When to Test?


Testing should be considered for students:

(1) needing initial evaluation (perhaps school district has denied evaluation, perhaps parents wish to move forward with the process and receive results more quickly than school system’s pace, or perhaps independent school requires comprehensive evaluation to afford access to resources) for special education and support services and accommodations in schools;

(2) needing a re-evaluation to confirm eligibility for services and accommodations because previous testing is outdated, specifically three years or more;

(3) requesting consideration for standardized test accommodations (such as the SAT, ACT, MCAT, LSAT, GMAT or GRE etc.). Testing accommodations may include: extended time, preferential seating, small group environment for test taking, having directions read, having test read, extended breaks, using a different format (large print, Braille, another language), assistive equipment (word processor, calculator);

(4) applying for services and accommodations (e.g., language waiver, extra time on tests, quiet room for tests, etc.) through University/College student disability services;

(5) considering transferring to an independent school and wanting to inform the school selection or instructional planning process with data that not only identifies abilities but also provides a current snapshot of academic functioning; this is important so that the right fit can be determined and educational needs can be met;

(6)  showing early signs of reading difficulty. It is important to identify reading problems before they turn into failure. Parents should consider screening test results provided by the County include Predictive Assessment of Reading (PAR), Dynamic Indicators of Basic Reading Literacy Skills (DIEBELS); Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI); and AIMSweb screening assessments, developed by researchers for those purposes to determine if the child may be at risk for reading difficulty. Should screenings, teacher comments, report cards indicate struggles in reading, preventive intervention should begin immediately. How the child responds to supplementary instruction will help determine if services are justified and necessary.

(7) with oral language skills that are more highly developed than written skills;

(8) that have problems sounding out words, recognizing words and reading as quickly as others;

(9) with listening comprehension skills that seem to be much higher than reading comprehension skills;

(10) who when speaking, may have a tendency to mispronounce common words or have difficulty using or comprehending more complex grammatical structures;

(11) with writing that is described as slow, poor quality, and the quantity is less than grade level expectation. Students who have illegible handwriting, or experience extreme physical discomfort when writing may consider testing;

(12) with underdeveloped spelling skills (leave out letters, add letters, leave out syllables, miscode sounds, leave out sounds)

(13) desiring additional concrete data, such as a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation in order to either validate and confirm clinically significant attentional deficit or to rule out the possibility of a competing learning issue, before beginning trial of stimulant medication as first line of intervention for suspected deficit in attention.