Nobody has ever told me I'm type A in my life until recently when a commenter wrote in my perpetual failure post,
“I’m not sure everyone would agree with some of your ‘failures' Sam. I mean, growing a site only 50% a year after 120% growth in previous years is not really considered failure in the corporate world (growth has to slow eventually). It sounds more like type A overachieving not quite reaching the outrageous goals you set for yourself.
But you’re right, any goal not achieved feels like failure regardless of how successful you are compared to others.”
I see a 70% slowdown as a failure because my business isn't that big in the first place. At this pace, I'll be lucky to see any positive growth over the next 12 months. But perhaps our personalities aren't so black and white. I decided to create a sophisticated quiz to get to the bottom of things.
TYPE A OR TYPE B PERSONALITY?
The only type A personality trait I think I exhibit is the desire to get things done. I cannot stand leaving things half-complete. I tell people not to bother me until I can finish an article, complete a project, or close a deal. I'm laser-focused in most of the things I do.
But everything else, from the way I play tennis, to how I let thousands of unread e-mails pile up in my inbox points to more type B behavior. I go back to Hawaii every year to hang loose at the beach rather than go on adventure trips. There was even a skater dude phase during the 7th and 8th grade.
I believe in taking it easy, which is why I have an entire category called Motivation to make sure I don't lose my productivity. I also believe in the saying, If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. There's no point forcing things. Let go of the things which you cannot control.
Take The Personality Quiz!
To ascertain whether you are a type A or type B, simply answer the following questions as truthfully as possible on a scale of 1-3. Record each answer and add up the total.
1) You can't stand your inbox filling up with unread messages. 3 = Agree. I must file and read them all! 2 = I'll get to my spam when I get to it. 1 = If something was really urgent, they'd call.
2) You create folders for every single document on your computer. 3 = Absolutely. How else can you retrieve an important file quickly? 2 = Sometimes when the files are super important. 1 = Who has time for that?
3) You like to correct people when they've spoken a factual error. 3 = Of course! If you are wrong, you must be corrected. 2 = Only if I'm moody. 1 = Who cares? The world goes on.
4) If the grammar police was an actual organization, you'd sign up in a hurry. 3 = Obvi. People with bad grammar and punctuation annoy the crap out of me! 2 = Only if they paid well and have a good pension. 1 = Does anybody really speak or write perfect English? Come on.
5) You stay back to check all your answers on your test. 3 = Careless errors are for losers. 2 = Depends on if I'm hungry and have somewhere to go. 1 = The first answer is always the best answer.
6) You are always striving to be #1, no matter who stands in your way. 3 = If you ain't first, you're last. 2 = Depends on how big the prize. 1 = Can't we just all get along? We're all winners.
7) You would dress up in formal wear during important lectures or meetings in college. 3 = Gotta look sharp and respectful to others. 2 = Only if the person was really, really attractive. 1 = Flip flops all the way, baby!
8) You choose to live in a harsh weather environment because of your job. 3 = It might be freezing outside, but I've got a great job that pays me lots of money! 2 = I'll go wherever the wind takes me. 1 = Life is too short to live in hell.
9) You check your e-mail and text messages at least 20 times a day each. 3 = Err, that's it? It would be rude not to get back to people ASAP. 2 = Only if I'm frantically waiting for an urgent message like a job interview response, application, or hot date. 1 = Everything can wait. If something was urgent, they'd drive over or at least call.
10) You can't wait to open your holiday or birthday gifts, often demanding a gift up front or peeking to see what you got. 3 = Why wait for glory?! 2 = Only if the gift might go bad. 1 = Surprise me at the very end.
If you didn't like one of the selections, replace with one of the two below!
11) When you know you will win, you: 3 = run up the score to crush your opponent's soul, 2 = play things out in normal fashion, 1 = lose some points to make things closer than they really are, and grab a drink afterward.
12) When the alarm goes off, you: 3 = immediately wake up and do your business, 2 = look around, take a little stretch first, and check your phone in bed, 1 = don't even hear it and like to snooze for at least 30 minutes.
THE FINAL TALLY
If you scored a 20 or higher on my 10 question test, then it is clear you are type A! If you scored 10-12, you might really need a kick in the pants. If you scored a 25 or higher, then perhaps a long vacation without an electronic device is in order.
