Psychological assessment is an approach used by psychologists to better understand an individual and gain insight into an individual's behaviors, skills, thoughts, and personality. Assessments involve an interview with a psychologist and administration of psychological tests. These tests may be pen-and-paper, self-report questionnaires, or computerized tests. The tests are standardized, which means they are given in exactly the same way to every patient. The results are then compared to those of healthy individuals with the same demographic background and/or individuals with specific psychiatric diagnoses. While test scores are an important piece of the puzzle, a psychologist uses all data available to formulate impressions.
Why was psychological assessment recommended?
Psychological assessments are recommended for a variety of reasons, including:
- clarification of diagnosis
- assisting in treatment planning
- identifying contributing factors for problems at work, school, or in relationships
- mandatory evaluations, such as for adoptions, medical procedures, or job performance
How long will an assessment take?
Psychological assessments can take from 1 1/2 hour to all day, depending on the type and reasons for the assessment. You should be informed of the expected duration when you schedule your appointment.
How does one prepare for a psychological assessment?
Psychological tests are not ones that require studying. In fact, preparing may backfire and result in inconsistent results. There is no "pass" or "fail" in psychological tests, but rather they identify areas of strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, coming to the appointment well-rested and giving one's best effort is sufficient preparation.