WHAT IS TESTING?
All kinds of testing involve asking the person being tested to perform a variety of tasks in order to understand what is unique about how they think and solve problems. Some of the tasks are verbal; others require drawing or building with blocks or similar activities. Nothing “hurts”!
TYPES OF TESTING:
Psychological Testing focuses on overall intellectual ability (intelligence) and on personality functioning (i.e., social or emotional problems). A typical "Psychological Testing" battery includes interviews of the patient (and, for children, of their parents); measures of general intellectual ability; personality questionnaires (completed by the patient and/or parents and/or teachers); and "projective tests" (e.g., the Thematic Apperception Test, Drawing Test, and Rorschach Test), in which the patient is asked to respond to ambiguous stimuli.
“Psycho educational Testing”
Psycho educational Testing focuses on school skills — reading, writing, and mathematics. A typical "Psycho educational Testing" battery includes interviews of the patient (and, for children, of their parents); measures of general intellectual ability; selected measures of memory, executive processing, and other cognitive abilities; and tests of reading, writing, and math skills.
Neuropsychological Testing focuses on thoroughly exploring a full range of cognitive functions, including memory, speech and language, processing of auditory information, processing of visual information, fine motor skills, and “executive functions” — attention, concentration, mental flexibility, planning ability, etc. A typical "Neuropsychological Testing" battery includes interviews of the patient (and, for children, of their parents); measures of general intellectual ability; and measures of cognitive functions such as memory, speech and language, auditory processing, visual processing, executive processing, and other cognitive functions.
The specific tests administered depend on the questions the testing is trying to answer. Most test batteries will include a measure of general intellectual ability" (also called "intelligence" or "IQ") such as the Wechsler Intellectual Scale for Children (WISC), Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), or Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities. Tests of memory may include all or part of the Wechsler Memory Scale, Children's Memory Scale, or Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning. Tests of "executive function" (i.e., planning, mental processing speed, mental flexibility, selective attention, set shifting, etc.) come from the Delis Kaplan Executive Function System. For children and adolescents, additional tests of cognitive function may include subtests from the NEPSY Developmental Neuropsychological Battery for Children. Academic skills are tested using the Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests (WIAT) or Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement. Other specific tests may also be administered.