“What is involved when completing a cognitive (intelligence) test?”

Cognitive (intelligence) tests assess an individuals capacity for effectively processing different types of information by having them complete a number of different tasks and activities. For example, they may be required to answer general knowledge questions, copy an image using blocks, or look at a picture of a common object or scene and pick out what is missing. These tasks and activities start at a level that is easy for the individual and get progressively more difficult. In addition to assessing capacity for effectively processing different types of information, cognitive tests assess attention and concentration span, the ability to follow directions as well as non-cognitive factors such as motivation and persistence. All of these factors, plus many more, are considered important for learning.

“What is involved in completing an academic achievement test?”

An academic achievement test is very similar to a cognitive test (see What is involved in completing a cognitive (intelligence) test?) in that the individual is required to complete a number of different tasks and activities that start off easy and get progressively harder. The main difference between cognitive and achievement tests is that achievement tests assess level of knowledge of topics taught formally in school including reading, writing and mathematics. Academic achievement tests can also measure level of oral language skills in terms of one’s ability to listen to and understand words spoken by others, as well as the ability to effectively express oneself orally.


“How is social-emotional-behavioural functioning assessed?”

Social-emotional-behavioural functioning can be assessed by having parents/caregivers and teachers complete a questionnaire that asks about different behaviours that may or may not be displayed by the child, adolescent or young adult of interest. Adolescents and young adults can also complete a questionnaire themselves which asks about the different types of thought and feelings they might be having.

“What kinds of things can be identified by a social-emotional-behavioural assessment?”

A social-emotional-behavioural assessment can screen for common problems of childhood which can interfere with learning. This can include internalising disorders such as Anxiety and Depression, externalising disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder and Conduct Disorder, and developmental disorders such as Autism. Results of social-emotional-behavioual assessments indicate the severity of any issues identified which is helpful in determining the level of intervention that is required. Social-emotional-behavioural assessments can also identify areas of strength such as leadership or study skills.

“What will be included in the report?”

The report will include relevant background information obtained during the intake session, any important observations made during the assessment sessions (eg, level of attention or distractability), the results of any tests and questionnaires completed, a discussion of what the results mean along with recommendations. Recommendations can include teaching and learning strategies for home and school, as well as suggestions regarding interventions that may be appropriate such as social skills groups, memory training, etc. Results of the assessment are presented using graphs when possible which makes it easier to understand how the individual performed compared to others of the same age.

“Will you speak to my child’s school/teacher?”

The hourly assessment session price includes telephone calls to your child’s school to speak with relevant staff members at both the beginning and end of the assessment process. However, should a school or kindergarten visit be required either to observe your child or to discuss the results of the assessment and recommendations in-person with relevant school staff, an additional cost of $240 per hour is required.

“What kinds of cognitive and achievement tests are used?”

Raise the Bar Psychology has a number of different tests on hand, with the particular test being used dependent on the individual being assessed as well as the type of assessment being conducted. One group of tests used are collectively referred to as the Wechsler Scales after David Wechsler, their original creator. The most current versions of the Wechsler Scales are:

  • Wechsler adult intelligence scale 4th edition (WAIS-IV)

  • Wechsler intelligence scale for children – 4th edition (WISC-V)

  • Wechsler preschool and primary scale of intelligence – 3rd edition (WPPSI- IV)

  • Wechsler individual achievement test – 2nd edition (WIAT-III)


These tests are the most commonly used tests of cognitive ability and academic achievement around the world. These tests are particularly suitable when a standard cognitive and achievement assessment is considered appropriate. Another type of test used is the Stanford-Binet – 5th edition (SB5). This test can be used with individuals ranging from 2 to 85+ years of age and is often considered a good option for conducting Giftedness Assessments due to its high ceiling (ie, it can measure extremely high IQs).


Raise the Bar Psychology also uses the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities – 3rd edition (WJ COG III) and Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement – 3rd edition (WJ ACH III). These tests measure a wider range of abilities than that measured by the Wechsler or Stanford-Binet scales and thus are often used when an extended cognitive and achievement assessment is considered appropriate.

“What are some of the questions that an educational assessment can answer?”

  • Why is my child having difficulty learning?

  • What is the best way my child learns? 

  • What are my child’s cognitive and academic strengths?

  • What can I and my child’s school do to support their learning?

  • Is my child gifted?

  • Does my child have a learning disability?

  • Is my child experiencing any social-emotional-behavioural difficulties?

  • What are the social-emotional-behavioural strengths my child possesses?

  • Would my child benefit from counselling?


Plus many more. Please feel free to call or complete an enquiry form with specific questions you might have and we can let you know whether an educational assessment would be able to provide an answer.