Preparing for an assessment:
What is psychological assessment?
Psychological assessment is an overarching term for the process of using a combination of techniques (e.g., testing, clinical interview, reviewing records, etc.) to help arrive at some hypotheses about a person and their behavior, personality, and capabilities. Alternative names are: psychological testing and psychological evaluation. Specific types of psychological assessment include psychoeducational assessment, psychodiagnostic assessment, and neuropsychological assessment.
Psychoeducational assessment is designed to identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses, evaluate his or her achievement level, identify possible learning disabilities, and make recommendations, as needed, for academic supports and accommodations that will allow the student to succeed in school to the best of his or her ability. Psychoeducational assessments are the basis for establishing individualized educational plans (IEPs), 504 plans, and standardized test accommodations. Psychoeducational assessment is designed to identify ADHD, learning disability, and low processing speed, among other diagnoses. The process is often referred to as psychoeducational testing or psychoeducational evaluation. Learn more about psychoeducational assessment.
Psychodiagnostic assessment is a specialized procedure to identify and differentiate a client’s symptoms, enhance diagnostic accuracy, and provide insight into a client’s daily experience. Using objective and projective tests, we are able to accurately map a client’s symptoms to diagnostic criteria, ultimately providing clarity, peace of mind, and a path forward for our clients. Psychodiagnostic assessment is designed to identify depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders, among other diagnoses. Alternative names include: psychodiagnostic testing and psychodiagnostic evaluation. Learn more about psychodiagnostic assessment.
A neuropsychological assessment is a method of assessing neurological and cognitive functioning based on your performance on objective, specialized tests. Different tests are used to evaluate specific functions (such as processing speed, problem solving, visual-motor integration, and working memory). The results of these tests are interpreted to determine strengths, weaknesses, and possible brain-related conditions. Neuropsychological assessment is designed to identify traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-concussion syndrome, among other diagnoses. Alternative names for this type of assessment are: neuropsychological testing and neuropsychological evaluation. Learn more about neuropsychological assessment.
Why should I get a psychological assessment for myself or my child?
We believe that understanding the way our minds work is fundamental to optimizing our abilities. Someone with great problem-solving skills but slow processing speed, for instance, might believe that they are incapable of solving complex tasks, but may actually perform above average when given extra time to complete the problem. A psychological assessment not only provides you with insightful information about your cognitive function, but in some cases may be used as a psychoeducational evaluation to demonstrate that you meet the criteria for special accommodations (such as extra time for standardized tests or in school). By understanding your cognitive functioning, you can identify and maximize your strengths, while addressing and minimizing the effects of your weaknesses. The comprehensive report that we will provide you at the end of your testing will clearly explain the findings of your assessment and provide detailed recommendations regarding special accommodations, treatment, and other follow ups as needed.
How are psychological assessments utilized in an educational or clinical setting? What is their real world impact?
To read more about how specific assessments can be applied in a real word setting, please refer to our Services page, and click on the specific test you’re interested in learning more about.
What information should I gather before arranging for an assessment?
Prior to your assessment, we will ask you to fill out a set of intake materials to provide us with a basic overview of your history and an understanding of what you hope to learn from the assessment process. We will ask you to provide as much information as you can regarding medical and developmental history, such as medical and developmental records, school records, and any other assessment results, which will provide a more complete picture of your functioning to date. All of these materials will be included in the report provided to you at the conclusion of your assessment.
If your assessment is going to be used to apply for special accommodations in school or on standardized tests, we will require school records, other test reports or letters that document any previous learning or other problems, and a personal written statement detailing any past learning problems. If you have not received accommodations in the past or have not been previously diagnosed, a statement explaining your request for special accommodations will be required. The better documentation we have of your history and your need, the better we will be able to assemble a report that clarifies your need for certain accommodations.
How can I prepare myself or my child for an assessment?
Because every assessment is customized, the preparation will vary from person to person. You will never be required to study any materials before coming to an assessment, but we may ask you to bring some materials with you, such as any previous psychological assessment results, reports from schools, or other records as needed. Depending on the nature of the assessment, we will be able to recommend items that you may want to have with you for the process, like a water bottle or a packed lunch.
How long will the assessment take?
All of our assessments are designed to be efficient and customized, providing us with a holistic picture of your learning. A single assessment may consist of any number of tests and subtests, hand-picked to help us develop a full picture of your cognitive functioning. Individual tests and subtests can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the nature of the test. As such, your individual assessment could take a couple hours or require a couple of sessions over two days. All of these details will be discussed with you prior to beginning the testing process, and our team will work closely with you to arrange for an optimal and effective testing process. The administrator will work with you to determine the best plan for the timing of the assessment, including whether it should be done over the course of a day, or in smaller segments. Typically, this will depend on the type of assessment being done.
