Testing: What the Heck Does That Even Mean?
A very common question we hear in the field of psychology is, "What does it mean to have my child 'tested'?"
Here is the quick and easy breakdown:
- "Testing", or a "Psychoeducational Assessment" as it's properly called, is an assortment of formal and informal assessments compiled into one report known as a "Psychoeducational Report", or a "Psych Report" for short.
- It's usually only conducted in schools for determining eligibility for special education or to gather unknown data while reevaluating a child who is already served under special education.
- Consists of two major parts, Cognitive and Educational, and is sometimes supplemented by smaller, more specific assessments.
The Two Main Components
- Cognitive Testing is essentially an IQ test (a real IQ test, not the variety on Google or in a magazine) which indicates a child's level of cognitive proficiency, usually compared to peers. This is represented by a type of score called a Standard Score, with the help of a Percentile Rank.
- Educational Testing examines fundamental academic skills commonly utilized in a school setting, including Reading, Writing and yes, everyone's favorite, Math. This type of testing generally utilizes the same score types as the aforementioned cognitive measures.
- Specialized Behavior-Rating Scales (for attention, anxiety, adaptive functioning, autism symptomatology, etc.)
- Visual-Motor Assessments
- Various Checklists/Observation Tools
- Specialized Assessments (ex: the ADOS-2 for autism)
"Testing" is not guaranteed and is determined to take place by a team of educational professionals and the parents/caretakers, collectively known as an IEP team.
I'd like to mention that all of the blogs I write are based on my own personal experiences and opinions and do not reflect the opinion of any school system or professional organization. It is also important to realize that I am not an attorney and this does not constitute any sort of legal advice. For legal questions, seek a reputable lawyer specializing in educational law. For medical questions, seek a reputable mental health professional.