Interpretive Guide


Table of Contents


Mental Aptitudes

The Achiever measures six mental aptitudes: Mental Acuity, Business Terms, Memory Recall, Vocabulary, Numerical Perception and Mechanical Interest.  When reading the "X" pattern scored by the respondent, it is important to bear in mind the job in question.  For example, a low score in Mental Acuity can be desirable when a person is being considered for a routine job that can be boring in nature.  A high score is critical for a professional or an executive who must be capable of solving complicated and complex problems and dealing with other individuals who are "fast thinkers."

Further, if the job does not require a knowledge of business terminology or the ability to communicate well in written or oral forms, then the Business Terms and Vocabulary scores may be disregarded.  In other words, do not consider these scores as pertinent unless they are job related.  Likewise, the Memory Recall, Numerical Perception and Mechanical Interest measurements are important only when they are critical for success in the position being evaluated.

In short, the mental aptitude scores must be compared to the job description and requirements, utilizing those aptitudes that are job related and disregarding those that are not.  Ideally, you will be comparing the scores of the applicant to the benchmarked job standards of successful people.

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Mental Acuity

The Mental Acuity aptitude of the Achiever is designed to measure judgment, learning speed and reasoning ability.  The latter is a composite substructure encompassing practical reasoning, deductive reasoning, syllogistic reasoning and reasoning when reading.

Low scores, stanines 1-3, are representative of individuals who learn slowly.  On the whole, they do not read quickly and they learn more effectively through repetitive processes, requiring the opportunity to take notes, read things twice and review their notes.  They deal adequately with concrete data when they have the time to input and encode it in small, manageable amounts.  They require more specifics and guidelines in a job situation.  A low score also indicates that the hiring company cannot reasonably expect the applicant to engage in personal self-improvement projects involving school or study.  Generally, an individual scoring at this level is well adapted to a position which provides a high concentration of routine and structured work.  Normally, low scorers do not react well in supervisory or managerial situations, especially when they have to sell, manage or supervise people who are more mentally alert than they are.  They are not adept at solving complicated problems and, generally, find it difficult to cope with emergency or high pressure situations.

Persons scoring in the 4 through 6 stanine range normally have average problem solving and deductive reasoning ability.  Individuals at this level continue to learn and obtain information most efficiently through repetitive processes, especially if the data is of a more complex nature.

An Achiever score of 7 through 9 indicates superior Mental Acuity and, if combined with the right personality traits, should enable the individual to handle work of a creative, professional, executive or administrative nature.  Individuals who score at this level assimilate information well on first exposure and can utilize it appropriately.  High scorers deal effectively with abstract and concrete data and generally have strong long-term memories.  Strengths in this area also include the ability to foresee consequences, plan logically and think analytically.  Furthermore, high scorers have the ability to use strategy selection and the flexibility to reach their goals.  Generally, these individuals will enjoy restructuring or long-range planning and need challenge in their position to maintain their motivation.

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Business Terms

The Business Terminology aptitude measures an individual's knowledge and use of the terms normally used in a business environment.  A person's interest in business matters will also be substantially reflected by this score.

Low scores, stanine levels 1 through 3, are indicative of individuals who have not been exposed to business or at least have not been placed in a position where they had a need or desire to learn such business terms as asset, debit, credit, collateral, etc.  This measurement is not related in any way to a person's Mental Acuity score.  It is possible for someone to score high in Mental Acuity and low in Business Terms strictly based on the previous learning situations that the person has been exposed to which utilized business language.  If an individual's score in this dimension is low and the job requires that skill, then that person should be exposed to more business terminology.

The average level scores, stanine levels 4 through 6, indicate a moderate or normal level of knowledge and use of business words.  These scores reflect an adequate ability to communicate with people above and below the person in job situations requiring the use of business terminology.

High scores, levels 7 through 9, reflect an outstanding knowledge of business words.  The individual has had extensive exposure to the specialized language of business and/or is interested in business-related matters and has learned the terminology as a result of that interest.

In the event an individual's position requires the ability to communicate proficiently with business terms and he or she needs to embark on a self-improvement program, periodicals such as the Wall Street Journal, Business Week and others of this nature will enhance and increase the knowledge and use of business words for that individual.  In summary, consideration must be given to whether this dimension is pertinent to the requirements of the job.  Further, we must emphasize that although the person may have a lower Mental Acuity score, he or she may score high in Business Terminology.  Furthermore, an individual certainly has the ability to improve his or her knowledge and use of business words through study.  However, if the person has a low Mental Acuity score, it will take more time to learn new terms and use them properly.

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Memory Recall

The Memory Recall measurement is designed to determine the extent to which an individual knows and remembers what is occurring in the world at national, state and local levels.  This measurement is not only indicative of an individual's range of interests but is also closely related to observational skills, attention span, ability to concentrate, desire and practice.

Low scorers, individuals scoring in the 1 through 3 range, basically are neither concerned nor interested in what goes on in the world around them.  They do not keep up well with national events and they are not familiar with activities in the political or economic arenas at the state or local level.  They are not oriented to put forth the effort to keep up well with the extraneous factors which may affect their economic well-being, both from a personal and a business standpoint.  Low scorers are generally not individuals who you would expect to be informed nor should they be placed in those situations where an astute person is required unless a development program is instituted to improve their knowledge of current events.

Individuals who score in the average range, 4 through 6, tend to keep up moderately well with what goes on in the world around them.  They have an average awareness of the competition and average observational skills.  Unless the position requires an extensive knowledge of current events and things happening in the world, this degree of Memory Recall should be sufficient for most situations.

Individuals who score high in Memory Recall, stanine scores 7 through 9, will utilize their skills to keep abreast of current events and those factors that will affect the status of their organization.  A person in a top management position needs to score quite high in this dimension to ensure that he or she will keep up with competitors, market trends, economic conditions, new product lines and other factors which will facilitate quick reaction to changing competitive and market conditions.

When evaluating the Memory Recall segment of the Achiever, the employer must keep in mind that this measurement may or may not have any bearing on the position, depending on its correlation to the benchmark pattern for that particular job description.  In any case, it is an area where self-improvement is certainly possible and individuals scoring below seven should be encouraged to expand their interest level in the current events area.  Additionally, it should be noted that Mental Acuity has no affect on this measurement except that individuals who score low in the Mental Acuity segment will have to put in more time and effort to enhance their knowledge of current events.

