StrengthsQuest FAQ | MVCC | Mohawk Valley Community College
skip to main content
Adjust Font Size

Frequently Asked Questions

Search FAQs:
About StrengthsQuest Taking StrengthsQuest
About StrengthsQuest
Will I be "labeled", "stereotyped", or "put in a box" based on my talent themes/strengths?

No. The StrengthsFinder assessment is a tool that can help individuals in their own self-discovery. The Top 5 Talents Themes that are provided after completing the assessment are intended to help raise an individual's awareness about where they naturally excel or have the potential to excel. The intent behind the strengths-based approach is to help individuals learn and understand how to apply their own specific talents to the choices they make in their academic, career and personal lives.

Back to top
What is CliftonStrengths and how is it different from StrengthsFinder?

The CliftonStrengths experience starts with the StrengthsFinder Assessment a web-based assessment that provides you with your Top 5 Talent Themes as a starting point for self-discovery and a strategy for success at MVCC and beyond. 
For more information visit their website.

Back to top
What is a talent? What is a strength? How do they differ?

According to Gallup, "A talent is a naturally recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied."

According to Gallup, "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, then complement them by acquiring knowledge and skills pertinent to the activity."

For information about the difference between talents and strengths visit their website.

Back to top
Why does StrengthsQuest reveal only my Top Five Strengths?

The purpose of StrengthsQuest is to start you on the path to success by helping you discover your most dominant talents. Talents are the "raw materials" required for strengths development, and the more dominant the talents, the greater the opportunity for strength. The instrument measures the presence of talents - naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied - in 34 areas, or "themes." However, to provide focus on your most dominant talents, only your top five themes are revealed.

Back to top
How likely is it to have the same Top 5 Talent Themes as somebody else?

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

Back to top
Who has access to my CliftonStrength assessment results? What will those results be used for?

Your results may be accessed by the college faculty and staff to ensure your success as a student. For example, your academic adviser, career counselor or instructor may use a strengths-based approach to help you learn more about yourself, others and opportunities to engage on campus.

Back to top
What careers and/or majors should students pursue based on their talents themes/strengths?

Top 5 Talent Themes won't dictate specific majors or careers that an individual should pursue. For example, having the talent theme of "Analytical" does not mean that a person should pursue a major in math or computer science. Instead, consider how the person can apply his/her talents to the majors and/or careers that are of the greatest interest to her/him or how the skills and knowledge gained through a specific major and/or career will provide opportunities to transform a person's talents into strengths.

Back to top
What about my weaknesses? Should I just ignore them now that I know my strengths?

The strengths-based approach is not about ignoring weaknesses. It is important to be aware of areas that are not strengths; however, instead of spending a lot of time and energy trying to turn those weaknesses into strengths, figure out ways to manage those weaknesses so that they don't prevent you from being successful.

Back to top
Where can I get more information about StrengthsQuest?

You can read the StrengthsQuest book for free on the SQ website. The StrengthsQuest website also has many useful tools to help you develop your strengths. Sign in to your account and look for the "Online Book" tab and other resources.

Back to top
What is the reliability and validity of the CliftonStrengths assessment?

For more information regarding the research supporting StrengthsQuest, please refer to the Clifton StrengthsFinder Technical Report.

Back to top
Taking StrengthsQuest
How can I get a code for myself?

Codes are provided to incoming students during enrollment so they can take it before starting classes as a student.

If you have not received a code but are interested in taking the assessment please contact Nancy Will in the EDLS department to request one.

Back to top
I have already taken the CliftonStrengths (StrengthsQuest) assessment. Can I use the results I have?

Yes, you will need to be able to access your existing results through the original account you set with Gallup when you first took the assessment.

Back to top
What email should I use to set up my StrengthsQuest account?

If you have received a code through MVCC it is easiest for you to use your MVCC student email so we can link your results.  Your MVCC email address is your first initial, last name and day of your birthday (ex:

Back to top
I don't know where to enter my access code.

On the StrengthsQuest webpage, click on the "Access Code" button in the upper right hand corner and follow the steps.

Back to top
My code doesn't work.

