PsychologicalTesting and Assessment of Adolescents
PsychologicalTesting and Assessment of Adolescents
Testsand assessments are two different but related components withinpsychological evaluation. One of the key uses of the two interrelatedcomponents is that, they help the psychologists towards diagnosingand implementing the best treatment plan. Assessment is the processof judging the quality of student achievement by evaluating theirperformance in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes. It entailsthe administration and interpretation of tests and relating theseresults to the current and past learning, observations and lifeexperiences to determine if the student achieves the desiredachievements(Kranzler & Floyd, 2013).
Assessmentplays a crucial role in education as it determines whether or not thegoals are being met or not. Also referred to as ‘psychologicalassessment’, psychologicaltestingis basis of how the psychologists understand an individual’s andtheir behaviors better. It entails problem solving, as well as beinga process the aids in identifying strengths and weaknesses of anindividual.
Roleof Assessment in Education
Educationalassessment helps in the diagnosis of learner weaknesses and strengths(Kranzler& Floyd, 2013).The areas where the student performs well are deemed as his or herstrengths while those that are poorly performed are deemed asweaknesses. This aids the educator to device instruments that addressthe weaknesses while maximizing on strengths so as to promote optimumlearning.
Theassessment also helps in the evaluation of the teaching methods andstrategies employed by the teacher (Price, n.d.). If the studentsperform well, the teaching strategies are effective but if theyperform poorly, the methods need to be changed. Therefore, assessmentprovides timely feedback to both the student and the teacher which inturn provides opportunities to correct mistakes early.
Assessmentsare also used in education as a criterion to promote students to thenext level if they qualify at the current level. It is also used tomotivate learners to study and work hard as well as to facilitatelearning. It also motivates staff and teachers to help the studentsmore in their school or academics. Lastly, educational assessmentknowledge is equally helpful in the evaluation of the curriculumwhich helps in generating appropriate student activity at differentlevel of training (Cohen,Swerdlik & Sturman, 2013).
WechslerIntelligence Scale for Children
Thereis different assessment tools used to evaluate learners. Thisincludes the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) which isan individually administered measure of intelligence for childrenaged 6-16 years. It measures the intelligence of the child, accordingto both verbal and nonverbal abilities (Kranzler& Floyd, 2013).The test provides four primary index scores. These are the VerbalComprehension Index, Visual Spatial Index, perceptual reasoningIndex, Working Memory Index, and Processing Speed Index.
Theverbal comprehension index (VCI) measures the verbal conceptformation, such as vocabulary and comprehension. The child listens toa question and answers it aloud after reasoning it out. Theperceptual reasoning Index (PRI) measure non-verbal and fluidreasoning. It assesses the child’s ability to examine a problem,use visual and motor skills to create solutions. A test used for suchinclude picture concepts and completion and matrix reasoning. TheWorking Memory Index (WMI) measure the working memory of the child byassessing the ability of the child to memorize new information, holdit in a short time and use it to produce a result (Cohen,Swerdlik & Sturman, 2013).The Process Speed Index (PSI) tests the speed of processinginformation by coding and search for symbols. It tests the ability ofthe child to quickly scan and disseminate information to provide thebest result (Bebeset al, 2015).
TheRaven`sProgressive Matrices are non-verbal multiple choice questions thatare used to assess general intellectual ability of an individual. Thematrices are also used to assess the ability of an adolescent, or anyindividual to think clearly, make observations, problem solving,abstract reasoning as well as the ability to learn. The test includes60 multiple choice questions where each question there is a missingelement which completes a pattern. The person being assessed issupposed to identify this missing element. The questions are listedin order of difficulty with patterns being presented in the form of6x6, 4×4 or 2×2 matrixes (Laceulleet al, 2014).
Ageneral assessment test is a 2 hour test designed to test theintelligence of school going children more so in their middle years(Cohen,Swerdlik & Sturman, 2013).The GAT provides reliable and objective measurement of the student’sabilities in academic disciplines such as writtencommunication, arithmetic, science and technology,humanities,arts and social sciences (Kamphauset al, 2005).This test consists of two written tests and 70 multiple choicequestions. The first writing test is usually informative and requiresthe student to provide the required information. The 2ndwriting is taken as an opinion paper where the students give theirviews on a certain stated issue.
BestTests That Can Be Used For Adolescents
Generalassessment tests are best for the adolescents. This is because theytest a broad range of knowledge in many disciplines that is normallyacquired over a period of time(Kaufman & Lichtenberger, 2006).This therefore helps in identifying the discipline in which theadolescent is strong and the one that he/she isn’t good in, with aneffort to help them improve, their performance academically. GAT isalso a common element to all the students taking different studiestherefore it gauges all the skills of the students uniformly. Thetest also helps in diagnosing the ability of the student before majorlearning activities are designed. This helps in considering the bestmethods that can be used in delivering the intended content, henceencouraging the accomplishment of the projected instructionalobjectives (Iniesta-Sepúlveda et al, 2014).
Inconclusion, testing adolescents are important as it helps inunderstanding many factors. However, the type of test should beconsidered so as to test all the intellectual domains of theadolescent and therefore diagnose his/her learning abilities. Thiswould in turn be of help towards the preparation of valid anddependable tests which promote learning, as well as effective ingiving reliable results once the tests are administered.
Kaufman,A. & Lichtenberger, E. (2006). Assessingadolescent and adult intelligence.Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.
Kranzler,J. & Floyd, R. (2013). Assessingintelligence in children and adolescents a practical guide.New York: The Guilford Press.
Price,M. (n.d.). Testing times: The uses and abuses of assessment.Assessmentin Education: Principles, Policy &amp Practice,335-337.
Universityof Tasmania, Australia. (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2015, fromhttp://www.teaching-learning.utas.edu.au/planning/assessment
Cohen,R. J., Swerdlik, M. E., & Sturman, E. D. (2013). PsychologicalTesting and Assessment: An Introduction to Tests and Measurement [8thEd.]. New York: McGraw-Hill.
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Kamphaus,R. W., & Frick, P. J. (2005). Clinicalassessment of child and adolescent personality and behavior.New York, NY: Springer.
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