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The Vocabulary measurement is designed to produce an indication of the level of general English vocabulary the individual possesses.  It is our contention that a person has a better opportunity to understand, communicate, find solutions, command respect and motivate others when possessing a good vocabulary.  Communications with a peer group will be succinct and expedient for the person with the better vocabulary.  Additionally, a strong vocabulary promotes confidence and expressiveness in both oral and written form when dealing with others.

Low scores, 1 through 3, are characterized as individuals who do not possess a strong general English vocabulary.  They may have to "grasp" for words in order to effectively get their message across to others.  It is possible that English is the individual's second language.  If communication on the job is to be done in English, it is still important that the person attempt to improve in this area.

Average scores, which fall in the 4 through 6 range, indicate a normal mastering of the English vocabulary and its use in communication with others in both oral and written forms.  Generally, individuals scoring in this range are capable of getting their message across to others and can read and understand all but the most complicated material without experiencing difficulty.

High scorers, 7 through 9, have an excellent grasp of general English vocabulary.  These individuals are capable of effectively communicating with others, on all levels, in both oral and written forms.  These individuals may need to be careful not to communicate at a level above the comprehension of others.

This aptitude is one which can be modified and improved upon quite readily.  It has little relation to the Mental Acuity measurement except that individuals scoring lower in Mental Acuity must put forth more effort to improve their vocabulary skills.

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Numerical Perception

The Numerical Perception segment of The Achiever measures an individual's ability to differentiate and accurately handle matching numbers, symbols and signs.  Candidates are asked to quickly distinguish differences and incongruities between sets of numbers, checking those which are alike.  This aptitude further measures the ability to identify critical features as well as focal attention.

Persons scoring in stanine levels 1-3 are not perceptively oriented and do not visualize details quickly and accurately.  They would not function well in positions requiring visual skills, differentiating between numbers or symbols, analyzing financial statements, sorting or coding items, checking, mailing, shipping or other similar functions.  These individuals are more accident and error prone due to their lack of perceptual ability and focal attention.  They are slow readers and do not handle numbers or figures accurately.

Individuals scoring in the moderate range, stanines 4-6, will have adequate scanning ability, provided the job does not require close attention to details.  Any numerically-related tasks performed by individuals scoring in this range should be rechecked by someone else to guard against errors.

Respondents scoring in the top one-third of the population, stanines 7-9, have a good ability to scan quickly and accurately.  This ability transcends to other areas enabling those scoring in this range to handle numerical tasks quickly and accurately.  Seldom will their work require checking, unless they are under a great deal of pressure which might cause them to make careless mistakes.

A high score on both Mental Acuity and Numerical Perception indicates an excellent ability to unify sensations and perceptions into meaningful composites, a process called closure.  Individuals possessing this ability input and process data more expediently allowing them to put concepts and situations into the proper perspective.  High scorers in both dimensions also deal quickly with mathematical calculations.

An individual's score on this aptitude may have a great deal of influence or no bearing at all on the individual's suitability for a particular position.  If an individual's score in Numerical Perception has little effect on his or her potential success in a particular position, then it should be given little weight in the hiring decision.  On the other hand, it is imperative that an executive or accountant score at a high level.  Thus, it is necessary to keep in mind the job description when giving consideration to this dimension.  In addition, it is important to note that individuals who have an uncorrected vision loss, dyslexia or other visual handicaps will have difficulty with the Numerical Perception segment, and the subsequent scores should be considered accordingly.

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Mechanical Interest

The Mechanical Interest measurement is designed to quickly identify whether the individual being evaluated has interest in mechanical devices, apparatus, etc.  It should be stressed that this is not a mechanical aptitude measurement but rather an evaluation of whether the respondent has a sufficient level of interest to put forth the effort to understand mechanical devices.

Low scorers, stanine levels 1-3, are basically not interested in jobs where they must work with mechanical devices.  They prefer situations where they do not have to understand how an engine operates, how a compressor works, etc.

Middle range scorers, stanine levels 4-6, represent individuals who have a moderate or average level of mechanical interest.  If they must be involved with equipment, they can and will put forth the amount of effort necessary to understand what is going on.

High scorers, stanine levels 7-9, are highly interested in mechanical equipment.  These people like working with equipment and prefer to be involved with mechanical devices in both their personal and vocational lives.

This aptitude will have very little or no bearing on many jobs.  A careful evaluation of the job description should determine whether or not this aptitude should even be reviewed and compared to the job in question.  Certain positions have no need for high levels of mechanical interest.  For jobs of this nature, this aptitude measurement can simply be disregarded.

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Basically, the interpreter of an Achiever report should review the "X" patterns of a person in comparison to the requirements of the job and ask such questions as:  Will this person function effectively and handle the job competently?  Is this individual sharp enough to handle large amounts of complex data?  Is the candidate expressive and/or numerically oriented?  Will the individual be overly qualified and quickly become bored with the job?  Does he or she require a continuous mental challenge?  In other words, a lower score pattern is desirable for positions which mainly consist of repetitive, routine tasks, and high score patterns are preferable for jobs which require problem-solving, an ability to learn new information quickly and ones which are continually mentally challenging.

In addition, Mental Acuity, Business Terms, Memory Recall and Vocabulary all have a very high degree of intercorrelation.  This implies that, for the most part, when an individual scores in the high range in one of these aptitudes, he or she will normally have similar scores on the others, and vice versa.  From this premise we can generalize that an individual who scores high on Mental Acuity but comparatively low on Business Terms, Memory Recall and Vocabulary is not striving to perform to his or her maximum potential.  Conversely, an individual who scores in the lower range on Mental Acuity, but whose Vocabulary and Memory Recall scores are high is making a determined effort to improve.

Additionally, Numerical Perception and Mechanical Interest must be carefully compared to the job description.  Many positions require no perceptive ability whatsoever.  Likewise, a person's score in Mechanical Interest should be carefully considered relative to the job requirements.  Many positions do not require any interest in mechanical devices while engineers, technicians and equipment salespeople should have a higher level of mechanical interest.

