A psychoeducational evaluation is a comprehension assessment of a student’s functioning in three primary areas that impact learning and academic functioning. These areas, which include: 1) learning aptitude; 2) basic academic skill development; and 3) personality/adjustment factors, will be described below.
1. Tests of Learning Aptitude – (also called intelligence (IQ) tests, cognitive processing tests) investigate a student’s abilities on measures of verbal linguistic skills (long-term memory, abstract reasoning, vocabulary development, comprehension, and auditory short-term memory) as well as non verbal skills (visual organization and memory, nonverbal reasoning, planning ability, visual motor coordination, spatial visualization ability, and short-term visual memory). Supplemental cognitive (aptitude) tests are given to further investigate any problem areas based on in-take information and observations (e.g., attention, organization, visual-auditory associative memory, processing speed, auditory (phonological processing), long-term retrieval, visuo-spatial memory and fluid reasoning, etc.).
2. Tests of Academic Skill Development – investigate a student’ s skills in the areas of reading, written language and mathematics. Within each of these academic domains, the student is tested on measures of basic skills development and higher level application and reasoning skills. For example, reading tests assess word decoding, phonetic skills, word identification, fluency/rate and comprehension.
3. Test of Personality/Adjustment Factors – investigate a student’s functioning with regard to the development of his/her academic coping strategies. One’s functioning in this regard is sometimes affected by self-esteem, anxiety, internal pressure, motivational levels, etc. that are assessed during the psychoeducational evaluation. Students are also screened for emotional distress (e.g., anxiety, depression) during this portion of the test.