Psychological testing is a thorough assessment given by a psychologist. Methods used to complete this assessment might vary depending on the case at hand. During the psychological testing, the psychologist will use reliable tools that help with understanding what is going on and what the best course of action is for improvements.
Sometimes the terms ‘test’ and ‘assessment’ are used interchangeably, but they’re a bit different. An assessment is an interpretation of the information about a person. It can show the individual traits of that person, and what problems they are experiencing. A test usually measures one or more specific skills of a person (like a memory test, or personality test, for example).
Psychological testing helps diagnose emotional, behavioral, or learning difficulties. Assessments include tests for intelligence, cognition, information processing, academic skills, and behavior. The information gathered by these tests can also help to understand what supports the client may need.
The tests will be administered by a psychologist. Psychologists have advanced degrees and can use psychotherapy (counseling) to help people with learning or mental health concerns. Psychologists are trained to administer psychological testing to assess individuals and to make recommendations for services and reaching life goals. Psychologists are not psychiatrists (medical doctors that can prescribe medication). A psychological test usually consists of a series of formal or structured psychological or neuropsychological tests as well as clinical interviews and questionnaires which are designed to identify and describe behavioral, emotional, or learning problems.
Types of tests that can be administered include:
Neuropsychological tests check for issues due to neurological disorders and injuries to the brain. These tests are typically used when a person shows signs of impairment but brain imaging tests show no abnormality. This type of test might be used to differentiate between dementia and depression.
Behavioral and Personality Tests
These tests help in diagnosing psychiatric disorders and planning treatment. Personality tests help describe a person’s unique thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors.
These tests measure a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses. They help guide decisions for individualized education plans (IEPs) and other academic supports.
A psychological assessment allows a psychologist to look at several types of information to gain an understanding of the patient’s mental health. During psychological testing, the psychologist will work to form a treatment plan by looking at:
A psychologist can not only help with diagnosis but also treat behavioral, emotional, and mental disorders. They can differentiate between psychological and physical causes of mental health issues through psychological testing and assessment. Using knowledge of human behavior and your testing results, your psychologist can develop an effective treatment plan. Psychological interventions can help people reach their treatment goals. Since the number of tests needed often varies, it is usually worthwhile to have an initial consultation with a psychologist to find out what tests are recommended and the overall cost and time involved.