In summary, when considering the Mental Aptitudes, one must consider the entire score range on each aptitude compared to the requirements of the job.

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Of the two basic segments of the Achiever, the mental aptitude section and the personality section, the personality section is probably the most important.  It is the most important factor in that an individual may be extremely bright, highly mentally alert and yet still be lacking in the necessary personality traits to succeed in a particular job environment.  In the past, the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) was considered by many businesses as a critical factor when making hiring decisions.  Establishing such a single minded criteria was, of course, totally inappropriate.  Establishing IQ as the critical factor fails to take into consideration the fact that, in a normal population distribution, many people with high IQs are failures relative to our society's notions of success and failure.  One must recognize that an individual may have an average or high IQ measurement and not succeed in the job environment due to a poor match between the person's personality traits and the job requirements.

It is therefore highly critical that the mental aptitude segment of The Achiever and the personality segment be combined and the total pattern then compared to the job requirements.

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The Energy measurement is derived from the premise that individuals are the result of three basic forces: genetic background, environment and biochemistry.  Genetic background determines such items as the color of one's hair, eyes, bone structure, height and general physical build.  Since an individual is to a great extent the product of his or her genetic background, the genetic influence will place certain constraints on that individual which cannot be overcome.  For example, the person who comes from a long line of short ancestors can never likely expect to grow to an exceptional height.  If there is no history of "red curly hair" in the individual's family background, it is unlikely that the individual can expect to have red curly hair.  The second force, the environment, encompasses the geographic area in which the person grew up, living conditions and developing conditions, including such factors as relations with peer groups and other siblings in the family, the economic level of the family unit, and exposure to problems such as divorce, alcoholism etc.  The present day influence of these factors will have an effect on the respondent's Energy level.  The third factor involved in the derivation of the Energy dimension is the individual's biochemistry.  Biochemistry deals with the chemical compounds and processes occurring within an organism.  Such factors as uric acid level and flow, thyroid condition, and blood sugar level all combine to create nervous tension and kinetic energy.  The Energy dimension of the Achiever reflects the interrelation and combined influence that genetic background, environment and biochemistry have on an individual's nervous system.

Persons scoring low in this dimension, stanines 1 through 3, are characterized by a condition of chronic stress.  This stress creates implications for their work performance.  As a result of the high level of nervous tension and kinetic energy within their systems, they tend to be easily distracted and have short attention spans.  Their noise tolerance is not great and, to be comfortable in their work, they must be given the opportunity for physical mobility which in turn provides them the escape valve to work off nervous energy.  They may waste a great deal of energy fidgeting and acting out in ways that help them release the residue stress from their bodies.  As a group, individual's who score low in Energy are more prone to internalize the stress they feel, thus promoting physical conditions such as migraine headaches, stomach cramps, stomach ulcers, etc.  They have a physical need to "blow off steam" and at the extreme, could exhibit outbursts of temper.  Those who score in the one, two and three stanines would not be suitable for positions in a calm, relaxed environment.  Even in a factory situation, these individuals are more accident prone around machines, equipment and mechanical devices as their minds stray from what they are doing.  Their poor attention spans also make them more susceptible to vehicle accidents.

Generally, the optimum level in this dimension lies between the average stanines of 4 through 6.  Individuals scoring at the 4 level are excellent candidates for jobs requiring a high energy level.  These individuals thrive on the opportunity to be out and on the go making things happen and getting things done.  Their attention span is somewhat hampered by their high level of drive, but, with effort, they retain the ability to concentrate and follow through.  Under stress, they may still become somewhat irritable or short tempered, but the phenomena is under a good deal more control at this level.  These individuals will simply be more impulsive.

At the other extreme, those individuals scoring in the high range, 7 through 9, are exceedingly calm and relaxed.  They can be slow to act, react, and, in general, difficult to motivate.  They lack sufficient nervous energy to be action oriented.  Calm individuals do not have the internal tension to cause them to act on things.  Therefore, they have a tendency to procrastinate and put off making decisions.  They are complacent and have few qualms about sitting behind a desk for an eight hour day.  Highly calm individuals normally react well in job situations where they are in a stationary position.  Motivation of highly calm individuals can be difficult, especially if they also score high in Emotional Development.

In short, one must look carefully at this dimension compared to the job requirements.  Even though the Mental Acuity measurement may be high, we would not expect highly aggressive success unless the individual has a sufficiently good Energy/Emotional Development combination.

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The Flexibility dimension measures integrity, honesty, reliability and dependability.  It also measures how flexible and adaptable an individual is to change.

Those scoring on the low side of this dimension, stanine levels 1 through 3, are more flexibly oriented and expedient.  They may be fickle, often cutting corners and trying to find the easiest way out of situations.  They vacillate easily and are continually changing their minds.  They are situationally moral individuals who judge a situation based on the extraneous circumstances which surround it and normally tend to make the decision or take the alternative that is best for them personally.  Many lack consistency.  When low scoring individuals do apply themselves, they can be highly effective.  At their best, they are overly objective and rationalize too many behaviors.  At worst, they can be unreliable, maneuvering, manipulating and expedient.  In this state, they may promise more to an employee, employer or customer than they can ever hope to render.  Low scorers tend to not follow company rules or guidelines and are consistently guilty of cutting corners and passing the buck.  Additionally, they are especially hard to recognize because they have certain abilities similar to a chameleon.  For example, in the interview situation they have what it takes to turn on sufficient charm to flow with you and make you think they are the employee you've always been looking for, while at the same time giving you incomplete references or dates of employment to cover something that has happened in the past.  Low scorers have the ability to rationalize unusual behavior, or not doing what they say they will do, since they do not have the normal level of "guilt anxiety" that most people have.

Individuals scoring in the midrange, stanine levels 4 through 6, are usually preferable.  These individuals tend to be more honest, reliable, dependable and normally carry more guilt anxiety than low scorers.  They are trustworthy and loyal employees who will let their employer know where they stand and make every effort to fulfill their employment obligations.  Middle scorers are fundamentally consistent in the application of their goals, when handling their responsibilities and when interacting with others.  Most are tenacious and persistent in their work.  They do what they say they will do.  These individuals have good moral ethics and attitudes, yet they retain a healthy amount of objectivity.  They can be flexible, yet should be fundamentally reliable and dependable.

