The assessment process usually takes six to eight weeks to complete. The first step is a parent interview to gather background information and to put the assessment in context. This interview generally lasts an hour to an hour and a half. The second step is to interview the student about personal observations and experiences. For younger students, the interview is integrated into the testing sessions so that the information can be collected in a less formal, more comfortable manner. When requested, teachers, tutors or other professionals who have worked with the student will also be interviewed, usually through phone conferences. The next stage is the data collection. A combination of standardized cognitive processing tests and academic tests are administered. This part takes twelve to fourteen hours, depending on the student, so twelve hours (4, three-hour sessions for a high school or college student or 6, two-hour sessions if preferred) are scheduled, and then extra sessions are added onto that if need be. Only a few of the tests are timed, so it’s just a matter of how long a student spends answering questions that makes up the time difference for each student. Each subtest is only about five to ten minutes in length. In between subtests, students will take small breaks and build rapport with the examiner. The main tests used are the following:
- Woodcock-Johnson IV, Tests of Cognitive Ability, Tests of Achievement and Tests of Oral Langauge
- Comprehensive Tests of Phonological Processing
- Gray Oral Reading Test-5
- Test of Written Language-4
- The Nelson-Denny Reading Test
Additionally, supplemental tests are commonly added to this battery, depending on what comes up in the sessions. After the testing, it will take four to six weeks to write a report. The report includes a summary of the relevant history collected in the interviews and from past records, observations about test behavior, an analysis of all tests and scores and how they relate to learning, and specific recommendations to help put a support system or interventions into place. Once the family reads the report, there are two follow-up conferences. The first conference is for the parents, and the second conference is for the student.