Edited from apa.org
If your child has been referred for psychological testing, you probably have some questions about what to expect or whether your child should be tested. Psychological testing may sound intimidating, but it's designed to help.
In many ways, psychological testing and assessment are similar to medical tests. If a patient/client has physical symptoms, a primary care provider may order X-rays or blood tests to understand what's causing those symptoms. The results of the tests will help develop a treatment plan. Psychological evaluations serve the same purpose. Psychologists use tests and other assessment tools to measure and observe a client's behavior to arrive at a diagnosis and guide treatment.
Psychologists administer tests and assessments for a wide variety of reasons. If a person is having problems at home or school, or in personal relationships, tests can help a psychologist understand whether he or she might have issues with anger management or interpersonal skills, or certain personality traits that contribute to the problem. Other tests evaluate whether clients are experiencing emotional disorders such as anxiety or depression.
The underlying cause of a person's problems isn't always clear. For example, if a child is having trouble in school, does he or she have a reading disability, ADHD, a mood disorder, or are other variables primarily responsible for his or her struggles? Psychological tests and assessments allow a psychologist to understand the nature of the problem, and to figure out the best way to address it.