At the other extreme, individuals scoring in the 7 through 9 stanine range will traditionally be so fixed in the way they view matters that they will be highly rigid and rule oriented in their outlook and actions.  They are honest and reliable, but may want to do things the way they are used to having them done in a manner which has worked best for them in the past.  They may be ineffective decision makers in a crisis or emergency since they cannot react unless they have guidelines to follow or have previously handled a similar situation.  Individuals at this extreme are perfectionists, interfere in other peoples business, and are inadaptable to change.  They may be particularly difficult as they become older since they have become so fixed in their ways that they simply do not have the mental flexibility and acumen to adjust to new job guidelines and circumstances.

When the Flexibility dimension is compared to Mental Acuity we find certain areas of correlation.  Individuals who score higher in Mental Acuity, stanines 5-9, have more actively moving mental processes.  Therefore, when they have an unusually high Flexibility score, their mental processes will allow them to evaluate circumstances and react appropriately.  They will also be easier to train.  Those individuals who score low in Mental Acuity, stanines 1-4, and high in Flexibility, stanines 7-9, will not have the mental capacity to adapt, change or consider other approaches.  In other words, a high Mental Acuity score will induce compensating effects for an unusually high Flexibility score.  Further, an unusually tense individual, as indicated by a Energy score of stanines 1-3, combined with an unusually low Flexibility measurement indicates a hyper tense individual with quick rationalization processes.  Persons with this Energy/Flexibility pattern may take unusual actions reactively before thinking and exhibit behavioral difficulty problems.

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The Organization dimension refers to organizational habit formation.  It measures dimensional awareness, the sense that things are out of place, the attitude the individual has about how his or her own work is best performed and his or her orientation towards planning.

Low scorers, stanine levels 1-3, tend to feel that planning is a waste of time and generally do not bother with planning.  They simply do not plan their time and activities.  They are basically good temporizers who flow and conform to circumstances as they arise.  They prefer to be extemporaneous in their speaking and tend to come off well under those circumstances.  They prefer to work on an erratic schedule and require extreme latitude in order to bring their skills to bear.  They do not fit well into a highly bureaucratic, highly structured employment situation.  Low scorers who are simultaneously extremely sharp prefer to work in new and different situations where the challenge is to learn what innovations can be accomplished.  They may have good intentions and good plans but they may fail to achieve the type of results that they are capable of simply because they fail to lock in to an achievement orientation plan and make things happen.  When a disorganized individual is employed in a high level position such as sales manager, vice president, supervisor or manager, it is highly critical that the individual have an assistant to organize his or her calendar, lifestyle and activities.  One should bear in mind that the disorganized person lacks the inner time clock that signals when sufficient time has been spent on an appointment or project and when another one must be begun.

Individuals who score in the average, 4-6 range, organize to an adequate degree.  They are generally aware of their priorities, but are able to change and adapt their schedule to meet deadlines or handle interruptions or changes.

High scorers, stanine levels 7-9, are oriented to plan their time and activities.  They are technically disciplined and emphasize order and control in their environment.  At the extreme, these individuals want to determine all their alternatives well in advance.  They demand more supervision, instructions or specifics than an employment situation may normally allow.  They require a good deal of structure and are lost without it.  They prefer to not embark on a project unless they have a detailed plan thoroughly in mind and may spend so much time planning that they leave too little time for implementation of plans.

Extreme caution should be taken when evaluating the job description and the requirements of the job compared to the respondent's Organization score.   In correlating this dimension with other dimensions in the personality segment, one should look carefully at the Energy measurement.  Individuals who score in the 1 through 4 stanine range on both Energy and Organization exhibit high levels of hypertensity and disorganization and this combination will often result in wasted time and effort.  Furthermore, if candidates score high in Communication, stanines 7-9, their talkative nature will increase the problems created by their disorganization and high energy levels and make them ineffective for most job situations.

Additionally, the individual who has scored low in both Flexibility and Organization, stanines 1-3, will tend to put things off, procrastinate, show a lack of planning and follow-through and will generally be ineffective when assigned goals to accomplish.  On the other hand, individuals who score extremely high in Flexibility and Organization, stanines 7-9, have a fixed nature that is so highly structured and rule oriented that they are simply not able to react to immediate circumstances, decisions etc., unless there are explicit guidelines and rules to follow.

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The Communication dimension measures the extent to which an individual has an interest in associating with other people.  Some human beings enjoy being with other people, others can take them or leave them, and a third group would prefer to have little people interaction.

Low scorers, stanine levels 1-3, seem to be more detail oriented.  They tend to be cool and aloof, basically preferring to work alone.  Most are more serious natured and present a rather reserved front.  Any position requiring uninterrupted attention to detail or precision work is best served by one of these more technically inclined individuals.  In interpersonal relationships, these individuals are very selective in developing friendships and prefer one or two close friends to many acquaintances.  They do not enjoy large parties or idle chatter.  They speak infrequently, are introspective and generally choose their words carefully.  At the extreme, low scorers may appear icy, aloof or disinterested.  In general, they have basic difficulties in communicating their thoughts and feelings to others and may actually express themselves better in writing.

Achiever stanine scores of 4-6 in Communication are considered ambiverts.  Ambiverts have the capacity to interact and communicate with others or to work alone.  They are selective in the people they enjoy or choose as associates.  They can function adequately in the technical or social aspects of the business if they are tenacious and work at it.  They may be shy speaking before groups, but are generally capable of interacting with others and listening attentively when others speak.

High scorers, stanine levels 7-9, are normally considered extroverts.  They are highly gregarious and outgoing individuals.  They sincerely like people and rarely tire of talking and interacting with others.  They tend to be friendly and skilled in interpersonal relationships.  They are unhappy unless they have a good deal of interaction with others in both their work and personal lives.  These individuals can possess highly motivating qualities making them effective in jobs requiring strong people interaction skills.  A shortcoming here is that they may derive so much emotional satisfaction from talking that their work will be adversely affected.  They are not always sufficiently task oriented to get things done on time.  At the extreme, they can be consistent interrupters in the office.

