Here is a copy of the test as printed in the Enquirer. (Remember these are placed in a randomly mixed order - #1, for example, is not the first sign of the Zodiac):
1. ________ I am a perfectionist, paying attention to small, important details that others often forget. I hate to let a job go until it is finished properly by my standards. Others may find me critical, but I am more critical of myself than of them.
2. _______ I am an "easy touch" and would rather help people than make a lot of money. I enjoy daydreaming and usually get good results by trusting my intuition and following my hunches.
3. _______ I am very interested in all the creative arts, like writing, art and music. I like to settle arguments between my friends. I'm good at this, because I can see both sides of an issue.
4. _______ I am very good at business and making money, and I like taking charge and leading. I have my sensitive, emotional side, but I show this only to those closest to me. In public, I prefer to remain cool and collected at all times.
5. ______ I like to finish whatever I start, and my strong, determined personality makes me succeed. I can be jealous, but as a mate, I am very passionate.
6. ______ I like to create with words, either in writing or in speech and may sometimes monopolize conversations. However, my friends find me witty and interesting, if a bit fickle. I am usually logical and cool but change moods quickly and frequently.
7. ______ Family is very important to me, and I want to have children. I feel happiest when I am home with my family, pets and plants, and when I spend time cooking and decorating my home.
8. ______ My mind is filled with new ideas, and I like to invent things. I feel that I am in control of my life and running it in an organized, efficient manner. I like to learn and have a good memory for facts.
9. ______ I am very happy and cheerful, and I like making others happy. I am openly emotional and usually optimistic. I want my mate to cater to my every whim, but I am warm and generous in return.
10. _____ Once I make up my mind, I don't like to change it. I can be stubborn, especially when I know I am right, but I am too easygoing and quiet to get into arguments over anything.
11. _____ I am so enthusiastic about life that I am active at something all the time. I usually have five things going at once. If a project interests me, I will work long, hard hours on it. I love to talk and talk quickly, and I sometimes exaggerate.
12. _____ My love of the outdoors and outdoor sports shows me to be a person who hates being tied down or restricted in any way. Freedom is what I need, and animals, travel and humor are the things I love.
I carefully explained any terms any student wasn't sure of. After everyone had ample time to study the 12 choices, I had each student write on a sheet of paper: (1) his birthdate, (2) his choice of personalities that was closest to his own, and (3) whether he was familiar with astrology and/or what sign he was born under and what he thought that meant. I thought that if this test were given to most college students, for example, the results might be what the Enquirer claimed since most of them would know their own "signs" and what they were supposed to mean and would, consciously or unconsciously, select those. Junior High students, however, were less likely to know this than the average college student. So if I didn't count the few that actually knew what their "sign" meant, the rest would give a fair test.
There were very few who said they actually knew what their sign was supposed to mean. (In fact, there were surprisingly few who said they even knew what their sign was supposed to be.) So I had to eliminate only a handful of responses. Of the remaining 337 responses there were 28 which had the "correct" answers. Obviously this is nowhere near the 91% claimed by the Enquirer. But does it still show that astrology works?
Well, if you asked the average astrologer, he'd convince you that it does. In fact, judging by the methods normally used, he would probably tell you that he had conducted his own personal survey of people who had taken a test testing the accuracy of astrology. And without telling you how many people had participated (at least not how many had guessed wrong), he would probably say something like this: "Of the 31 people I surveyed who had taken this authoritative test, 28 were absolutely correct in selecting their personalities as they match their astrological signs! That's over 90% of all test participants that I surveyed!"
But when we look at the overall picture we see that only 28 out of a total of 337 actually guessed right. We need to know that by the law of averages a certain number have to guess right. For example, if I asked people to guess the number I am thinking of and gave them only two choices, then, on the average, one out of every 2 people would guess it right! And about 165 to 172 people out of 337 would actually guess the number I was thinking of. Would this mean about 168 people had ESP or supernatural mental powers? Of course not! That's just the number who should be able to guess the number according to the law of averages.
Now, what if I gave them 12 choices (as in the astrology test above) instead of 2? How many would guess the number then? Why about one out of every twelve would guess it. And how many would that be? In that case only about 24 to 30 (out of 337) would guess the right number according to the law of averages.
So we can see that 28 correct responses out of the 337 people who didn't know what their "sign" actually meant is exactly what we would expect if astrology did not work at all! That is the same number correct we would get if we asked 337 blindfolded people to pick one of the twelve personality descriptions without even seeing or hearing them first!
So the astrologer-devised test published in the Enquirer really proves beyond a doubt that astrology is absolutely worthless!
Oh, here is the answer code for the above personality/zodiac test: 1. Virgo (Aug. 22-Sept. 22) 2. Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20) 3. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) 4. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) 5. Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) 6. Gemini (May 21-June 21) 7. Cancer (June 22-July 21) 8. Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19) 9. Leo (July 22-Aug. 21) 10. Taurus (April 20-May 20) 11. Aries (March 21-April 19) 12. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21).
