We are all a unique set of traits, abilities and peculiarities, that often we can make no sense of.

Let me help you decode yourself so you can untangle what is getting in the way, make sense of the reasons you do things and make smarter choices in the future. Oh and also see how truly incredible you really are.

If you are anything like me, you grew up thinking you were not good enough or perhaps beat yourself up for all the things you felt you should be good at but just couldn’t get the hang of.

And the things you could do, you probably ignored or brushed off because everyone could do them, right?



We are all a unique set of skills, abilities and oddities, but for some it takes us a while to discover and recognise what is fantastic about us.

About 15 years ago I was struggling as I started out on my self-employed journey, the way other people did things wasn’t the way I wanted to do them, I didn’t feel like I belonged and I just didn’t seem the same as those around it. In fact, when I think about it I’ve felt like this all my life. So I decided once and for all to figure out what made me, well me. I did every test known to man and hit a gem, The Highlands Ability Battery, a test that to this day still shapes me life. I loved the test so much I got trained to deliver and have for the last 13 years administered the test over and over again on young people and adults alike and like me, they have loved it.

What is the Highlands Ability Battery?

The Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) is an on-line assessment ideal for teens and young adults who want an understanding of their natural abilities and a clearer picture of the future.  The Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) is an assessment that measures aptitudes that stabilize around age 14 and are not typically modified by training or practice. It’s also a life-changing experience that can re-direct a person’s choices in school and work.  Unlike tests of skills, personality, interests, or values – all of which are influenced by changes over time – abilities are assessed through the actual performance of tasks which measure how easily you can perform those tasks.   The HAB measures 14 abilities, 3 personal style dimensions, and one skill.   HAB worksamples require the test-taker to follow instructions on the computer screen (reproduced in audio) and then to “do” or “recognize” something in response. In all, the HAB takes 3.5 hours to complete and can be taken anywhere there is a reliable Internet connection.

So what’s so different about this test?

Well first it measures natural abilities, the things you do easily and effortlessly and you can’t cheat on it as you don’t answer questions, you have to do things. Second, it helps you realise what is helping and hindering you in your ability pattern.

Let’s take me for example.

I’m low in an ability called Classification, the diagnostic decision-making. In the police it took me a beat to put all the pieces together in an investigation but it meant I listened to others more and often thought about the solution more deeply. I’m high in idea productivity which means I can brainstorm for England, but I do get easily distracted and move on quickly. And then if I look at my work in the coaching world it was hard for me to fit in because coaching is a very abstract thing and I’m a concrete thinker. Knowing this information arms you  to make decisions based on who you are, your strengths and real factual information, not just what you think.

I’ve always believed we should play to our strengths, not our weaknesses, and this test really helps you do this.

I feel so grateful to have helped hundreds of young people shape their lives according to their natural abilities, rather than a life someone else had planned for them, or what someone else thought was a good fit. And I've helped adults re-evaluate what they have believed about themselves up to now, change their businesses to suit their style more and generally be more happy with themselves.

 So if like me you like to deconstruct things, like real information and really want to get a handle on who you are, you might also love this test.

And if you have a child over the age of 14 this test might just be the difference between them living a mediocre life to an extraordinary one they love.

If you have any questions about this test please do not hesitate to email me ( I’ve put more details below including videos and sample reports.


What will this test help me do?

The test is best for people who want to:

  1. Understand their natural abilities and tendencies and learn how they impact not only their everyday bit future plans.

  2. Understand their decision-making process. We all make decisions differently and when we understand how we work we can make quicker decisions and also learn to trust ourselves more.

  3. Understand their communication style. The way we talk to people and the way we need information from others is unique for us all. This test will help you not only understand how you communicate but where you might have difficulties with others and how to overcome them.

  4. Learn their unique combination of abilities and what that means for them, not only now but in future decisions.

And if you have a teenager this test will also help them figure out the best way they study, and be more efficient and effective at school, as well as supporting them in making future choices about A-Levels and University.

And it is brilliant if

  • You are stuck or going back and forth in making a decision about the way forward.

  • You just need a little direction.

  • You need to find the confidence to follow your path.

  • You need a little nudge to get going in the right direction.

  • You want to make a link between your future chosen path and your abilities.

  • You just want hard and fast data as to why something is the right thing for you. Like you know it in your heart and intuitively, but you need a bit more convincing or you need to convince someone else.

The cost of this programme is £300 for the adolescent version and £450 for the adult (payments can be split)

It includes:

  • The Highlands Ability Battery. I’ve included a video below where I have walked through one of my daughter’s reports so you can see how beneficial it is to know.

  • A detailed report about your abilities and what they mean to you.

  • A two-hour feedback session with me, which is normally completed in two one-hour sessions on Skype or on the phone, where we talk through the results and look at what they mean, how they relate to your current situation and how you might make use of them in the future. . If on Skype these calls are recorded.

  • The option to ask me any questions that come up in relation to you and your report up to a year after you complete the test.

  I really do love this program; for me it is like finding buried treasure.

Contact me to see if this programme is right for you.


But don’t take my word for it here are what some awesome people say about me below.

It’s Maia; I am just emailing to thank you for your help with my A-level choices. I have now chosen Psychology, English Literature, Law and Philosophy and I’m really happy, and feel confident with my choices. I have also received a letter this evening to say I’ve been accepted in to Bridgewater College so, as long as I get the grades, I will be able to do these subjects. I really am grateful for your help as otherwise I really don’t think I would have enjoyed the subjects I had planned to take and would have probably ended up dropping out of college. Your help also means I feel a lot calmer and more secure with my choices and I can’t wait to start studying them in September.

Leah Sian Davies

‘Doing the highlands with Sarah was hugely reassuring for me. Knowing that I am a ‘generalist’ and not a ‘specialist’ was a relief and I could stop beating myself up for not focussing on just one area of my business and embrace that I am able to bring a number of ideas together that work towards my message and my purpose. Learning that I am on the cusp of an introvert/extrovert has also helped me manage my working week, so if I have too much time working at home alone, I mix it up with going to a coffee shop or meeting a friend for coffee, it helps me keep my energy and motivation going without burning myself out. The stuff I learned about my time frame also made me recognize that I have a short term plan and so I’m good at tactical working in my business, but I need to keep asking myself about my long term goals too, it helps me keep an eye on the bigger picture. I’ve also found new ways to capture my ideas (I have a lot of them!) and then to work out which ones are short term and I can start right now and which ones need more planning. I think it’s always good to really understand yourself and how you work best and doing the Highlands has given me permission to run my business my way and not always listen to all the strategies and models out there. I definitely can trust my intuition more when making decisions in my business.’

Kay Bolton

I was coaching young people in a school and within the hairdressing industry, but had been feeling disillusioned about how I could move forward, something did not feel right but I wasn't sure what, I always spend time thinking about the things others are doing within the coaching industry and feeling less than. I wasn't sure which way to turn! I was stuck.   The programme helped me by highlighting my natural abilities; it helped me focus on what I am good at, supporting me to take some action in a different direction to grow my business towards my strengths. It gave me an overview of why I found some things difficult, because it isn't the natural way I think. When I received my results and saw how low I was at some of the tasks I felt a bit despondent but after it was analysed by Sarah and she went through it I realised that in some areas it was a good thing I was low because it made me a better coach!   After the programme I felt at peace with myself with the things I gave myself a hard time for, I have completed the course of calls with Sarah and feel I do have a gift and need to be using my gift in a different way to maximize the difference I can make in this world. If you want to move your business forward but feel you are not sure how, taking the Highlands test enables you to find your natural abilities and give you the power to step into a higher place, feeling stronger and more forceful.

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