The combination of high Communication and high Motivation scores will produce a forceful, optimistic, effervescent and enthusiastic "talker" and often a very effective and outstanding motivator and trainer of others.  The Competitiveness and Flexibility scores would also need to be in the 5-7 range, however, for success.

Another very key correlat ion for the Communication dimension is Energy, which measures the degree of nervous energy within an individual.  If the respondent has scored extremely low in this dimension, scores of 1-3, and extremely high in Communication, stanines 7-9, then a basic combination exists which will create a hyper tense, talkative individual who may fail to even think about what he or she is saying and rattle on incessantly.

In summary, whenever a position is going to be filled which requires the ability to get along with others and a need for face to face communications, a stanine score in the 4-6 range in Communication is generally the most desirable.  It may, however, be preferable to fall either into the more introverted area in this dimension or into the more gregarious area based on the nature of the job.

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Emotional Development

The Emotional Development dimension is a measurement of ego strength, emotional tolerance and patience.  It is, perhaps, the most important dimension in the Achiever, not only in and of itself, but in its affect on other personality traits.  Emotional Development is the key to emotional adjustment and governs an individual's ability to adjust to environmental and situational stress.  Emotional Development must always be reviewed and compared to the respondent's chronological age.  Whereas the Emotional Development balance is measured on a stanine system of 1-9, it is compared to the population of the country on the Bell Curve within the 18-65 age group.  We would expect individuals in the 18-28 range to score predominantly in the 2, 3 or 4 ranges.  Individuals in the 28-38 range would score basically in the 3, 4 or 5 ranges.  Individuals aged 38-50 move on into the ranges of 5, 6 or 7 and those aged 50 and above will score in the 7-9 range.  Individuals who chronologically do not align with their emotional age stanine score will be characterized by either extreme impatience or extreme tolerance, as the paragraphs that follow will describe.

Persons scoring in the lower third of the stanine range, 1-3, if advanced in chronological age, are essentially childlike or adolescent in their behavior patterns.  They will tend to be demanding and need attention.  They need others to be expressive toward them but have difficulty expressing feeling and affection for others.  Many times these individuals will hold their feelings in until such time as they lose their temper and explode.  Low scorers have difficulty concentrating and do not adjust effectively to stress or noise.  They become easily frustrated when working on a difficult task and have a tendency to give up easily.  At the extreme, they are possessive, attention getting, selfish and unhappy.  They should not be placed in positions requiring a good deal of responsibility calling for emotional patience and tolerance.  In many selling situations, however, sales personnel must have a sufficient level of impatience within their systems.  If this impatience is not in existence, then that sales person will tend to be overly tolerant and calm and will not close the sale.  A good level of Emotional Development and, in fact, in some cases slightly high impatience will be desirable in many hard-close or high-ticket selling situations.  The same requirements may be true in other jobs whereby a person must be continuously pushing to achieve goals on an expedient basis.

The average range, stanine levels 4-6, is generally the ideal range.  Individuals scoring in this range are appropriately patient, tolerant and emotionally mature, but still possess the sense of urgency to get things done in a timely manner.  They do not overreact and are more emotionally secure.  They quickly adjust to changes in their environment and demonstrate more persistence in their work.  Their attitudes do not vacillate as readily, and, in general, they are happier individuals.  Furthermore, they tend to be more mature in dealing with their families, employees and others.

High scorers, stanine levels 7-9, may show signs of over-tolerance.  A few words of caution are necessary in interpreting scores at this level.  High scorers may give subordinates too many chances and wait too long before taking action.  Furthermore, this is a scale where "good answers" are abundantly apparent to the respondent.  High scores should be checked against validity scales to ascertain whether the respondent is giving an exaggerated picture of himself or herself.  Basically, one must be especially careful with the high scorer to see that sufficient planning activity and impatience are put into the work to accomplish the expected results.

Emotional Development must also be compared and reviewed in relation to Energy.  Energy, which establishes kinetic energy and nervous tension, is combined with the Emotional Development balance to determine an individual's level of drive.  An ideal combination on the Energy/Emotional Development measurements would be scores in the average segment, stanines 4-6, on both of these dimensions.  A high score on both of these dimensions, stanines 7-9, will normally indicate someone who is more oriented to sedentary work in a position which does not require a great deal of movement.  Individuals who have high scores on both Energy and Emotional Development lack the kinetic energy that creates the desire to move about.  On the other hand, individuals who score low on both of these dimensions, stanine levels 1-3, cannot be placed in a job that will require them to stay in one place for a long period of time without the opportunity to move around.  When individuals have a high level of energy and nervous tension within their systems and a high level of impatience, they must be placed in positions where they have the ability to exert themselves in some fashion to burn off nervous energy.  When they do not, this nervous energy will build up within their neurological systems to a point where they will experience internalized discomfort and, at times, loose their temper and blow off steam.  This immediate reaction without thinking can be detrimental to their personal and work lives unless it is controlled.

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Assertiveness is primarily a measurement of dominance.  It is the power dimension of personality and, of all the personality dimensions measured by the Achiever, is the one most influenced by heredity.  This dimension is not readily amenable to change.  However, the assertiveness that is possessed by the individual can be controlled and directed so that it can be used most effectively.  Additionally, less assertive people may receive training so that they can function effectively in situations requiring higher assertiveness.  In the same way, extremely assertive people can learn to control their assertiveness for those situations which require a more subtle approach.

