No. 2 pencil). The questions are broken into sections. The questions range from auto-erotica (51 questions) to group sex (27 questions) and as one would expect, things get pretty graphic. Expect to answer everything from "Have you ever held hands with someone?" to ... well, I'd rather not get into specifics. Let's just say I now know what "klismaphilia" means--and no, I don't suffer from it. Of course most folks are just taking the Purity Test for titillation value. Frankly, after a couple hundred questions, the titillation value starts wearing out and the whole thing feels more like a police interrogation. After plowing through about 350 questions, my server crashed, and I just didn't have the stamina to start over. I figure I was batting only about .500 on the purity scale when everything fell apart (if it wasn't for that section on drugs, I'd be as corrupt and perverted as the next guy).

Keirsey Temperament Sorter (www.keirsey.com/cgi-bin/keirsey/newkts.cgi)--Dr. David M. Keirsey has cobbled together his very own personality test on the WWW. It's apparently based on some Jungian concepts of the four basic personality types and their crossovers. There are 70 questions in the quiz (they change each time you pull up the test), each with only two answer choices. The idea here seems to be how well you interact with others. Are you a leader or a follower? Most of the questions are pretty vague, though. For example: "Which are you drawn to? ... Accurate Perception? or Concept Formation?" Say what, Doc? With only two answers and a bunch of incomprehensibly touchy-feely questions, I found myself clicking an answer at random on a lot of the questions. About halfway through, I got fed up answering stupid questions and quit. What does that say about my personality, Dr. Keirsey?

Are You a Freak? (www.outofservice.com/freak)--This test, allegedly an actual personality test from the early '70s, has a little more leeway than the others. You are required to answer each question with a number from one to five. One meaning "strongly disagree" and five meaning "strongly agree." This seems fairly flexible, but some of the poorly worded questions create confusion. "If I disagree with a superior or his views, I usually do not keep it to myself." I'm still not sure if I want to agree or disagree with that one (if I disagree to disagree, doesn't that mean I agree?). There are only about 40 questions on this exam, and most seem to center around your ability to get along with authority figures and to fit into the mainstream of society. After filling out the questionnaire, I clicked on the "submit" button and waited about 10 minutes until the computer told me "File has no data." Dammit! I never did get my official test results, but I already know I don't get along well with authority figures.

Test Your IQ (www.geocities.com/CapitalHill/1941/iqown.html)--After stumbling through so many computer screw-ups, I figured maybe it was time to test my IQ. Maybe it wasn't the computers. Maybe I'm just too dumb to work them. The main page of this site has several different IQ tests to choose from. This one looks like the most complete. It's your standard logic test. There are lots of "Sesame Street"-style questions like, "Which of the following words does not belong here?" There are also plenty of those "----- is to ----- as ----- is to -----" things. You've got 45 minutes to answer 60 questions, and the only major drawback here is that you've got to keep score yourself. Have a pad of paper handy to jot down your answers. When you're done, check the answer sheet (no cheating) and look up your score. According to my results, I've got a 138 IQ. I think I deserve a couple more points, though, because some of the picture scans are mighty crappy making the figure identification questions more of a guessing game ("I think that's a triangle inside that square, but it could be a circle for all I know"). Hey, I may not be pure or patient, but at least I'm smart.

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