Psychoeducational Assessments & Gifted Testing – FAQ’s from Private School Expo

On Sunday, October 20th, Valentin & Blackstock Psychology exhibited at the Halton-Peel Private School Expo in Oakville. It was a great turnout and we had the opportunity to speak with a wide range of families looking for private school education for their children. We received many questions about psychoeducational assessments and gifted testing, so we decided to share our answers to some of the most frequently asked ones.

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Should my child have a psychoeducational assessment before applying to private school?

The answer is YES. Every private school has their own specialty and it helps parents in finding the right fit by knowing their child’s cognitive, intellectual, emotional, social and behavioural strengths and weaknesses. Our discussions with some of the private school representatives at the expo indicated that this is an approach many parents already take. It is recommended that parents bring their child’s psychoeducational assessment report directly to the schools and ask if and/or how the school can provide the right support based on the results. This information also helps the school to decide if the student would be a good fit with their programs.

How old does my child have to be in order to undergo a psychoeducational assessment?

We received this question a lot at the private school expo from families with very young children who wanted to know at what age they could get their child tested, especially for giftedness. We have tests that can accommodate children as young at 3 years of age if there are obvious concerns about their development. However, we typically recommend that a child is at least 5 years old before they get a psychoeducational assessment because test findings tend to be more stable at this age due to their natural stage of development.

Is it possible to conduct a psychoeducational assessment on students who are still in process of learning English as a second language?

Yes.  In these cases, there are a number of tests that can be administered that have reduced demands for language. In addition, if necessary, testing can be performed with the aid of an interpreter provided through a third-party agency. We have a great deal of experience working with ESL children and adults.

Will the results of my psychoeducational assessment or gifted test be accepted by all schools?

Yes. If the psychoeducational assessment or gifted testing is conducted by a registered school psychologist, the results are applicable and accepted by any school, public or private. Public schools will require tests results from a psychoeducational assessment for gifted program placement, while private schools will use that information to provide differentiated and enhanced learning opportunities.

Does there have to be something “wrong” with my child to get a psychoeducational assessment?

No. A psychoeducational assessment is beneficial to any student because it helps to identify which areas are strong and should be further developed, and which areas are weaker and need support. We always tell parents, “Don’t assume, let us test”. Each of us learns differently, so having a clear and statistically supported understanding of your child’s profile can help them excel at school and in life.

[This blog post was originally published on and has been reposted with permission.]


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