Psychological Testing/Assessment FAQ
University of Louisville Counseling Center (ULCC)
What is psychological testing or assessment? – Psychological testing consists of a battery of scientifically developed tests and interviews that assess different aspects of a person’s psychological and cognitive functioning. The purpose of psychological testing is to gain a comprehensive understanding of a person’s strengths and weaknesses, identify potential cognitive deficits or learning difficulties, and potential mood or emotional problems in order to make appropriate recommendations for treatment.
What is a neuropsychological assessment? – A neuropsychological assessment is performed by a neuropsychologist. While a neuropsychological assessment typically assesses similar aspects of functioning to psychological assessments, they generally involve a more in-depth assessment of brain function in areas such as memory, attention, information processing, language, visual/spatial skills, and fine motor skills. It is of note that a neuropsychological assessment is usually recommended when there are concerns such as dementia, seizures, or a traumatic brain injury.
What is the cost of a psychological assessment at the ULCC? – The ULCC uses a sliding scale fee to determine the cost for an assessment. The sliding scale is based on the student’s income, or the parent’s income if the student is financially supported by a parent. The cost of an assessment ranges from $100 to $500. A $50 dollar deposit is required at the time of scheduling the appointment, and the remainder of the fee can be paid in installments, with the expectation that all fees due are paid prior to release of the written report. If you are unable to afford the fee you qualify for, you can appeal the fees and speak with the assessment team clinicians to discuss your options.
Can I use my health insurance? The ULCC does not bill private or student insurance. If you would like to use your health insurance, please call, and find out more about your benefits and in-network providers for psychological assessments.
How much time does the assessment process take? The amount of time needed for an assessment varies depending on the assessment question. The assessment battery is selected based on the student’s needs, concerns, and history. Typically, a student can expect to attend two to three appointments to complete testing, ranging from 2 to 5 hours each. Students will also attend a feedback session at the conclusion of testing to discuss results and recommendations. The average time expected to complete testing and obtain results is approximately a month, but more or less time could be required for some individuals.
Is there a wait to get tested? Currently, the ULCC does have a wait list for psychological assessment and the expected wait varies from semester to semester. A member of the assessment team can provide more information about your estimated wait time during your triage appointment or provide you with community resources if you need testing urgently.
How can I benefit from getting tested? - There are multiple benefits of psychological assessment, including diagnostic clarification and determining the right treatment and resources for you. Your assessment results may make you eligible to receive academic accommodations, such as extended time on tests or assignments, a testing environment with limited distractions, or assistance with notetaking. For more information about academic accommodations at the University, please see the Disability Resource Center’s webpage. If you are concerned about the possibility of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), formal testing may be required to receive medication for this condition. If you have a previous diagnosis of ADHD, or have been tested previously, you may not require current testing and may be able to receive medication based on your history and diagnosis. Please reach out to your physician or to Campus Health Services. Finally, psychological assessments provide greater self-awareness and understanding that can improve your academic and psychological functioning.
Do you provide comprehensive testing for students seeking accommodations on nationally normed standardized tests, such as the MCAT, LSAT, or Kentucky State Bar Exam? - The ULCC does provide comprehensive testing for standardized examinations and can make recommendations regarding the need for accommodations, though our report does not guarantee that accommodations will be given. If you are seeking accommodations on a nationally normed standardized examination, we recommend that you contact the Counseling Center to get on the wait list as soon as possible.
What if I had testing as a child and previously received a diagnosis? Do I need to be tested again? Although treatment providers may sometimes recommend updated testing, you may not need to be retested to receive medication management or academic accommodations at the university. You will need to obtain and present a copy of your previous test report to the Disability Resource Center or to your psychiatric provider. If you have questions about whether you need updated testing, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or request to speak with a member of the Assessment Team at 502-852-6585.
What do I need to do to prepare for the day of my evaluation? As the testing process is lengthy and we want to obtain the most accurate results, it is important that you get a good night’s rest the night before your appointment and eat breakfast. You will be given breaks during the testing process. Please bring any reports from past assessments or any other documentation that may assist with the assessment process, such as past IEPs. If you need reading glasses, please bring those as well. Please inform the testing team if you are currently taking any medications, since some psychiatric medications impact attention and memory. You may need to stop certain medication a day or two prior to testing, in order to obtain accurate results. We also ask that you abstain from substance use prior to your testing appointment, as alcohol and other substances can negatively impact cognitive functioning, and we want to get the most accurate picture of your psychological functioning as possible.