Of course, astrology has been shot down by proper scientific testing before and since. A good example may be found in the March 1986 issue of Science 86, p. 8. Here is what the article in this respected science magazine says:
"BERKELEY, CAL. - Astrology just flunked one of its toughest tests ever. Shawn Carlson, a graduate student in physics at the University of California, has shown that astrologers cannot divine someone's personality from knowledge of planetary positions.
"In his study, 116 adults returned a standard personality test that assesses traits such as sociability and dominance. Carlson sent personality profiles of three subjects, plus a natal chart for one of them, to each of two dozen astrologers recommended by members of the San Francisco chapter of the National Council for Geocosmic Research, a group specializing in astrology.
"The test was for the astrologers to choose the personality profile that best matched the natal chart, or horoscope. Carlson and the astrologers had agreed that picking the right profile half the time would mean that the astrologers had some ability to accurately describe a person's character.
"But the astrologers were able to match the natal chart with the personality profile in just one out of three cases—no better than chance [the law of averages].
"'Astrology was given every reasonable chance to succeed,' Carlson wrote in the journal Nature. `It failed.'"
Another revealing article in this respected science magazine may be found on pp. 80, 82 of the June 1984 issue of Science 84.
"Astrology's appeal to the human spirit is undeniable. If the heavens themselves shape our destiny, then we are somehow at one with the universe, and the universe somehow cares. We matter. Many believers, in fact, say they first experienced astrology as a kind of quasi-RELIGIOUS revelation: They suddenly knew it was true.
"Alas, that does not make it true. Over the last decade or so, scientists have tested the predictions of astrology in a variety of ways, with results that are best summed up in the title of a 1977 book by Anthony Standen, Forget Your Sun Sign. The book is just one shot in a barrage of scientific tests and critiques recently summarized and published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
"To begin with, according to the society's report, the sun's path through the zodiac, the belt of astrological constellations, is not quite what popular horoscopes would have us believe. It turns out that the spinning Earth is like a child's toy top: It wobbles. Being huge, it wobbles in immense, 25,000-year sweeps. This makes the sun's position along the zodiac drift farther and farther from its astrological schedule every year. After more than 2,000 years of astrology, the discrepancy is almost one full constellation.
"In late June, for example, when the sun is supposed to be in the constellation of Cancer according to traditional astrology, it is actually one constellation over, in Gemini. Gemini is really Taurus, Taurus is Aries, and so on. Thus most horoscopes that you read in the newspaper or get from astrologers apply to a completely different sign from the one assigned to your birthday.
"There are some astrologers, of course, who know their astronomy and reckon by the correct position of the sun. Even so, the general tenets and predictions of the discipline have not held up well under scientific scrutiny.
"Economists James Barth of George Washington University and James Bennett of George Mason University examined the horoscopes of men who reenlisted in the Marine corps between 1962 and 1970. Signs ruled by Venus, the planet of love and beauty, were just as common as signs ruled by Mars, the planet of war.
"Psychologist Bernie Silverman, formerly at Michigan State University, asked astrologers to predict compatible and incompatible astrological signs. Then he looked at the records of the 2,978 couples who got married and of the 478 couples who got divorced in Michigan in 1967 and 1968. Incompatible signs got married - and divorced - as often as the compatible ones.
"Astronomer Roger Culver of Colorado State University decided to test the influence of the stars on people's physical characteristics. His analysis of 22 measurements - everything from biceps to bust size to baldness - on each of 300 volunteers turned up no correlation with astrological factors at all.
"None of this fazes the professional astrologers, however. They maintain that these simple, one dimensional tests of sun signs or planetary influences will always yield random results, because each individual's horoscope in fact depends upon a whole complex range of factors. 
"Fair enough. But consider the results of French statistician Michel Gauquelin, a man who has been putting astrology to the test for more than 20 years.
"Gauquelin examined zodiacal signs, moon signs, planet signs, mid-heaven signs, and ascendant signs for 15,560 successful professionals belonging to 10 different occupations in five European countries. He studied birthdates ranging from the late 18th century to the early 20th century. Result: Correlations between profession and astrological influences were no better than random chance [the law of averages]. (Some early - and widely publicized - hints of a connection between sports champions and Mars turned out to be an astronomical error on Gauquelin's part.)
"Is there a zodiacal heredity effect, a tendency for children to be influenced by the signs of their parents? Not according to Gauquelin's study of 3,923 pairs of parents and children.
"And yet, for all that, people still take a great deal of comfort in their horoscopes. They find an eerie accuracy in the charts, an uncanny insight into their lives. Astrology works, they say, and how can this be unless it is true?
"Indeed it does work - but only because believers want to believe and because we are all very human and complex people, outgoing in one situation and shy in another, selfish at one moment and generous at the next. Given a description of almost anyone, we can usually see something of ourselves.
"Gauquelin once put out a newspaper ad offering free personalized horoscopes. To the 150 people who answered, he sent the same information, and asked how well the interpretation fit. Some 94 percent said they recognized themselves.
"It was the horoscope of mass murderer Dr. Marcel Petiot."
James Randi has been well known for exposing fraud and trickery for many years. Being a professional magician himself, The Amazing Randi, he is aware of the many forms of trickery used in convincing others that the impossible is true. In his excellent book, Flim-Flam, he discusses some of his experiences with astrology:
For more, see: