When it comes to your child’s development, it’s always important to ensure that they are developing and learning as they should. However, if you feel they aren’t – and the strategies put in place by their teachers are not making a difference – getting an educational assessment from an experienced educational psychologist may be the next step.

What are Educational Assessments?

In short, educational assessment is a tool used to provide parents and teachers with important information about a child’s growth and development. The process includes gathering information, processing that information, and using it to plan educational activities that are done at the level the child can understand and learn from.

Educational assessments can be a great benefit for any child. However there are various types of assessments available.  So it is always recommended to speak to an experienced educational psychologist to determine what type of assessment is required.

The first step in any educational assessment is an aptitude test. This helps to determine a child’s intellectual strengths, IQ and how they perform on various cognitive tasks essential to learning.

Educational assessments vary greatly depending on the child’s specific background, age and the reason for the assessment.

What types of assessments are there?

There are generally four different types of assessments available, which are:

  • School readiness assessments
  • Assessments for learning difficulties
  • Subject choice assessments
  • Career choice assessments

Assessments can be arranged by a school, In this case an appointment with an educational psychologist from the department of Education will be made through the school.  Unfortunately the waiting lists for the assessments are usually very long. Private assessments may also be arranged with an Educational Psychologist by the parents.

The psychologist will look at many aspects of the child’s development and educational environment. Including looking at their classwork.  Speaking to teachers as well as to the child. And often giving the child tests to determine their intellectual and academic development.

School readiness assessments can include an evaluation of the child’s gross and fine motor skills.  It may also look at visual and auditory perceptual skills.  All of which are all essential to the child’s development.

Finally, an emotional assessment is also done to determine the emotional maturity of a child. This is important to make sure that they can cope with the demands of formal education.

The Benefits of Educational Assessments

There are many benefits to professional educational assessments, including:

  • Providing teachers and parents with important information about a child’s development and growth;
  • Understanding how a child learns best
  • Identifying children who may need additional support;
  • Helping teachers plan individualised instructions for a child or group of children;
  • Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of an educational program and how well the program meets the needs of the children.

Educational psychologists are well trained to make children feel at ease and relate to them during these sessions, Most children have a very positive experience – often with a lot of great fun too. Remember that the results of an assessment can change a child’s educational future in significant ways.  Allowing the child to meet or exceed educational expectations.

For more information about the different types of educational assessments or to book a consultation, contact Anel Annandale at 021 423 0739 or via email at  anel@childpsych.co.za.