Get Smart About Tests

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Think. Grow.
(Excerpted from Chapter 1 of GET SMART ABOUT TESTS)
Copyrighted Material

Who Can Administer Educational
and Psychological Tests?

Standardized educational and psychological tests are sophisticated instruments. Years of work usually go into developing a good test. As a consumer, you will see only the final product––the test booklet in front of you, or in front of your child or student.
     The professionals who administer standardized educational and psychological tests often are psychologists, but other professionals, such as counselors or vocational and educational specialists, as well as classroom teachers, are permitted to administer some tests. The classroom teacher, for example, typically will be the one who administers the proficiency tests your child will take in school. (Most tests administered by teachers, such as quizzes and classroom tests, are developed by the teachers themselves and are a different breed than the standardized educational and psychological tests that take years to develop.) A career or vocational counselor may give career interest inventories and certain aptitude tests in order to help a student choose the right career path. And an educational specialist may administer certain educational tests to determine whether a learning problem exists or to determine which remedial approach works best for a particular student.  
   Because standardized educational and psychological tests are such sophisticated instruments, anyone who administers them must be properly trained and have experience administering and interpreting tests. This is important because the person using tests needs to be familiar with the technical and statistical properties of the tests to make sure they are right for the child being evaluated. Just as it would be unwise to have an untrained and inexperienced person perform and interpret medical tests, it would be equally unwise, and unethical, to have an untrained and inexperienced person administer and interpret educational or psychological tests.
    The psychologists, educational specialists, and counseling professionals who administer tests are highly trained. Many will have a doctoral degree—a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), a Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology), or an Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)—but a good many also will have a specialist degree, such as an Ed.S. (Educational Specialist), or a master’s degree, such as an M.A. (Master of Arts), an M.S. (Master of Science), or an M.Ed. (Master of Education). You may be wondering whether medical doctors, such as M.D.s (Doctor of Medicine) and D.O.s (Doctor of Osteopathy) administer tests psychological or educational tests. Typically they do not.
    Having one of these degrees does not necessarily mean a person is qualified to administer and interpret psychological and educational tests. They also must be licensed or certified through state licensing boards. And in order to become licensed or certified, most professionals must have appropriate training and experience as well as pass a rigorous written exam and oftentimes an oral exam.

Who Can Administer Educational

& Psychological Tests?