Dr. Barabas provides career assessment and career specific counseling to aid prospective college students with identifying a major or a potential career path. Dr. Barabas does not provide educational testing or testing for educational purposes such as learning disabilities, intelligents (I.Q.), dyslexia, special education or placement testing.
Dr. Barabas regularly provides psychological testing for Bariatric surgery, spinal stimulator implants, lethal weapon certification, psychological diagnosis, and career assessment.
Tests and Assessments
Copied from the American Psychological Association web-site.
Tests and assessments are two separate but related components of a psychological evaluation. Psychologists use both types of tools to help them arrive at a diagnosis and a treatment plan.
Testing involves the use of formal tests such as questionnaires or checklists. These are often described as “norm-referenced” tests. That simply means the tests have been standardized so that test-takers are evaluated in a similar way, no matter where they live or who administers the test. A norm-referenced test of a child’s reading abilities, for example, may rank that child’s ability compared to other children of similar age or grade level. Norm-referenced tests have been developed and evaluated by researchers and proven to be effective for measuring a particular trait or disorder.
A psychological assessment can include numerous components such as norm-referenced psychological tests, informal tests and surveys, interview information, school or medical records, medical evaluation and observational data. A psychologist determines what information to use based on the specific questions being asked. For example, assessments can be used to determine if a person has a learning disorder, is competent to stand trial or has a traumatic brain injury. They can also be used to determine if a person would be a good manager or how well they may work with a team.
One common assessment technique, for instance, is a clinical interview. When a psychologist speaks to a client about his or her concerns and history, they’re able to observe how the client thinks, reasons and interacts with others. Assessments may also include interviewing other people who are close to the client, such as teachers, coworkers or family members. (Such interviews, however, would only be performed with written consent from the client.)
Together, testing and assessment allows a psychologist to see the full picture of a person’s strengths and limitations.
Psychological testing isn’t like taking a multiple-choice exam that you either pass or fail. Rather, psychologists use information from the various tests and assessments to reach a specific diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
Some people are tempted to peek at the tests ahead of time. If they suspect they may have a particular problem, they may look online for a practice test of that problem. That’s a bad idea, experts say. In fact, practicing ahead of time usually backfires — when you try to take the test in a certain way, the answers may be inconsistent and make you appear to have more problems than you actually do.
Remember, psychological testing and assessment is nothing to fear. It’s not something you need to study for. Rather, it’s an opportunity for psychologists to determine the best way to help you.