When you hear the word “testing,” what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s pencils, papers and lists of questions designed to measure how much you know about a subject. Beyond students and school, you might think of medical tests involving needles, imaging, and waiting for results. But what is “psychological testing,” and what does it mean if it’s been recommended for you?
While it might seem scary or mysterious, testing is a typical part of a comprehensive psychological evaluation and is nothing to fear. Here are five things to know about psychological testing and its benefits:
1. The Goal Is Understanding
Think of psychological testing as a way to introduce your brain to someone who doesn’t know it yet. Strange as that may sound, testing gives a licensed clinical psychologist a window into the ways you think and perceive the world. Rather than judge who you are, your psychologist wants to develop a better understanding of how your brain works and help you take the next steps in your wellness journey.
2. Reasons for Testing Can Vary
Reasons for testing vary widely and depend upon the symptoms, challenges, or circumstances an individual is facing. In addition to helping diagnose mental health conditions, testing can measure intelligence and school readiness, justify workplace accommodations and deepen understanding of learning disabilities or developmental disorders. If a child, adolescent, or adult is struggling in a particular environment or with certain types of relationships, psychological testing can determine the degree to which personality traits are a factor.
3. Psychological Tests Are Selected Especially for You
Based on why you’ve been referred, a psychologist chooses a battery, or series of tests, especially for you. While the battery is tailored to your needs, the individual checklists and questionnaires you receive are not. Instead, these tools are standardized to ensure your results can be compared effectively with those of other test-takers evaluated using the same research-based criteria. The final product is a unique profile that reflects your responses to the questions asked.
4. There’s No Pass or Fail
Just as there’s no cookie-cutter approach to psychological testing, there aren’t right or wrong answers to any test questions. This means you can’t pass or fail a test, which eliminates the need to study. In fact, experts advise against searching for and answering practice questions, which can affect your responses on testing day and give you skewed results. Focus on being mindful, present, and honest, instead of being prepared.
5. Your Responses Are Starting Points
Keep in mind that psychological testing is a beginning, not an end. Your psychologist will incorporate your responses into an overall psychological evaluation, which includes personal interviews with you and your family members to balance the effort. Remember, the ultimate goal is to diagnose your condition and craft a treatment plan that matches your wellness goals.
Find Comprehensive Testing Resources for Yourself or a Loved One
At High Focus Centers, we offer comprehensive psychological testing tailored to the needs of youth, adults, and families. Our team is committed to timely test completion with flexible options for individual test-takers. Contact us today to request more information about testing for yourself or a loved one.