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Thoughts and Questions About Assessment in Counseling

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Thoughts and Questions about Assessment in Counseling

Thoughts and Questions about Assessment in Counseling

When I think of assessments and testing in counseling my thoughts go to how and what kind of tests can be done to help determine where a client is in his or her life. How to score an assessment or test also enters my thoughts because there is not a “normal” to compare a person to. In my undergrad classes, B.S. in Psychology, we talked about the different test that are available to use but never went into specifics and seen how to score or rate an individual. I would think some of the test would help me when I am trying to use the DSM 5 on clients. As a counselor I do believe I would use testing to not only help see what mental state a client is in but also to help factor in his or her education. I think that knowing a client’s capability of understanding would help in implementing a plan to help him or her.

In the past I have taken several different types of assessment test. I did take the SAT’s in the early 1980’s, if I recall I did okay on it, high enough scores to go to most State Colleges in Illinois, but it did not matter to me because I was not going to further my education at that time. After High School I worked for several years when I decided that maybe there was something else I should be doing and I joined the United States Air Force (USAF). During the enlistment process I had to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery exam, (ASVAB). This test tested me to see what type of work I would excel in and eliminate fields that either I was not qualified for or did not interest me. At the time I was a 20-year-old working retail and did not have any “marketable” skills. The ASVAB test showed I had a mechanical aptitude and that a career in aircraft maintenance was with in my ability of learning. I joined the USAF in 1984, became an aircraft mechanic, and up until 30 days ago I continued to work aircraft for over 30 years. If not for the ASVAB test I would have never known that mechanics was a fit with me and I might still be working retail if not for the test. For me the testing was good and the results fit but I have seen others throughout my Air Force career that have been mismatched and some people who did score high enough to become a mechanic, he or she should never have become one. A question I would have about testing then would be how to overlook the scores and see how an actual fit would be. I think if that could be answered it would help me better understand how testing and assessments will help as I continue in my education and beyond.    



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