• Priscilla Chee

Learning Assessments

What are learning assessments?

Learning assessments comprise both a cognitive and educational assessment. They provide intensive and comprehensive investigation into the individual’s specific difficulties (i.e., learning, emotional, behavioural) and abilities (i.e., cognitive and academic).


Depending on the individual need, sometimes only a cognitive or educational assessment is administered.



What is a Cognitive Assessment?

A cognitive assessment measures an individual’s cognitive ability, including specific strengths and weaknesses. Various domains of cognitive ability can be measured, for example:

  • Verbal Comprehension

  • Ability to retrieve and apply learned word knowledge

  • Perceptual Reasoning

  • Ability to analyse and interpret visual information and use it to problem solve

  • Working Memory

  • Ability to mentally hold and manipulate information for a short period of time

  • Processing Speed

  • Ability to work at speed and concentrate on a task

The assessment also provides a descriptive range of the individual’s Full-Scale IQ (e.g., High Average), which provides an overall understanding of general intellectual ability compared to other examinees of the same age. We do not release raw scores, but rather provide a range to understand how the individual is performing for their age.


What is an Education Assessment?

An educational assessment measures an individual’s academic skills across four broad areas of learning:

  • Reading

  • Skills for different aspects of reading, such as reading comprehension (i.e., understanding written passages) and basic reading (i.e., recognising and decoding words)

  • Writing

  • Skills for different aspects of writing, such as written expression (i.e., constructing sentences and spelling words)

  • Mathematics

  • Skills for different aspects of mathematics, such as math fluency (i.e., speed and accuracy of written math calculation)

  • Oral expression

  • Skills for different aspects of oral expression, such as expressive vocabulary (i.e., verbal vocabulary and ability to produce words)


Benefits of Doing a Comprehensive Learning Assessment?

Comparing results of the cognitive and academic assessment provides an understanding of whether the individual is achieving as expected for their level of intellectual ability. That is, whether the individual is reaching their full potential. Discrepancies may indicate intellectual giftedness, a specific learning disorder or disability.


In learning assessments, generally a percentile rank is given which provides an understanding of the individual’s cognitive and academic skills compared to other peers of the same age or grade. For example, if the percentile rank were 45, it would mean that Sally performed as well as or better than 45% of peers the same age.


Why should a Learning Assessment be Conducted?

There are many reasons why a child, adolescent or adult may complete a learning assessment.


1. Assisting in the identification and investigation of:

  • Intellectual giftedness.

  • Specific learning disorders.

  • Intellectual disability.

A formal clinical diagnosis may assist the individual in eligibility for appropriate funding or support from schools, employment services, and government initiatives (i.e., NDIS).


2. Assisting in the development of Individualised Educational Plans (IEPs) to best support the child’s learning needs in the school environment.



What is typically involved in a Learning Assessment?

A learning assessment with a psychologist will typically involve:


1. Clinical interview to gather comprehensive background information such as developmental, social, and educational history. School reports may be requested.


2. Questionnaires to be filled out. For a child, this will typically be completed by the child, parents, and teachers.


3. Standardised psychometric tests are administered by trained psychologists.


4. Feedback session to provide verbal discussion and a written report of the findings of the assessment and clinical recommendations.


Who provides a Learning Assessment?

They are typically administered by a trained clinical or educational psychologist.

At the Mind Body Practice, all assessments are administered by highly skilled, qualified, and experienced psychologists.


How do I book in for a Learning Assessment?

Here at the Mind Body Practice, we currently provide assessments for children between the ages of 6 to 16 years.


A GP referral is not required. Arranging a 50-minute initial discussion with an experienced psychologist is easy and affordable.


To book an assessment, or to simply discuss if an assessment is right for you, please contact our friendly reception on (02) 8091 7867 to find out how we can help optimise you or your child’s performance.