A neuropsychological evaluation provides trained (neuro)psychologist with information to determine how your brain is working. This evaluation generally includes various assessments, questionnaires, and/or activities to measure different areas of how we think and concentrate, such as reading, language usage, attention span, verbal and nonverbal learning, processing speed, reasoning, memory, problem-solving, motor functioning, mood, and personality.
A neuropsychological evaluation may be requested to help determine a diagnosis, to obtain services (such as an IEP in school), to establish a baseline of functioning (such as in relation to a brain injury or concussion), or to help plan for treatment and other supports.
Due to the amount of information this evaluation measures, testing may last between 3 to 8 hours with breaks, across the span one or more days, depending on what assessments are used, among other factors. Your (neuro)psychologist will choose the tests you are given based on the intake evaluation and your presenting concerns. The tests typically involve writing or drawing, solving puzzles or answering questions, and responding to things presented on a computer. Most people find some of the tests to be easy and others to be difficult, and may get increasingly difficult along the way, which are the way these tests are intentionally designed.
You should not worry about whether you will “pass” the tests. These tests cannot be passed or failed. Instead, they describe how well a person performs relative to individuals of similar age. Once the testing is finished and the report has been completed, the (neuro)psychologist will generally meet with you or the person requesting the testing to review the results and provide a summary and recommendations moving forward.
When you and the evaluator get more information about your brain, you’ll both be able to make informed decisions about your mental and physical health.
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