I scored a 15, so I'm a type B. I knew for sure I was type B once I started going to Europe for at least two weeks in a row starting in 2010. I met so many happy people who worked to live, instead of lived to work. There was a strong sense of kinship during my visits.
Sure, Europe isn't a leader in creating any new inventions or technologies. But why should they when there's America? Americans work like animals compared to the rest of the world. Just the other Tuesday, there was heavy traffic when I drove my parents to the Oakland airport at 6:45am. Then there was a brutal amount of traffic when I left my SF home at 4:20pm to go south for a fintech meetup in Foster City. Then there was heavy traffic again at 10pm on the way home. Nuts!
It's important to do the best as we can with the opportunities we have. But after we've given it our best, how about just accepting what's in store for us?
Here are the definitions of type A and type B personalities:
Type A personality definition. A temperament marked by excessive competitiveness and ambition, an obsession with accomplishing tasks quickly, little time for self-reflection, and a strong need to control situations.
Type B personality definition. A temperament characterized by moderate ambition and drive, accommodating attitude, cooperativeness, focus on quality over quantity and, in general, an easy going approach to life.
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36 thoughts on “Are You Type A Or Type B? Take The Personality Quiz!”
Since my Birkenstock days in college I’ve known I was a type B type of person, but lately people have been telling me I’m such a type A control freak so when I took this test and got a 15 I was happy! I’m coming to terms with this as my work as a school principal and my past laid back self blends.
About 20 years ago I took the Meyers-Briggs and was a INFP. I’m not sure if that really changes as you age…
I was Type A but only on categories I care about. I hate grammar police (particularly if typed on a phone) and only wore flip flops and sweats in college.
I scored 19!! On the cusp!
Interesting post. I always knew I was type A ish. I scored a 26. I didn’t think I was that bad. My wife scored a 20 and I thought my wife was a type B with some type A traits at work.
My wife said hands down that I am a type A without a doubt. I was surprised at her comment. My wife reminded me that I am a perfectionist, intense, focused and anal retentive. My wife thought she was a type B but her co-workers consider her a type A. We are both surprised after reflecting on it. We are not ambitious at work and have exceeded our expectations in the same company of 28 years. We have gone as high as we wanted. We are fortunate that we our managers promoted us through the years w/o us asking for it. We are low key workers and we don’t tute our own horns. We don’t want to go any higher where we would have to swim with the sharks.
Since we are over 50 now, we are mainly focused on retiring & FI and TRYING to not let work bother us as much.
Good stuff! It makes me happy that another couple has learned more about themselves through this post!
FI is worth it! May the journey bring you joy!
Fun test. I scored a 21.
I think a person’s job can have a lot of impact on this. As a litigator of nearly 20 years now, my success depends on a lot of Type A behaviors, many of which for me had to be learned if I intended to pay off my student loans. So, for instance, it was “flip-flops baby” in college, but formal attire all the way these days. And both fastidious organization and immediate responsiveness to emails and texts have become deeply ingrained at this point. These all carry into my personal life today, since it’s hard (at least for me) to be one way at work and a different way at home.
Great post as always, Sam.
Whoa! I scored 26, So I took the test again and scored 27! I am totally shocked. I thought that I had changed from type A to type B as I had gotten older. Now I am beginning to question if it is even possible! While I am no grammar Nazi, I scored high on many questions. But I feel that I am not as fiercely ambitious as I was when I was in my 20s. Perhaps the scale needs to be expanded to a 5 point scale! :) Nevertheless it was a fun test! I still think I am type B! :)
Denial is not a river in Africa!
OK I checked with couple of my colleagues and even called my wife! Without any hesitation they all said I was type A. That is a revelation! Guess I indeed was in denial all these years!
Excellent! I’m glad I was able to help you discover who you really are！Now that you are congruent, it’ll be interesting to see what if anything you’ll do differently!
This is something a typical Type A would write.
2) I think he means “folder” not “file” as a document is a file in and of itself. Better make a comment about it.
3) … Well… I guess… 3 Points for me then?
I got a 28! I’ve always known I was Type A, but the weird thing is I’m not excessively competitive or ambitious. I just like accomplishing tasks quickly and efficiently and will take control of a situation especially if things seem disorganized or unclear. However, I also do a lot of self-reflection and am very accommodating with others even if such accommodation secretly drives me batty.
