Psychoeducational Testing – The Who, What, Where, When and Why

At our practice, we provide psychoeducational assessments ranging from young children to adults. When clients first reach out to us, often times, parents and students express feeling overwhelmed and/or confused by the psychoeducational assessment process. As such, we have pulled together some key information regarding psychoeducational assessment.

What is psychoeducational testing?

Psychoeducational testing typically involves a comprehensive assessment of a student’s cognitive, academic, and socio-emotional functioning. Tests usually are standardized such that students’ scores are compared on these core areas to other students of the same age and gender.

Testing itself typically takes approximately 8 hours (depending on the student’s age and the referral question). We schedule testing over the course of 2 sessions, although some children need additional sessions of shorter duration.

During the evaluation, students work individually with a psychologist but breaks are often taken to facilitate and promote attention and mental stamina. After the testing is completed, parents/adults return to the office for a feedback session when findings, diagnostic impressions, and recommendations are reviewed. When appropriate, an additional feedback session is scheduled with the child/adolescent. The goal of this session is to help students understand their learning style, with an emphasis on their learning strengths. All of this information is written up in formal report by the end of the assessment process.

Who should receive a psychoeducational assessment & why? 

As mentioned above, we offer psychoeducational assessments at our office to a range of populations ranging from preschool-age children to middle-aged adults.

Students often are referred for an assessment by their school, psychologist, or physician based on concerns related to learning or underperformance in school or on standardized tests. Given the comprehensive scope of psychoeducational assessments, testing allows a psychologist to better understand a student’s learning profile and individual set of strengths and weaknesses. Testing can identify and document learning disabilities, neurodevelopmental disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, and executive functioning deficits that all can result in academic, occupational, social, or other functional impairment.

Where can I receive a psychoeducational assessment?

Psychoeducational assessments can be completed at school (when conducted by the school system) or at a psychologist’s private office. We offer psychoeducational assessments in all 3 of our locations: Georgetown, Bethesda, and McLean.

When should my child or I receive a psychoeducational assessment?

This is the trickiest question. We recommend considering a psychoeducational assessment when students are experiencing significant challenges at school that get in the way of their learning, interfere with their ability to perform up to their full potential, or adversely affect their emotional wellbeing.

We are happy to speak with you further by phone to help determine if testing is warranted at this time. If you are interested in scheduling an assessment or have further follow-up questions, contact us at (301) 652-5550.