Psychological Testing


Psychological Testing is a range of standardized tests to assess traits, problems, and functions of people suffering from psychological illness or emotional stress. These tests are designed to assess any number of characteristics, including cognitive abilities, academic ability, interests, aptitudes, personality characteristics and abilities such as verbal fluency, creative thinking, and manual dexterity. Psychological test results are used to guide psychologists in creating a personalized treatment plan.

Psychological Testing Is Also Referred to By the Following Terms:

  • Psychological assessment
  • Developmental assessment
  • Personality testing

Key Things to Know About Psychological Testing

  • Psychological testing helps a psychologist determine mental health diagnoses.
  • Psychological testing begins with a visit with the psychologist.
  • Patients complete prescribed tests over several visits.
  • Not everyone completes all tests–it depends on the needs of the client.

Common Misconceptions About Psychological Testing

They are pass/fail.

Psychological tests are not pass/fail. The tests merely show you where you rank among others your same age (or grade). It is impossible to fail a psychological test. They also give you great insight into your strengths and weaknesses.

They are too hard.

While most of the tests do tend to get progressively more difficult, this is only to push you to your fullest capacity so an accurate representation of your ability can be determined. However, the items will always start out easy to get you comfortable before increasing to the more difficult items. Everyone who completes a psychological assessment will find some questions/tasks easy, some hard, some fun, some frustrating, etc.

They only measure intelligence.

There are numerous psychological tests that measure all sorts of things. There are the traditional “IQ” tests, but there are also tests for achievement, attention, autism, motor control, behavior, speech, and many more. With a true psychological evaluation, an IQ test is a small part of the puzzle, but typically necessary. Why are they necessary? Simply because a person's cognitive functioning gives clinicians an idea about their potential. From here, they can make predictions about what their academic or attention skills should be like. If attention, academic, or mood features are unusual or unexpected, they have reason to suspect a clinical diagnosis.

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