Low scorers, stanine levels 1-3, tend to be more passive.  They will go to great lengths to avoid confrontations.  They are pleasant, cooperative and will be the nicest people you will ever meet.  In decision making situations, they will vacillate, procrastinate, offer vague opinions, pass the buck and systematically avoid being courageous and decisive.  They place a great deal of emphasis on maintaining harmony in their environment, and will avoid having to sacrifice that harmony in order to fire someone, offer constructive criticism, or ask for a prospect's business.  They are order takers and good followers.  Staff assignments are usually the most comfortable positions for these individuals.  Salespeople low in assertiveness may be highly personable but will have difficulty doing territory pioneering or asking for the business, especially if the product or service is a difficult sale.  They will use "approach-avoidance" in both prospecting and closing sales.  Their forte is servicing existing clientele.  If placed in a difficult selling situation they may need extensive help and backup in closing the sale.  Supervisors or executives moderate to low in Assertiveness will not discipline subordinates except under stress, and will certainly not fire anyone except under pressure or duress.  Submissive managers will soon be working for their people instead of their subordinates working for them.  Furthermore, managers tend to hire people in their own image.  Therefore, they will replicate themselves by hiring individuals who are no more assertive than they.  They will have difficulty dealing with domineering, assertive employees and will prefer to hire soft-spoken, non-threatening individuals.

Average scorers, stanine levels 4-6, will tend to hold their own when dealing with other people.  Individuals who score in this range will not hesitate to express their opinions, if they have a sufficient level of Communication, and will not let others run over them.  They have an average or normal ability to close a sale, to tell a subordinate what to do and to let others know where they stand.  Individuals who score in this range are probably the most in demand for lower or middle management and supervisory positions.  They are capable of managing more submissive subordinates yet are able to accept and react well to the instructions given by highly dominant executives.  Basically, the 4-6 range is the most acceptable and desirable range unless the job requires less assertiveness, and this can only be ascertained by careful study of the requirements of the position.

High scorers, stanine levels 7-9, tend to be assertive, opinionated and decisive.  They are determined, hard-headed, stubborn and generally unwilling to readily accept the viewpoint of another individual.  They will tell others what to do, and will let their subordinates know where they stand, what they expect and where they are coming from.   Highly dominant salespeople are often too blunt, but love the challenge of the sale and will sacrifice after-sale servicing in order to devote their time to closing a new client.  When combined with a lower level of emotional development, these individuals can become overly demanding and even adolescent in their behavior.  They may become too intrusive and take over a situation when it is inappropriate.  They may have trouble listening to the opinions of others.  Skilled managers, on the other hand, are more manipulative than confrontive when dealing with their subordinates, yet always remain in control of the situation.  They feel confident in letting subordinates have enough room to develop and initiate ideas or plans without losing control of the situation.

There are two factors readily available to assist an individual in assessing the approximate assertiveness level of the person.  First, a highly dominant individual will look others straight in the eye.  They enjoy confrontations and thus do not feel uncomfortable using a good deal of eye contact.  Second, when asked a question, the highly dominant person will give a direct answer.  They do not beat around the bush.

When dealing with highly dominant individuals, it is usually necessary to become an opposite in order to facilitate the task at hand.  Dominant individuals are more responsive to cooperative people who ask for their opinions.  One essentially catalyzes the conversation in order to keep the dominant individual talking.  When the dominant person is satisfied with his or her role in the relationship, he or she will usually invite the sale, proposition, etc.  Basically, it is a good tactic to direct questions to dominant individuals so that they eventually feel that the idea was theirs.  With low dominance individuals, one can be assertive.  They are dependent and do not mind following a strong and aggressive leader.

The key personality dimension to look at in comparison to Assertiveness is the Emotional Development measurement.  Individuals who are highly dominant and low in Emotional Development have a personality pattern which will promote highly explosive, adolescent behavior.  These individuals will tend to do and say everything in their power to get their way.  A high level of Assertiveness should be balanced with a good, stable Emotional Development score in most job situations.  A lower score in Flexibility, combined with a low score in Assertiveness, can result in a person getting others to do what they desire through a more manipulative, "back door" approach.  The results, however, can be the same as would be expected of a highly assertive person demanding that others do what they say.  Another correlation which can modify a low assertiveness level is a high Mental Toughness level.  Less assertive people dislike unpleasant confrontations, but mentally tough individuals do not look at many situations as being that unpleasant.  Therefore, the confrontations a manager or salesperson might experience on a daily basis which would be difficult to handle for most submissive people would not be that difficult to handle if the person had a tougher mental outlook on situations.

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The Competitiveness dimension measures the tendency of an individual to view life as an arena in which everything is a struggle.  It is an environmentally produced dimension.  Competitiveness in this measurement refers to the competitive orientation of the person to win on an individual basis.  This is not to be confused with the desire an individual has to compete as a member of a team.

Low scorers, stanine levels 1-3, are not avid competitors.  They may actually even avoid competition.  They dislike comparisons based on competitive rankings.  They feel that such evaluations are inappropriate.  Low scorers tend to be more easygoing and docile.  They prefer to experience life for the satisfaction it presently offers.  They are friendship oriented and an important factor affecting their job satisfaction will be the opportunities to develop and maintain cordial relationships with clients and associates.  They will not do anything from a business standpoint to threaten those relationships.  Friendship oriented individuals are generally best motivated when the emphasis is placed on each person improving his or her performance for personal reasons, or for the sake of helping a friend, the department or the team.  Typically, low scorers do not avidly seek promotions.  At best, they have modest ambitions about getting ahead.  They dislike and avoid stress or conflict on the job and in their personal lives.

Average scorers, stanine levels 4-6, will tend to take competition or leave it.  If a company presents a sales contest to moderately competitive individuals, they will only make a moderate attempt at winning.  They simply cannot stand the inward threat that might be incurred by their fellow workers if they "beat them."  They are simply not oriented to have an inward, burning desire to compete, achieve and personally win.  They tend to accept competition without promoting it or aggressively participating in competitive situations.

A high score on this dimension, stanine levels 7-9, indicates a burning desire to win, to meet and beat any challenge and to excel whenever possible.  High scorers have a great deal of self-discipline, competitive desire and pride in their accomplishments.  They do not waste time, are better organized and generally more productive.  They have a driving need to be doing something that results in success and achievement.  They continually set higher personal goals for themselves and will allow little to stand in the way of reaching those goals.

Unfortunately, depending upon other dimension scores, especially Emotional Development, extremely high scorers may become obsessed and overly aggressive in order to reach goals.  Highly competitive individuals need to learn to realize that many times circumstances beyond personal control lead to periodic failure.  They may be so busy trying to win that they do not take the time to participate in friendship affirming and group attitude maintenance behaviors which supply the emotional cement that keeps people together.

