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8 Tips to Prepare for a Psychological Assessment

Your assessment appointment has been confirmed. It’s the day before your psychological test, and you find yourself wondering how to prepare for it. You are not alone! Many people have several questions and concerns, so here are some helpful tips to prepare you for taking any psychological tests.

Helpful Tips and Things to Do…

1) Get good sleep the night before: Avoid planning late-night activities or staying up late the day before your test. Sleep is important for concentration and gives you rest and energy to focus on the tasks.

2) Plan time to eat a light and balanced meal before the test: Avoid overeating, and do not skip meals before your test appointment. Being hungry can negatively impact your mood and thinking ability, so it is important to ensure you are properly nourished. If attention, distractibility, or hyperactivity are concerns, avoid food items that are high in sugar like desserts or sweets.

3) Set aside buffer time before and after the appointment: Ensure you have time to travel without rushing or speeding to arrive on time for your appointment. Schedule your day so that you have some spare time after the test, just in case you require additional time for the tasks. Having buffer time will help you avoid feeling anxious if the test takes longer than expected. Let your provider know before or at the start of the session if you need to leave early or by a certain time.

4) Bring water and light snacks with you: It is likely you will need breaks, especially if your appointment is planned to last for a few hours. Have some refreshments with you or check with your assessment provider if drinks or snacks are available for purchase at the test site.

5) Ask questions: You can ask your provider questions before, during, between, or after tests. If you are unsure about any question, ask for clarification. The examiner may not always be able to reply immediately, but asking questions helps you engage with the test questions more clearly. Sometimes, the examiner may be able to provide context or clarification. You can also ask for breaks or check when would be a good time to take a break.

6) Reduce distractions: Turn your phone to silent mode, or “do not disturb” mode. Some tests may be timed and reducing distractions helps to avoid disruptions. You can request breaks to check your messages and calls.

7) Be honest: The purpose of psychological tests is to provide an accurate representation of your abilities, so there is no need to try to study or research the tests. Do not try to portray yourself as someone different from who you are. It’s okay to answer with the first thing that comes to your mind, you should not overthink or second-guess yourself. There is no benefit to giving a false impression, and dishonesty is likely to be reflected in your answers.

8) Read the instructions and the questions fully and carefully: Reading each question completely before you answer is essential. Avoid making a response before you finish reading the question in case there is additional information that will be relevant to your answer. This will help you save time and avoid careless mistakes.

These tips will help you to arrive at your assessment appointment feeling confident and prepared. There may be questions you find easy, and questions you may struggle with, and that is a normal part of the testing experience. At the end of the assessment, you can rest assured knowing you tried your best to answer the questions, which will provide your assessor with insight into your strengths and weaknesses in order to make recommendations that will be relevant and beneficial for you.

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