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PSY4070 Advanced Assessment

Semester 2, 2013 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Lucille Douglas
Moderator: Charlotte Brownlow


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in Program BSCH in Psychology major (12302) or Program BPSH


Psychological assessment is a basic skill for all areas of applied psychology. The course is designed to develop skills in administration, scoring, and interpretation of some of the most widely used psychological tests.


The development of testing skills and the application of testing principles in the clinical setting will be taught through workshops, lectures, and case studies. In particular, mastery will be developed in the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale 4th edition (WAIS-IV), the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) , the Test of Premorbid Functioning (TOPF), and methods for assessing memory and learning.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. score and interpret the WAIS-IV in a variety of clinical settings;
  2. assess, analyse, and interpret measures of verbal and visual memory;
  3. interpret spectrum personality measures in relation to psychopathology;
  4. apply testing and psychometric principles to psychological assessment.


Description Weighting(%)
1. This course concentrates on students acquiring mastery of core tests and general psychometric and testing principles in lectures and workshops. The course is essentially divided into two halves, one relating to the principles and practice of cognitive and intellectual assessment, the other examining assessment of personality and psychosocial functioning.

1.1 THE WAIS-IV The evaluation of cognitive and intellectual functioning. The application of basic principles to WAIS-IV interpretation. Age-education norms. Relationship of the WAIS-IV to other tests of intellectual functioning. Factor and other analytic systems of interpretation. Impact of demographic variables upon IQ estimation. Estimating premorbid level of intellectual functioning. Pattern analysis and inter-subtest scatter. The clinical importance of evaluating psychometric issues such as significance versus abnormality, the role of confidence intervals, factor score composition, and appropriate normative data considerations will also be highlighted in the analysis of this test.

1.2 The evaluation of memory. The application of basic principles to memory assessment, analysis, and interpretation. This will be examined primarily through the use of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test and the Rey Complex Figure Recall and Recognition Trial. Analyses will include examination of learning and serial position curves as well as evaluating the influence of inadequate cognitive effort.

1.3 The TOPF. The use of the TOPF as a method for predicting premorbid WAIS-IV scores.

1.4 THE PAI The evaluation of psychosocial functioning and personality. Examination of the scale and subscale structure, indices, and configurational analysis and interpretation.

1.5 REPORT WRITING The application of tests is examined in a variety of clinical settings through the use of case studies for illustrative purposes, with a particular focus on how to communicate the findings from test data analysis.

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Crowe, S 2010, Evidence of Absence: A Guide to Cognitive Assessment in Australia, Australian Academic Press, Australia.
  • Morey, L 2003, Essentials of PAI Assessment (Paperback), John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Assessment.
  • Journal of Clinical Psychology.
  • Lichtenberger, E O & Kaufman, A S 2009, Essentials of WAIS-IV Assessment (Paperback), 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, New York.
  • Psychological Assessment.
  • The Clinical Neuropsychologist.
  • Handouts and other recommended readings will be distributed during the semester.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Private Study 134.00
Workshops 32.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
CASE REPORT 1 - Cognitive 50 50 15 Jul 2013
CASE REPORT 2 - Psychosocial 25 50 15 Jul 2013

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late, up to ten working days, at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after the model answers have been posted

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course. The Low Pass or Conceded Pass grade is not available for compulsory psychology courses.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for assessments is the date by which a student must despatch an assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. In accordance with the University's Policy on Assessment the Examiner of a course may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances. This policy may be found in the USQ Handbook, the Distance Education Study Guide and the Faculty of Sciences' Orientation Handbook for new on-campus students. All students are advised to study and follow the guidelines associated with this policy.

Other requirements

  1. Students are required to be able to access the Internet and should avail themselves of the various case reports that will be posted on the study desk discussion group board throughout the semester

  2. The course has FOUR WORKSHOPS throughout the semester. ATTENDANCE IS COMPULSORY