James Madison University

What to expect from Assessment and Testing

There are several standardized tests that clinicians use to test various aspects of mood, personality type, and intellectual capacity. Some of these tests are used to help with diagnosis, while others, such as IQ testing, help identify a person's strengths and difficulties in particular areas

Psychological testing and assessment fall into several categories:

  • Achievement and aptitude tests are usually used in educational or employment settings, and they measure either how much you know about a certain topic (i.e., your achieved knowledge), such as mathematics, spelling, or reading.
  • Intelligence tests measure your basic ability to understand the world around you, assimilate its functioning, and apply this knowledge to enhance the quality of your life.
  • Neuropsychological tests measure difficulties in cognitive functioning (i.e., your ability to think, speak, reason, etc.) that may result from some sort of brain damage, such as a stroke or a brain injury.
  • Occupational tests attempt to match your interests with the interests of persons in known careers.
  • Personality tests attempt to measure basic personality styles and patterns to help with clinical diagnoses.