Psychologists have specialized education and training to administer psychological tests and to interpret the results, so that a report of findings and recommendations may be prepared to answer referral questions. Psychological testing may be considered in several ways:
The referral source (client) and question for the tests to answer
- Testing may be requested or required by: Adults, parents, physicians, psychiatrists or psychotherapists, school staff, judges, attorneys, licensing boards, hospitals and residential treatment centers, graduate and professional admissions policies, employers, agencies, etc.
- Questions may include such as:
- Does this student have ADHD?
- Might medication evaluation be indicated? Have symptoms improved with treatment?
- Does this student qualify for accommodations under federal law (IDEA, ADA 504)?
- Is this student gifted, learning disabled, or otherwise in need of curriculum changes?
- Is this adult disabled, suffering from an impairment of a significant life function?
- What psychiatric diagnosis applies; can certain disorders be confirmed or ruled out?
- Is this person presently dangerous to self or others?
The purpose, use, or audience for the test results
- Use by an attorney in legal actions
- Use by a school IEP or Section 504 committee
- Use by a psychotherapist or psychiatrist for treatment planning or medication response
- To meet requirements imposed by the court, Child Protective Services, etc.
- To document eligibility for accommodations on nationally standardized high-stakes exams such as the SAT, ACT, MCAT, DAT, LSAT, GRE, etc. for admission to programs
- Self-understanding, as in career selection
The psychological function to be assessed
- Cognitive or intellectual functioning; Memory
- Academic achievement skills and level
- Fluency, Processing Speed
- Attention & Executive Functioning
- Auditory Processing/Language Skills Visual Spatial/Visual- Motor Integration Skills, Fine Motor Skills
- Social & Emotional functioning
- Psychological/Psychiatric diagnosis (DSM-5 / ICD-9)
- Self-care and activities of daily living
- Somatic/Cognitive Dysfunction
- Thought Dysfunction
- Behavioral Dysfunction
The tests administered and how administered
- Doctor-administered face-to-face (E.g., Rorschach, WISC-IV, WAIS-IV, WIAT-III)
- Technician-administered (E.g., Trail Making Test, VMI, Rating Scales)
- Computer-administered (E.g., CPT-2, CNS-Vital Signs)
- Paper-and-pencil or Online (E.g. BASC-2, BRIEF, CDI-2)
- Conners’ Continuous Performance Test CPT-3 and CATA
- Basic Achievement Skills Inventory (BASI™)
- Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF)
- Behavior Assessment System for Children, 2nd Edition (BASC-2)
- (BASC-2) Beck Depression Inventory -2
- Children’s Depression Inventory – 2 (CDI-2)
Subjective Questionnaires and Rating Scales (Completed by self or others)
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory – 2- RF (MMPI-2-RF)
- Millon Clinical Multiphasic Inventory-III, M-PACI
Tests completed by the patient / client