First, verify that you are typing the correct code (sometimes copying & pasting it rather than retyping it works best). Also note that each code is a onetime use code, so if you previously logged in and began the registration process you are a returning user rather than a new user.  If it is still not working and you received a code through the college, please contact Nancy Will.

Back to top
I lost my code.

You can email to be re-issued your code.

Back to top
After finishing taking the talent assessment, I received an error that said I had given too many neutral responses. What do I do?

You'll have to retake the talent assessment. Your account should be automatically reset so that you can take the assessment again. Log back in using the username and password (not the access code) that you used to create your account and you should be directed to retake it. This time you'll want to try to answer more questions not in the exact middle.

Back to top
I took the CliftonStrengths assessment but how do I get my results?

Visit the StrengthsQuest site and click the sign-in box on the upper right corner. You will need the email address (hopefully your MVCC email) and password you used to create the account. Once you are logged into your account, your talent themes and helpful resources will appear on the first page.

Back to top
Which report should I use from the StrengthsQuest website?

Start with your Signature Theme Report. This report will provide you with general overall descriptions of each of your talent themes. For example, if you have Communication as one of your talent themes and your friend also has Communication as a talent theme, the definition of that theme would appear the same in each of your Signature Theme Reports. After you are more familiar with these general descriptions and how your themes apply in your life, move on to the Strengths Insight and Action Planning Guide. This report provides descriptions of your themes in a way that also takes the unique combination of your Top 5 Talent Themes into account. So, using the same example above, the definition of Communication that appears in the Strengths Insight and Action Planning Guide for you and your friend would be different because this definition is now taking into account the remaining four talents themes for each of you.  This report also provides some specific ideas for how you can take action steps that are based on your talents.

Back to top
Are there accommodations for people with disabilities?

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 talent assessment without a time limit. If this is the case, please use your access code to set up a username and password for an account, then contact
If you will need additional accommodations which may include magnification of the text on the computer screen, having the test questions read aloud, or other services please contact the Office of Accessibility Services at 315-792-5644.

Back to top
Is the assessment available in other languages?

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

If the assessment is taken in a language other than English, can the report still be printed in English?

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. It is expected that you will use the English version of reports when interacting with faculty and staff, even if you took the assessment in a different language.

Back to top
I stopped in the middle of taking the online assessment. Can I start again?

You can pick up where you left off simply by logging back into the website again. Since you have already entered your access code to get started, it won't work again.

Back to top
Can I retake the assessment? Can taking the CliftonStrengths assessment more than once affect my results?

Your code is only valid to take the assessment once.  Because talents are naturally enduring, it is unlikely that your talents will change significantly over the course of your life. However, by shifting your focus and acquiring new skills and knowledge to capitalize on your greatest talents in different ways, you can develop new strengths.

Personality research reveals that your talents are most unstable when you are a child, but when you become an adult, they are remarkably consistent. If you have prevalent Empathy talents as a young adult, in all likelihood, you will have prevalent Empathy talents at age 80. A Strategic teenager will be a Strategic senior.

Does this mean that you won't change during the course of your life? Of course not. You surely will change in some respects. Your values, the moral compass that focuses your life, will point you in different directions at age 20 than at age 60. Also, your self-awareness will deepen as you age, making you less defensive about your flaws and more sophisticated about where and how to apply your talents. But your essence - how you naturally feel, think, and behave - almost certainly will remain the same. As your life progresses, you more fully develop who you already are.

Back to top
How can I get my full list of 34 talent themes?

You are able to purchase your entire results on the Gallup store website.

Back to top
Can I read the StrengthsQuest book?

You are able to read the StrengthsQuest book for free online once you have set up an account on the CliftonStrengths website and taken the StrengthsFinder assessment. Sign in to your account and look for the "Online Book" tab. The other StrengthsQuest books are also available in the library on both campuses.

Back to top
I can't remember my CliftonStrengths username and password.

Follow the steps outlined on this CliftonStrengths webpage.

Back to top
My computer crashed while I was taking the assessment. What do I do?

Log back in and continue taking the assessment where you left off. Your progress was likely saved. If you missed answering multiple questions prior to the computer crashing completely, contact the StrengthsQuest Support Team by e-mail at or by phone at 888.211.4049 and request that your account be reset so that you can start the assessment over from the beginning.

Back to top