Whoah! Record high! I wonder if women are more type A than men? Are you sure you are not competitive or ambitious? The questions are structured in a way to answer these traits.
Better ask your closest friends and love ones what type they think you are.
22 points. would not have self identified as type A. what does it mean when pretty much half the answers were 3 and half were 1. Bipolar?
Yes, bipolar! Don’t you know you’re loco?
Sam, There has been a cognitive bias baked into american society over the last 20 years that type A is better than type B. Its made a lot of type B people unhappy trying to convince themselves and others that they are type A. There are plenty of successful, happy type B people, they are just not usually CEO’s. Not everyone is a CEO, or a NFL football player, or some other supposedly elite person.
Type B people have their own unique attributes and successes that can balance type A people. My wife is a neurotic super type A person. I’m super laid back. We balance each other out and make each other better, more rounded people as a result.
Is this true though? Maybe, by the general descriptions available for type A and type B.
I was thinking type B might be more desirable due to the more easy going, smell the roses, nature. But maybe I’m biased.
I cannot handle hanging out with “neurotic super type A people” after a while. I start getting stressed out!
I’m definitely Type A and I scored 23 points here…not surprised. Like you though, my husband is Type B and we feel like we balance each other out. Sometimes he needs a good swift kick in the behind and sometimes he tells me to relax more! Love our relationship and so glad we found each other when we did.
I scored 16. I’m pretty laid back these days, but when I was younger I was more type A. I’m much happier now.
As for Myers-Briggs, I’m an INTJ, with a borderline J/P score. It describes me quite accurately.
15 for me. I’m very laid back and I want to enjoy life.
What a fun post!! Haha I guess I have more type A traits than I thought. I always felt I was 100% type B but looks like I have traits of both. If I did my math right I am a 16. I admit I can be a bit anal with my organization habits so that leans me towards type A.
Err… 16 is type B!
23 points here.
I scored 20, but I think I have to deduct points for keeping a mental tally instead of writing my answers down.
I scored a 24, which surprised me a little since I have an easygoing outlook on life and I’m pretty accommodating. However, I do like to get things done quickly and like to be in control of situations. I know these are contradicting qualities…perhaps I’m a hybrid Type A/B?
I’m an ENTP on Myers-Briggs. Are there correlations of the Myers-Briggs to Type A/Type B?
24 is pretty high! Accept the reality Stefanie! :)
An important aspect of all relationships is being congruent with how others view you and how you view yourself.
18, sounds like me. Pretty layback on certain things and can be ambitious on matters that deem important to me.
24, doesn’t surprise me at all.
Type A all the way! I laughed through some of these questions and thought “yeup…that’s me!” Yes…I love to be in charge, manage and make things better/ more efficient…but my b/friend is WORSE! He’d score 100! :)
Hey Sam – I also scored a 15…personally I believe myself to be a hybrid of Type A and Type B.
Good assessment though.
Fascinating. I got a 20 and I’ve never really considered myself a Type A.
I scored 21 so I’m roughly in the middle. Which was to be expected. Given that there are many topics that don’t interest me enough but be a straight type A. On the other hand there are so many things I care about way too much to be a straight type B.
[Did this test during my 15 min lunch break, I doubt a straight type A would ever do that, but then again I’m a European after all.]
Hey Sam! Cool article, as usual. I landed two points above you at 17. Guess that makes me a Type B+ ;) Makes sense as I feel like I’m pretty easy going and still sometimes I can get a little stressed out. My motto: Life is a wave . .enjoy the ride. Interesting that 30% of your readers are Type A personalities. I know that our personalities are based on genetics, how we were raised, who we hang out with and the things we do on a daily basis. I’m interested in hearing from the extreme Type A and Type Bs about how they live their lives, what brings them joy and what they find challenging.
I’m in the middle too, with 19
I like the +/- you added. I got 21, so an A-. It would have been higher, but I’m not a grammar or factoid Nazi. I like to enjoy life, but I also love ‘being #1’. I feel like challenging yourself is a huge part of being happy in the long run. No one ever looks back and says “man I’m glad I was lazy for the past 5 years”. They are going to be thankful they worked their ass off and constantly challenged themselves to grow and emerged a better person. That said, I would mix up the challenges after a few years–variety can help combat burnout. Challenge yourself in everything: at work, in your relationships, and with your health. Striving to be better than yesterday is very important to me.