Testing Teenagers

Psychological testing for TEENAGERS and ADOLESCENTS (age 14 – 19)

Students in middle school and high school may experience difficulty adjusting to increasing academic demands, or the pressures associated with standardized testing and the preparations for college application. You may wonder if your adolescent is struggling with a specific learning disorder or an emotional problem, such as depression or anxiety. Pinpointing the factors underlying emotional, behavioral and/or academic problems in teens can be tricky,though an accurate diagnosis is an essential step in treating mental health difficulties. For teens struggling with learning issues, psychological difficulties, or behavioral problems, it can mean the difference between progressing in treatment or remaining stuck in their current situation and unhealthy pattern of behavior.

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Teenagers and adolescents are typically referred for testing for the evaluation of:

  • Disability documentation for prospective high school students seeking reasonable accommodations while taking college level admission examinations (i.e., SAT). Useful Resources: UCLA Office for Students with Disabilities. and College BoardUSC Disabilities Services and Programs
  • Social and emotional difficulties including anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other disruptive behavior problems
  • Learning disabilities
  • Developmental disorders
  • Giftedness testing

Learn more on my Frequently Asked Questions page. Also read about psychological testing for younger children.

What about educational testing at public schools?

A Word of Caution: it is important to note that psycho-educational testing is available to all school-aged children and adolescents, free of charge, through their public home school. However, parents should be aware that school psychologists and other school personnel interpret test results primarily for the purpose of determining eligibility for special education. Furthermore, their training may be limited in scope and they may not have the available time or resources to provide a complete assessment battery in the school setting. Thus, school psychologists and other school personnel will be able to evaluate some, but not all of the information available and may not be able to provide you with a full, and perhaps, truly accurate picture of your child/adolescent.