What Is a Personal Development Assessment?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 December 2019
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A personal development assessment is a tool commonly used to take inventory of a person’s strengths, weaknesses and areas of the personality that may benefit from focused improvement. Generally, this assessment exists as a printed or digital worksheet featuring a series of thought-provoking questions about a person’s thinking patterns, reactions to events and other ways in which she or he interacts with others. Assessments may be used by an individual, a group leader or by a parent hoping to identify a child’s self-esteem level. Some sort of personal development assessment is commonly used in personal development courses, as well as featured in a variety of different self-help books and tapes.

Personal development classes and seminars often begin with an assessment to help people refocus their attention in an effort to identify areas of their life, personality, career or personal relationships that are in need of positive change. A personal development assessment is merely a tool that helps people closely scrutinize their life in an effort to make adjustments where needed. After doing a personal development assessment, many feel a sense of relief and empowerment in that negative thought patterns, bad habits and the root causes of low self-esteem are more easily discernible.


The personal development process involves a great deal of introspection and a willingness to honestly participate in changing one’s thinking and ways of relating to others. In making such a committed effort, many experience greater career satisfaction, better communication in relationships and an overall sense of personal growth. A personal development assessment is often the first step in this process.

Many types of personal development exist, such as spiritual development and personal development programs for individuals, as well as couples and families. For each of these, a different type of personal development assessment may be used. Most, however, include questions about a person’s childhood, past relationships and thoughts about future goals and plans. The goal of each assessment is always to help guide a person toward a better understanding of self and a more harmonious interaction with others.

Online personal development assessment tools exist, as well as those that can be purchased by mail order. Personal development books often feature at least one personal development assessment and questions may even be broken down into full chapters or sub-chapters for deeper exploration. Personal development workshops, forums, seminars and classes that use assessment tools can also be accessed online or in person.



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