Educational testing (also called psychoeducational testing) is an evaluation of a person’s academic achievement in areas such as reading, spelling, written language, or mathematics. Some parents elect to have a school district complete educational testing, usually as part of a “CORE” or “TEAM” evaluation, to determine whether a student meets criteria for special educational services due to a learning disability. Educational testing is often performed in conjunction with neuropsychological or psychological assessment, in order to compare a person’s academic achievement with his or her expected ability level. While many different types of professionals may perform educational testing, a neuropsychologist conducting academic testing usually will try to explain any academic difficulties in the larger context of a person’s brain functioning. Even though a “learning disability” sounds like it might only affect a person while he or she is in school, it is usually part of a broader neurodevelopmental condition that may affect daily tasks such as reading for pleasure, expressing oneself aloud, social relationships, shopping, and management of money. While most neuropsychological assessments will at least screen for learning disabilities, a full educational assessment may be required if a student is seeking accommodations or other academic services. Depending upon the results of the assessment, the evaluator may recommend specific accommodations or interventions for the school setting, for standardized testing situations, and for studying at home. Full educational evaluations, like any evaluation that is conducted primarily for academic or other non-medical purposes, are not typically covered by health insurance.
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