Particular attention should be paid to the respondent's score in Flexibility when considering the Competitiveness score.  A low Flexibility score, stanines 1-3, is indicative of a highly flexible individual who has the ability to justify or rationalize erratic or unusual behavior.  This ability to rationalize, when combined with an unusually high competitive orientation, increases the likelihood that the respondent will not adhere to the moral and ethical standards that are appropriate for many competitive situations.  This type individual may go beyond normal bounds to personally win or "get the award", particularly if a high Assertiveness score is added to the pattern.  This high Assertiveness pattern simply emphasizes the forcefulness within the individual to have his or her way.

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Mental Toughness

The Mental Toughness dimension refers to both physical and mental toughness.  It is a measurement of an individual's vigor or capacity for endurance.  A score in this dimension is a function of environmental influence and reflects a tender-minded or tough-minded individual.

Low scorers, stanine levels 1-3, are sensitive to their own needs and feelings as well as those of others.  They have a greater capacity for empathy and are gentle when dealing with people.  Sales rejections and criticisms are usually taken more seriously and personally than they were generally intended.  Tender-minded people get their feelings hurt more easily and are slower to heal when they do.  At the extreme, they may be too dependent upon the opinions of others with respect to their own values.  Many times, these people are more easily depressed and live in a pattern of "peaks and valleys."  Persons low in this dimension dislike rough people or rough activity, uncleanliness and are more attuned to physical discomforts.  Tender-minded individuals are usually more imaginative, aesthetically oriented and are more appreciative of beauty.

Average scorers, stanine levels 4-6, generally withstand the blows and abrasions of life acceptably, yet still have the sensitivity to be concerned about other people and their feelings.  They have the ability to recognize and enjoy color, form, art and other aesthetic values as well as reasonably adjust to criticism and training.  In most situations, a stanine score of 4-6 is highly desirable.  It reflects an individual who has sufficient empathy, sensitivity and aesthetic orientation, and yet at the same time, is not too easily depressed or too sensitive for most employment situations.

High scorers, stanine levels 7-9, are basically tough-minded people who are oblivious to physical discomforts and criticism.  They are self-reliant individuals who have a good deal of resiliency and bounce back quickly from any misfortune or setback.  They see themselves as having good self-discipline and control.  In interpersonal relationships, they exhibit little sympathy or empathy, yet they avidly give advice and see most situations as black or white.  Those who score in the extremely high range may be insensitive.

It is advised and fairly simple to utilize the differences in sensitivity levels to an employer's advantage.  Most occupations require a middle score on this dimension.  For instance, salespeople should be at least this strong.  While a sales rejection will cause a tough-minded individual to work even harder, the tender-minded salesperson will become depressed and dwell over what he or she personally did wrong to lose the sale.  There are times when a lower or higher score is preferable.  For example, a professional athlete who is exposed to rough physical conditions would be expected to score high in this dimension, while a position requiring creativity might require someone with a lower score.

Mental Toughness may be considered a temperamental dimension in which you are literally assessing the temperament of the individual to predict his or her reaction to the job environment and requirements.

The Mental Toughness dimension has a high correlation to Nervous Tension.  Individuals who have scored low in the Nervous Tension measurement, indicating high levels of inner nervous tension, and low in Mental Toughness will feel the effects of stress and strain more severely.  They will be less productive and spend more time contending with the physical ailments which they are in fact experiencing.

Another dimension which correlates to Mental Toughness is Flexibility.  The combinations of a low Flexibility score and a low Mental Toughness ndicate a pattern of extreme flexibility coupled with a high level of sensitivity.  Individuals who exhibit this pattern have a highly creative instinct and orientation.

The individual who scores extremely high in Flexibility, indicating a very fixed and rigid nature, and high in Mental Toughness, indicating a very tough-minded orientation, lacks flexibility and does not see and recognize color, art and form as much as the more creative, sensitive individual.  High scorers generally are not as aesthetically oriented as low scorers.

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This dimension, Questioning/Probing, measures the worldliness of the respondent.  Interpretations, however, must be rendered with respect to the environment from which the candidate comes.  A low score does not necessarily hamper job performance, but there are positions in which a lack of realism could easily get in the way.

Low scorers, stanine levels 1-3, are characterized by a naive and gullible manner.  They accept almost everything at face value until proven wrong.  They simply do not question or probe into the reasons that people say and do the things they do.  At the extreme, these individuals have the world's worst timing.  They bring things up at inappropriate times and may even be crude or crass under stress; however, they tend to have a positive, optimistic working attitude.

Average scorers, stanine levels 4-6, have scored in the range which is generally preferable.  These individuals are not overly gullible or naive nor overly cynical.  They tend to accept most things at face value but will do a moderate amount of probing and questioning to ascertain the basis for an answer or a decision.  They have the ability to question and to look into matters yet they are not continually of the opinion and feeling that other people are out to take advantage of them or gain an advantage over them.  They have an ability to interact in a normal and smooth flow with those around them whether in an employment or personal situation.

High scorers, stanine levels 7-9, are more shrewd and straightforward in estimating the motives of others.  They are candid and attempt to discern the whole commentary in an interaction so they can adjust to it.  They are better diplomats and pick their shots pretty well.  At the extreme, these individuals become motive driven and suspicious.  They create barriers and do not believe or trust anyone.  They are skeptical and prohibit others from getting too close to them.  Genuine relationships with others are few and far between in these instances.  However, it is unlikely that an extremely high score would interfere with efficient job performance as long as the character or personality were otherwise in good order.

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Work Motivation

Work Motivation is one of the more critical dimensions of The Achiever because it measures how an individual is best motivated.  It explains which rewards in the work environment will be most attractive to the respondent and what the respondent basically considers important in life.

