VIA Character Strengths Survey Alternative: Free Online Test

HIGH5 - a strong alternative to VIA Character Strengths Test

Both HIGH5 strengths test and VIA Character Survey are assessments that helped millions of people be at their best. So what sets them apart?


VIA Character

What it measures


Talent themes

Time to complete

15 min

20 min

Development insights

What to watch out for

Career applications

Dedicated team report

Interpersonal analytics

360-degree peer review

Progress tracking

The VIA survey and character strengths test is one of the most popular online strengths assessments on the internet. It is scientifically backed and has been taken by over 27 million people globally.

However, many people have unanswered questions about the assessment. Some question how valid the test results are, and worry about how helpful the test is compared to other assessments like the MBTI and Big Five.

The VIA Survey test is considered to be accurate and reliable, despite these common misconceptions and worries. To truly understand why the test is important and accurate, getting a background understanding for how it works is crucial.

In this article, we will dissect the workings of the VIA Survey test and recognize how it can be used in the real world.

What Is the VIA Character Strengths Survey?

The VIA survey assessment is an online personality and strengths test. You are assessed on what your passions are, what makes you thrive, stressors, motivators, and numerous other aspects of your personality.

It is a comprehensive and scientifically-backed test that could provide a plethora of benefits to those who take it. It is centered around helping you improve your career, but also has applications for your personal life.

How Does the VIA Character Strengths Survey Work?

The VIA Character Strengths test works similarly to most other self-assessment strength tests. You will be given a series of questions that relate to your personality. Each of them reveals a unique element of your personality.

For example, the test has questions relating to your communication style, leadership abilities, motivating factors, relationship building strategies, confidence levels, and much more.

After you take the test, your results are tallied to see which personality traits are the most prevalent.

You will be provided with a free report that details these findings. Included along with your results will be some tips on furthering your success and harnessing your strengths.

Benefits and Features of VIA's Strengths Test

If you are interested in taking the VIA Character Strengths Test, understanding the benefits and features of the test will help you tremendously. 

Often, the VIA (Values In Action) Group hosts psychologists and professionals specializing in strengths to give individuals who use their platform advice. 

They have live events and recorded sessions as well. Some of their previous guests included Ryan Niemiec (psychologist and award winning author) and Ruth Pearce (VIA Ambassador and entrepreneur). Attending sessions like these offers you numerous benefits. Here are just a few:

Just a few of these benefits include:

  • Becoming more self-aware, so you can take calculated risks and further your strengths.
  • Getting some of the most accurate personality test results available on the internet. This allows you to make meaningful decisions from the results, as scientists validated the VIA Strengths Test.
  • Acquiring a relatively simple way to boost productivity and efficiency at work.
  • Rediscovering what makes you unique, so you can become more motivated and passionate in your work. This is also helpful in job interviews.
  • Allows you to pursue self-improvement in a healthy (not obsessive or degrading) manner through positivity and focus on strengths.
  • Acquiring a way to interact with leading psychology experts on the topics they specialize in.
  • Getting even more in-depth research and greater understanding on your personality, plus strengths in particular.
  • Boosting your ability to create bonds with others and communicate more clearly.
  • Becoming more confident in your abilities and getting the tools you need to make better decisions as well as calculated risks.
  • Increasing your positive behaviors and changing your mindset to a more positive, growth-oriented worldview.

Who Should Take The VIA's Strengths Test?

The VIA Strengths Test has been taken by over 24 million people across the globe. They come from diverse background, with different personalities, working in different industries and positions, and having different goals. Regardless, the VIA Strengths Test can assist nearly anyone in their personal growth journey.

If you are a student, have recently been unemployed, or simply feel disengaged/lack passion for your work, this test could be especially useful for you.

The VIA Strengths assessments give you a boost of confidence and positive thinking which is especially crucial for those experiencing hardships in their career.

Students can benefit immensely from this assessment, as it can give them a clearer picture of their personality and top strengths. When choosing a career or a major, this knowledge can be very useful.

Still, even leaders and currently successful employees should consider taking the VIA Strengths Survey Test. You can unlock a higher level of productivity and efficiency if you invest just 20 minutes or so in this test.

It can help you become even more successful and gives you the extra boost you need to achieve your goals.

What Will I Find Out Upon Completion Of The Assessment?

Perhaps one of the most important queries about the VIA Strengths Test is: what will I get out of taking it? The Return on investment, or ROI, of this test, is extremely high. You will acquire knowledge about your entire personality and strengths upon completing the test. This knowledge can be used in your career.

After you finish taking your VIA Strengths Test, you will be redirected to a page with your results. Your results come in the form of a strengths report.

There, numerous aspects of your personality will be analyzed, such as your engagement, passion, communication, collaboration/competitiveness, and more.

You will also get a list of your top 5-6 strengths. From there, you can see what each of the strengths means and how you use them every day (there are descriptions along with the results). You can begin a fantastic strengths-based self-growth journey with this knowledge.

How Long Does It Take To Finish VIA's Survey?

In today´s world, many individuals have packed schedules. Some worry about being able to fit a strengths test into their schedule. This concern should not be a major worry to most people, though. Strengths test designers (such as those for VIA) understand your time is valuable.

Because of this, the test is not very long. On average, the test takes about 15 minutes to complete.  Some finish it in as little as 10 minutes, too. You will have a total of 98 questions that need to be answered.

Another important factor to keep in mind is the fact your personality (and to a lesser extent, your strengths) change consistently.

This is especially true if you are young or inexperienced in your career. Therefore, the results of your VIA Strengths Test may not be relevant forever.

Try to take the test every few months to better understand how your strengths grow and improve. Many institutions give VIA Strength Tests bi-annually or annually to their employees because they wish to consistently track growth.

If your employer does this, embrace it. Use this as an opportunity to see how your hard work pays off.

How Accurate Is The VIA Character Strengths Survey?

Another common concern about the VIA Strengths Test centers around its accuracy. No one wants to take a strengths test if it is pure pseudoscience. Many people believe in a misconception about strength tests: they are invalid, or not backed by science. However, this could not be further from the truth.

There are some online strength tests that could be classified as inaccurate, but VIA is not one of them. The VIA organization prides itself in its scientific backing. The test is based on the research of psychologists such as Martin Seligman, who pioneered the strengths-based growth approach.

Numerous studies support the idea that the VIA Strengths Test is accurate. Empirical analysis repeatedly proves that the VIA Test is scientifically valid. For instance, studies by psychologists Dr. Christopher Peterson and Dr. Nansook Park note the test is reliable and accurate (1).

Additionally, it is important to remember that millions of people across the globe have taken the assessment. Thousands have posted positive reviews for the test, too. All of this shows that the VIA Strengths Test has a great reputation, and could likely be helpful to you.

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Download a team strengths activity (PDF)
Download a team strengths activity (PDF)