What is the testing process like?
Prior to the assessment, a testing administrator on our assessment team will contact you to discuss the details of the assessment, including the time, location, and anything that must be done to prepare you for the testing day. The administrator will work with you to determine the best plan for the timing of the assessment, including whether it should be done over the course of a day, or in smaller segments. Typically, this will depend on the type of assessment being done. The administrator will also discuss the best location for you, somewhere quiet, confidential, and comfortable. The administrator will also review any necessary preparations as needed.
On the day of the assessment, the test administrator from our team will meet you in the designated location and provide you with an overview of the plan for the assessment. Every assessment begins with a clinical interview to collect background information that may be pertinent to developing a holistic understanding of your functioning. The tests themselves are conducted using the most up-to-date methods.
The majority of our tests are completed using iPads, but some utilize a laptop or other props. For most people, a psychological assessment will be comprised of several brief subtests, which will take between 5 and 30 minutes each. You will be allowed to take breaks between subtests as needed, and the administrator will work with you to stay within the planned timing for the completion of the testing. Although you may not eat or drink during the tests, you may during the breaks between tests.
After an assessment:
What kind of results do you provide?
The results of an assessment depend on the nature of the testing. In other words, if you or your child are looking to find out about a possible learning disability, the testing process will focus on assessing strengths and deficits in learning processes, and the report will discuss our findings regarding diagnosis and include recommendations to improve learning success. However, even assessments for learning disabilities can benefit from exploring other areas too—such as anxiety—that might also be affecting academic success. As such, our assessment reports are thoroughly constructed to look at a wide array of areas that will help us learn more about how our clients’ minds work best, whether the presenting problem is academic, vocational, or emotional, all with an aim toward success through insight.
When can I expect to receive results?
In most cases, we are able to provide a full report within one week of the completion of an assessment. For preliminary screenings, results will be ready within three business days.
How should I or my child apply these results?
At the completion of the assessment process, a member of our team will go over the results with you thoroughly and will be available to answer any questions you may have. Depending on the nature of the assessment, you may be advised to pursue additional resources to help you get support for success, such as an organizational coach, psychotherapist, tutor, or specific academic resources, such as extended time or other classroom accommodations. Our team will be available to discuss recommendations and application of the results with you at length to ensure that the results are put to best use towards achieving your goals for yourself or your child.
Scheduling & payment information:
When can I schedule an assessment?
Our team strives to make scheduling as easy as possible. We provide a wide array of testing times, including evenings and weekends, so that you can have the opportunity to receive an assessment without missing school, work, or other weekday commitments. For a free consultation or to schedule an appointment, call us at 646-828-6627 or Contact us over email.
Should I schedule the testing in my home or somewhere else?
At the outset of the testing process, you will work together with a member of our United Assessment team to determine the best venue for you or your child to complete testing. Deciding on the best location for testing may depend on your schedule, the availability of a quiet and non-distracting workspace in your home, your ability to travel to another testing location, and the nature of the assessment being completed. Our team is committed to providing a convenient and thorough assessment, working with you to make the testing process as seamless as possible by thoughtfully choosing the best possible testing location to suit the needs of you or your child.
Are you covered by my insurance?
In accordance with our policy, assessment is always an initial out-of-pocket expense, even if your insurance company provides for some reimbursement. While most insurance companies do not cover testing as an in-network benefit, many insurance companies will reimburse you for a portion of the costs through your out-of-network benefits, if applicable. It is your responsibility to know the benefits and provisions of your insurance policy.
How much will the assessment cost?
Because our assessments are highly personalized, the time and materials needed for the tests and subtests that comprise each assessment we administer can vary greatly from person to person. Charges are determined based on the composition of the assessment (i.e., which tests are used). As such, all rates are discussed with each client on an individual basis. Clients are asked to provide payment for all assessments at the time the services are rendered. We currently accept cash and check only.
In what areas do you offer your services?
Our team is proud to offer assessment services in New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island), New York State (Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Orange County, Putnam County, Dutchess County, Sullivan County, Ulster County, Delaware County, Greene County, Columbia County, Albany County, Rensselaer County, Schoharie County, Otsego County), and Connecticut (Fairfield County, New Haven County, Litchfield County, Middlesex County, Hartford County, Tolland County, Windham County, New London County).
Have more questions? Ask a member of our team.