Half Dome from the Yosemite Valley floor
Psychological Testing

Psychological Testing

Fragment of white flower closeup

There are many (greater than 20,000) kinds of psychological tests. Most are not used much or are only used in very specific and limited situations, or are replaced and outdated. These are standardized tests given in a particular way, often for a set amount of time for each aspect of the testing, usually taking some number of hours (6-8) to complete. Schools are required to test students if they are having problems learning. It is important to understand that schools are not required to test for other aspects of mental health unless considered directly involved with the child’s ability to learn in school.

Psychological testing is sometimes used to screen for some symptoms or diagnoses, like suicidal thoughts or depression. Sometimes certain psychological tests help figure out or understand the mind when the usual methods of understanding aren’t working well enough. They are also used in the legal world to identify degrees of mental functioning and problems for various legal reasons (like custody, divorce, and family reunification).

Schools often employ master’s level psychologists to administer, score, and interpret psychological tests used to evaluate learning disabilities and any aspect related to being able to learn. Public Schools are required by law to test a student when the parents ask, in writing, for testing. Sometimes problems are found that do not meet the threshold requirements under which the school must offer to help with learning, however other avenues of help are often available to parents who know their child has some areas of struggle.

Psychologists are usually the people administering these tests because of the specialized training they have received. The most important point here is training. Anyone can administer tests and score them if properly trained.