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Types of Assessments

This list is not to be considered exhaustive but, rather, representative of the types of assessments to tend to conduct.  Further, not all assessment types need to be complete for all referral questions.  

Cognitive Testing

Intellectual testing, also known as intelligence testing or IQ testing, is a method used to measure an individual's cognitive abilities and intellectual potential. These tests are designed to assess various aspects of cognitive functioning, including problem-solving skills, logical reasoning, memory, comprehension, and verbal and other abilities.

Intellectual tests typically consist of a series of standardized questions or tasks that are administered under controlled conditions. The results are compared to a normative sample of the population to determine the individual's intellectual abilities relative to others of the same age group.  These tests provide scores in several areas of cognitive functioning, such as verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed.

Intellectual testing is used for various purposes, including educational placement, identifying intellectual giftedness or learning disabilities, and assessing cognitive decline or impairment.  


Achievement Testing

Achievement testing is a method used in education to measure a person's knowledge or proficiency in a particular subject or skill set. These tests are typically administered to students at various stages of their academic journey, such as elementary, middle, and high school, as well as in higher education.

The primary purpose of achievement testing is to assess how well students have learned the material covered in their courses or curriculum. These tests are standardized, meaning that they are administered and scored in a consistent manner across different test takers. This allows for comparisons to be made.  

Achievement tests can cover a wide range of subjects, including mathematics, reading, and writing.

Results from achievement tests can provide valuable information to educators and parents about students' academic strengths and weaknesses. This information can be used to inform instructional decisions, curriculum development, and educational interventions aimed at improving student learning outcomes.


Emotional Assessment

Emotional assessment refers to the process of evaluating an individual's emotional state, well-being, and coping mechanisms. This assessment can be conducted through various methods, including self-report questionnaires, interviews, observation, and psychological testing. The aim is to gain insight into a person's emotional functioning, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Emotional assessment is often used to diagnose emotional disorders, monitor treatment progress, and develop personalized interventions. 


Adaptive Skills

Adaptive skills assessments, also known as adaptive behavior assessments, are evaluations that measure an individual's ability to function effectively in everyday life across various domains. These assessments are particularly important for individuals with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, or other cognitive impairments. Adaptive skills encompass a wide range of abilities necessary for independent living, social interaction, and personal functioning. Adaptive skills assessments typically cover areas such as:

  1. Communication: Assessing an individual's ability to express needs, desires, and thoughts effectively through verbal and nonverbal communication.

  2. Daily Living Skills: Evaluating skills related to activities of daily living (ADLs) such as personal hygiene, dressing, eating, cooking, cleaning, and managing money.

  3. Social Skills: Assessing social interaction skills, including the ability to initiate and maintain relationships, understand social cues, cooperate with others, and engage in appropriate social behavior.

  4. Functional Academics: Evaluating basic academic skills such as reading, writing, math, and problem-solving that are necessary for functioning independently in daily life.

  5. Community Participation: Assessing the individual's ability to navigate community settings, use public transportation, engage in recreational activities, and access community resources and services.

  6. Employment Skills: Evaluating vocational skills such as following instructions, completing tasks, time management, and workplace behavior.


Adaptive skills assessments are often conducted through standardized measures, interviews, observations, and reports from caregivers or professionals who are familiar with the individual's daily functioning. These assessments provide valuable information for identifying areas of strength and areas needing support, developing individualized intervention plans, monitoring progress over time, and determining eligibility for support services and resources. They are an essential component of comprehensive evaluations for individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities and inform the development of person-centered plans to enhance independence and quality of life.

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Austin Psychological & Testing Center, LLP

Specializing in Psychological Assessments 
    for ages 5 plus
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