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Assessment FAQs

 About the CliftonStrengths Assessment

Clifton StrengthsFinder defines talent as a naturally recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied.

In CliftonStrengths, a strength is the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance in a specific activity. The key to building a strength is to identify your dominant talents, which are likely found within your top five themes, and then complement them by acquiring knowledge and skills pertinent to the activity. For more information on talents and strengths, visit the CliftonStrengths website.

A weakness is a shortage or misapplication of talent, skill or knowledge that causes problems for you or others. In a strengths-based approach, the focus is on building strengths and determining ways to manage weaknesses, not ignore them. Managing weaknesses will help you prevent failure, and building strengths will lead you to success.

The chances of having the exact same top 5 Signature Themes in the exact order as someone else is 1 in 33.39 million. The chances of having the same top 5 Signature Themes as someone else, but in a different order, is approximately 1 in 340,000.

Your top 5 Signature Themes will not indicate specific majors or career paths for you to pursue. For example, having the theme of “Analytical” does not mean that you should pursue a major in math or computer science. The best way to use the assessment to inform your choice of major and/or career is to determine ways to apply your strengths to your chosen major and/or career. Skills and knowledge gained through a specific major and/or career will also provide opportunities to transform your talents into strengths.

No. The CliftonStrengths assessment is a tool to help you in your self-discovery. Your top 5 Signature Themes are intended to help raise your awareness about where you naturally excel or have the potential to excel. The intent behind this strengths-based approach is to help you learn and understand how to apply your specific talents to the choices you make in your academic, career and personal life.

About Taking the Assessment

Once you have created your account, it should take about 30-40 minutes to complete the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment.

The time limit and your unfamiliarity with the statements ensure your assessment's accuracy by making it difficult to over-think your responses. The Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment works by challenging you to make choices between paired statements. The combination of all the choices you made is used to calculate your top five Signature Themes. If the time limit prevented you from making a choice, it is very likely that neither statement affected you in a way that allowed you to make a top-of-mind choice. Whether each of the two statements described you equally well, or neither statement described you well, your difficulty in making a choice reveals that the statement pair probably did not tap into one of your most dominant themes.

Yes. If you previously took the assessment, you will be able to access your existing results through the original account you set up with Gallup when you first took the assessment. Visit Gallup’s Clifton StrengthsFinder website for more details.

Start with your Signature Theme Report. This report will provide you with general overall descriptions of each of your themes. After you are more familiar with these general descriptions and how your themes apply in your life, move on to the StrengthsInsight and Action Planning Guide. This report provides descriptions of your themes in a way that also takes the unique combination of your results into account. This report also provides some specific ideas for how you can take action steps based on your talents.

Yes. There is a 20-second timer for each statement on the assessment. However, it can be turned off if you have a disability that requires you to take the CliftonStrengths for Students assessment without a time limit. 

If this is the case, please check the Accessibility-Enhanced Version box after entering your user name and password but before you select login.

Yes. The Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment is offered in 20+ languages. When you create your account, there will be an option to choose a language for the assessment.

Yes. It is possible to print the Signature Themes Report in 20+ different languages. Currently the Strengths Insight and Action Planning Guide and the Strengths Insight Report are available in English only.

If you are distracted or interrupted while taking the assessment, you do not need to start over. If necessary, simply sign in again, and the assessment will automatically resume where you left off. If you are still signed in, click the Continue button to return to the paired statements you were considering before you were interrupted. If you need assistance, contact the Clifton StrengthsFinder Support Team. For the most accurate results, we encourage you to complete the assessment in one sitting, in a peaceful environment, free of distractions.

Yes. If necessary, simply sign in again by clicking Sign In on the upper-right side of the page. The assessment will automatically resume where you left off. If you are still signed in, click the Continue button to return to the paired statements you were considering before you were interrupted. If you need assistance, contact the Clifton StrengthsFinder Support Team.

We do not recommend retaking the assessment. Taking Clifton StrengthsFinder more than once may decrease the accuracy of your results.


Please retake the assessment. Your account should be automatically reset so that you can take the assessment again. Log in using the username and password that you used to create your account and you should be directed to retake it.

You should be able to obtain your results immediately after completing the assessment. Go to Villanova’s Gallup site and log in using your user name and password. Once you are logged-in your results should appear automatically on the home screen. You can download further reports by clicking on the report links beneath the results.

Villanova conducted an extensive review of Gallup's data security procedures; they met Villanova’s standards for data protection. Villanova is not using the data collected to study students or the university community. 

Any Villanovan who takes the assessment and wishes to delete their profile from Gallup may do so by emailing them at

Those individuals should print and save their reports externally if they intend to re-read or use them in the future.