• You're all caught up!

Uses of Psychological Tests

author image Thom Mote
Thom Mote began writing professionally in 2008 and his work appears on various websites. As a counselor in private practice, Mote has been providing workshops on mental health since 1996. He has a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Education in counseling from the University of Tennessee.
Uses of Psychological Tests
Close-up of a psychologist with a clipboard and a patient on the couch. Photo Credit shironosov/iStock/Getty Images


Psychologists primarily use tests to supplement or assist in various phases of treatment. Test results are used along with clinical discussions to help you move from one phase of treatment to the next. Tests that measure symptoms provide a picture of what needs to change, and tests that reveal unique traits give the psychologist an idea of how to assist you. From the initial assessment to the closing of treatment, tests results provide vital information that keeps the therapeutic experience relevant for you.


Psychologists use tests during one of your fist few sessions to assess your problem. A psychologist tests at this point to supplement his clinical interview and to determine the severity, duration and extent of your problems. A test such as the Beck Depression Inventory, for example, aids in making these measurements.

Setting Goals

Psychologists use test results to help you set goals for improvement. Psychologists use unusual results, such as a high occurrence of depression, to develop specific and measurable goals. Goals such as “reduce the frequently of depression to half of that initially discovered” are clear and can be measured to show improvement.

You Might Also Like

Determining Interventions

Psychologists also use tests to identify the most effective interventions for you. Personality tests, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, can reveal much about how you think and the way you relate to other people. These tests reveal your strengths as well as your weaknesses. For example, if your test results reveal that you are a highly analytical person, interventions such as reading and rational analysis of problems may be effective in helping you make desired changes.

Reviewing Progress

Most psychologists use tests as a way of reviewing what you have accomplished in treatment. If you scored high on the Beck Anxiety Inventory in your initial assessment, re-taking the test three months later may reveal lower anxiety and provide you with momentum to keep up the work.


A psychologist does not want to keep you dependent on her. Her goal is to build your competence and confidence so you can manage your problems on your own. Psychologists often use tests as a way of ending treatment. Tests results are used as evidence in closing discussions about the progress you have achieved.

Related Searches

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.


  • “Psychological Testing and Assessment”; Ronald Jay Cohen & Mark Swerdlik; 2009
  • “Psychological Testing: Principles, Applications and Issues”; Robert M. Kaplan and Dennis P. Saccuzzo; 2008
Demand Media