Low scorers, stanine levels 1-3, are basically security motivated.  They are serious about job security and opposed to any changes which could potentially damage security.  They like the predictability of regular hours, a regular salary and an assured retirement income.  They enjoy a solid domestic environment and do not feel very comfortable when they are away from that.  They like to come home every night and do not like to travel extensively for business.  Security motivated people do not readily accept job change, nor do they like having their desk or office furniture moved around.  security oriented individuals find jobs that represent security to them, they are quite reluctant to change positions.  They may be extremely sharp mentally, have a good drive balance and enjoy people, but their need for security often supersedes these tendencies, sometimes to the extent that they will pass up a promotion or transfer since accepting such a change represents a threat to their security.  Rewards which are important to these individuals are money, comfort, quality, assurance, retirement benefits, company profit sharing, social security and praise for their efforts.  They would not want their income to depend on their performance, as would be found in a straight commission sales position.  Once they have the degree of security they desire, any efforts to increase productivity or improve performance will be for job security reasons, not for any personal rewards they might receive over and above job security.

Average scorers, stanine levels 4-6, are basically the type of individuals who work well in a job situation which provides a moderate or average level of security combined with some sort of recognition and incentive.  This recognition may come through periodic praise, a periodic bonus, a periodic salary increase, commission along with a base salary or some type of recognition for achievement.  Normally, individuals at this level do not engage in a great deal of self-improvement nor are they overly ambitious.  Furthermore, they are generally not willing to take chances or make the sacrifices often required for achievement.

High scorers, stanine levels 7-9, tend to overwork, overplay and burn the candle at both ends.  They are futuristically oriented and will take risks and speculate if there is recognition or profit in it.  Generally, high scorers thrive on commissions, bonuses and incentives.  They are highly motivated by status, attention and achievement.  They are motivated by challenges and are highly entrepreneurial.  As a rule, they are not as technically inclined and will not be as thorough with details.  High scorers are not creatures of habit; they like to be going and doing as much as possible.  They like anything new, interesting, challenging and exciting.  Their enthusiasm is usually contagious, giving them a good ability to motivate others, especially if they have strong levels of Communication and Competitiveness.  An ideal score in this dimension depends upon the needs of the company.  A newly founded, fast-growing company needs management which is characterized by scores in the upper stanines of this dimension.  Security motivated employees often provide stability to the company, but a balance is necessary in order to maintain an innovative stance and the ability to rapidly respond to the changing market and economic conditions.

For positions which involve routine responsibilities, a low score in Work Motivation is generally best.  High scorers, on the other hand, are more futuristic, tend to be more individualistic and are less apt to be concerned about changing jobs, tenure, retirement, etc.  They are highly optimistic about their ability to succeed in a new job and have a greater ability to sell themselves.

This dimension is critical in its alignment with the job description of the position and the company's orientation, goals and objectives that will be appraised and implemented upon the individual's going into the organization.

In the correlational area, this dimension must be carefully considered with the individual's scores in Energy and Emotional Development.  A good Emotional Development and Energy balance, when combined with high recognition motivation, indicate an aggressive individual with good drive balance and good achievement orientation.  When these factors are further aligned with a good ability to meet and deal with people, a good level of Assertiveness, and strong mental aptitudes, there exists a basic pattern for success in most managerial, supervisory or sales positions.

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Mental Aptitude or Intelligence (IQ) Testing is not sufficient in and of itself to judge and predict an applicant's success in a particular position.  Jobs have a way of requiring certain personality attributes in order for the job incumbent to be comfortable and maintain tenure in the position.  Personality stanine scores must be compared with the job description to accurately ascertain whether or not the individual's strengths and weaknesses will be compatible with the requirements and demands of the position.  Further, by comparing the scores on both the personality dimension and mental aptitude sections, it can be consistently determined whether the two coincide sufficiently to meet the total job requirements.

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Distortion measures the extent to which individuals will present themselves in a favorable light regarding conformity, self-control or moral values.  It is not in the strict sense a personality dimension, but rather, reflects an attitude about taking the evaluation.  Basically, it measures the frankness of the respondent in reporting information.  Questions are interspersed throughout the assessment's personality section which ask the respondent to measure and acknowledge his or her own weakness or fallibility.  The respondent's tendency to answer these questions frankly, or to place himself or herself in a good light will usually be perpetuated throughout the remainder of the personality section.

Stanine scores of 1-3 indicate that the applicant's responses on these particular questions are candid and frank.  We can be reasonably assured that when the respondent has scored in the bottom one third of the population tested on this measurement, that the remainder of the answers given will be true to his or her nature.  Individuals scoring at this level have a good deal of ego strength and confidence in themselves and their personal attributes.  They are willing and able to admit to human frailties and are fair in estimating their own strengths and weaknesses.

Average scorers, stanine levels 4-6, have fallen in an acceptable level for this dimension.  They have a fair knowledge and understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, yet need to establish and maintain a protective exterior.

Individuals scoring in the 7-9 range indicate that they have exaggerated their standards, self-control or social conformity so much that the validity of the test is questionable.  These individuals have a strong need to be accepted or liked and are careful to put down the "right answers" when taking the evaluation.  It is possible they have a low level of ego strength which causes them to erect barriers so that their weaknesses do not leave them vulnerable or conversely, they may have such large egos that they fail to see themselves as others see them.

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The Equivocation measurement is taken from the personality section questions and is merely the number of times a person chooses "2" answers instead of "1" or "3" answers.  Stanine scores of 1 through 3 are in the low range of Equivocation.  These scores represent individuals who have accepted the task of choosing extreme responses which are in most instances polar opposites.  This score is indicative of individuals who are more secure and confident in the way they feel about themselves and their relationship with their environment.  Persons scoring in stanine levels 4-6 are in the average range.  Individuals who score in the 7-9 range are evading commitment about how they feel about themselves and their relationship with others.  They have mental reservations about committing themselves to statements, are wary of the evaluation, and will tend to choose in between responses.  Unfortunately, these individuals will often carry their ambiguity over into their position.

Upon receipt of a completed booklet from an applicant, it is advisable to quickly scan the personality section to determine the approximate number of "2" responses.  If the number appears excessive, request that the applicant try and commit to as many items as possible while making a mental note of his or her original tendency.

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When both the Distortion and Equivocation scores fall into the 7-9 range, the accuracy of the instrument is diminished to no more than a fifty to seventy percent level.  Results must be considered accordingly.  When the Distortion and Equivocation levels do not exceed the average ranges, the accuracy level is basically true.


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