Credit points


Campus offering

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Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is designed to extend the knowledge and skills that have previously been taught in a three-year undergraduate psychology program and provide a basis of professional knowledge and skills for of psychological testing and assessment.

This unit covers principles and methods of psychological test construction, administration and interpretation of widely used standardised psychological test instruments. The unit familiarises students with the theoretical and empirical foundation that underpin the implementation, and interpretation of some of the more widely used cognitive/intelligence, neuropsychology and personality assessment tools.

The aim of this unit is to facilitate the acquisition of a pre-professional level of understanding of psychological testing and assessment tools that underpin psychological practice.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - critically evaluate and analyse a range of psychological assessment tools, and the limitations inherent in these approaches, taking into account the unique needs of diverse and vulnerable groups (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10); 

LO2 - describe and critically evaluate principles underlying the purpose, administration, scoring and interpretation of psychological tests including psychometric principles, and the advantage and limitations of psychological assessment tools, and their potential benefits and misuses (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10); 

LO3 - Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical and professional issues, including legal frameworks, involved in the process of psychological assessment and reporting (GA4, GA5, GA8); 

LO4 - Demonstrate cultural sensitivity in the process of psychological assessment (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8). 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 


  • The theoretical and empirical basis of psychological assessment.  
  • Principles in the implementation, and interpretation of some of the more widely used psychological tests. Specific topics may include: evaluation of appropriate normative data; the impact of demographic variables upon IQ estimation; estimates of pre-morbid level of intellectual functioning and memory; pattern analysis and inter-subtest scatter; considerations of abnormality versus clinical significance; evaluation of psychosocial functioning and personality.   
  • Ethical, legal frameworks and professional issues that apply in psychological assessment. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Teaching and learning strategies include lectures workshops, and web-based learning. Lectures are structured to deliver essential content whilst allowing students the opportunity to critically discuss issues that arise in the unit. Workshops provide students with opportunities for reflective/critical thinking, role play and group discussions, which will enhance both practice and critical analysis of the unit content. Web-based learning will allow for the delivery of unit content. Teaching and learning strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within class activities. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy for this unit allows you to demonstrate your acquisition of knowledge and the ability to critically analyse and evaluate key concepts. The case study allows you apply your understanding of an assessment strategy and critically evaluate evidence provided from a case study. The group task allows you to demonstrate your ability to critical evaluate an assessment and your ability to work effectively in a group. The exam allows you to demonstrate your knowledge of principles underlying the use of psychological tests  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Case Study 

In this task you will be able to demonstrate your ability to critically evaluate data from a psychological assessment and apply to a case study example.  



GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Group Presentation and Learning Activity 

To demonstrate ability to critical evaluate an assessment and lead the class in a relevant learning activity 



GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10 


This examination will assess knowledge and understanding of material related to course content. 


LO3, LO4 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8 

Representative texts and references

Australian Psychological Society (2018). Ethical guidelines for psychological assessment and the use of psychological tests. Melbourne, Australia: Author. Retrieved from

Australian Psychological Society (2007). Code of ethics. Melbourne, Australia: Author. 

Dingwall, K., Pinkerton, J, & Lindeman, M. (2013). “People like numbers”: a descriptive study of cognitive assessment methods in clinical practice for Aboriginal Australians in the Northern Territory. BMC Psychiatry, 13(42), . Doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-13-42 

Kaplan, R. M. & Saccuzzo, D. P. (2018). Psychological testing: Principles, application, and issues (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 

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