Psychological Assessments For Students
Psychological assessments for students can be very helpful tools in determining cognitive and intellectual functioning, identifying learning disabilities and giftedness, and preparing treatment plans.
First off, a psychological assessment provides insight into how one thinks, learns, behaves, and feels. It’s comprised of a set of procedures and tests administered and interpreted by a psychologist to form a comprehensive impression of one’s functioning. In the case of a student, this type of assessment provides insight into performance, strengths, and needs when it comes to the school setting. The results can help parents, caregivers, teachers, guidance counselors, and principals understand and identify key issues while providing useful recommendations for success.
In a nutshell, a student psychological assessment offers insights into a child’s social, learning, behavioral, and personality development, with the goal of tailoring recommendations in planning their educational and mental health needs. From identifying individual learning styles to social-emotional patterns of functioning, psychological assessments can be valuable tools in the child’s educational journey.
Reasons For Student Psychological Assessments
Also known as a psychoeducational assessment in the school setting, a psychological assessment can be conducted for school-age kids as young as four years old and as old as teens and young adults. The most common reason such an assessment is performed is to get kids and teens better access to accommodations or modifications in the classroom.
The goal of conducting a psychological assessment is to identify:
- Intellectual giftedness
- Learning disabilities
- Developmental delays
- Behavioral issues
- Mood or emotional concerns
- Social issues
- And more
Once the concern has been identified, accommodations can be put in place to help the child learn the material at hand while providing them access to solutions that position them for success rather than struggle. Examples of accommodations include giving them more time during tests, quiet areas for writing exams, access to computers, and more.
Modifications pave the way for an altered curriculum and adjustments in learning expectations, such as through shorter or easier assignments, tests containing less material, and alternate assignments, just to name a few.
As children get older and emerge into the teen and young adult years, psychological assessments can provide an extra layer of support as they transition to college or the workplace. Similar in nature to the accommodations and modifications listed above, the results of these assessments can help college students access grants and scholarships as well as gain extra accessibility accommodations in dorms if necessary.
What to Expect During a Psychological Assessment
Such assessments can include many elements to arrive at conclusions, including observation, clinical interviews, formal testing and psychometric test kits, parent and teacher questionnaires, and consultations with other professionals in the student’s life.
The formal testing component can comprise anything from verbal questions and written tasks to puzzles, drawings, and social interactions. As an adjunct to the testing, parents and teachers may be asked to complete questionnaires that speak to the child’s study skills, daily functioning, behavior, emotional state, developmental issues, and social skills.
Once the assessment has been completed, it takes a couple of weeks for the psychologist to score and interpret the results, and then schedule a time to explain the findings with the parent. The feedback is usually in both verbal and written form, backed by a formal report generated by the psychologist.