Layout and Explanation of Assessment Reports
Often times test results will be presented in a report that is geared towards and written for other professionals. This can make understanding the results complicated for the individual being tested, parents, teachers, social service workers and many others who might find the information valuable. The following information is presented in hopes that the reader will begin to have a greater understanding of those reports.
Format of the Report
- Basic Demographics & Facts should be listed at the very beginning of the report and should look similar to the following:
Name: Jane Doe
Date of Birth: June 2, 1997
Age at Testing: 10.0 years
Grade at Testing: 4th grade
School: Q Public Elementary School
Date of Intake: June 7, 1997
Dates of Evaluation: June 13, 15, 18 & 20, 2007
Examiners: Daniel J. Williams, Psy.D.
Confidential Report Written for: Mr. & Mrs. John Doe and Ms. Jane Doe
Report Written by: Daniel J. Williams, Psy.D.
- Procedures: The test instruments that were used during the assessment should also be listed which gives the reader information about exactly what was administered. This should look similar to the following:
Diagnostic Clinical Interview
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV)
Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (REY)
Visual Aural Digit Span Test (VADS)
Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (DKEFS) (Trail Making)
Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, Second Edition (WIAT-II) (Numerical Operations and Math Reasoning)
Often times test instruments can have long names that get abbreviated in parentheses and then the examiner will refer to those instruments by the abbreviation.
- Reason for Referral or Presenting Problem is also usually listed which includes an explanation of who made the request for the assessment and some of the issues or problems that warrant the testing.
- Relevant Background Information: Examiners could present this information in the report in many different ways depending on the purpose of the assessment. Some psychologists might group all the information together into one long narrative while others might break it down into various sections. There should be information about the examinee’s: background of presenting problem, family history, medical history, developmental history (i.e. any significant problems with walking, talking, toileting, etc.), and Prior Treatment History.
- Behavioral Observations: This is a description of what the examiner observed during the actual testing process, such as how the examinee entered the testing room or separated from parents. This section will often describe any strategies that the examinee might use to solve various problems such as using his or her fingers to count, tapping the table, whispering softly, etc. This type of information is extremely valuable because it provides a context for the test results which can give clues as to what interventions might be used for treatment.
- Test Results: This section will list out the scores for the various instruments administered along with an explanation of what the scores indicate. This can be done by presenting tables of numbers and then a narrative explanation or sometimes the scores are written directly into the explanation.
- Summary: This section is typically just prior to recommendations and presents the highlights of the report. This section can be useful for professionals to have in order to quickly review the important points.
- Recommendations: Parents, providers and others working with an individual are often very interested in this portion of the report because this section addresses what can be done to help the examinee. Different treatments or interventions are recommended that will assist the examinee in managing or solving the presenting problem. Sometimes different books, programs or professionals are recommended in this section. It is critical that follow through with these recommendations be completed, otherwise, the examinee will continue to have problems.
- Signature: The assessment report should always be signed by the examiner and should include the examiner’s printed name, credentials, title and license number. If one of the examiners is unlicensed then the report should also be signed by a licensed psychologist which indicates the work has been adequately supervised and approved by that licensed professional.