Auditory Consonant Trigrams (ACT)

This tool is used to test levels of memory and attention.  The client listens to a string of three consonants (the consonant trigram) immediately followed by a mental task such as counting backwards.  After that task, the client is asked to recall the trigram.  Research suggests that this tool measures left-hemisphere divided attention and working memory, with poor performance associated with disturbances in that hemisphere.  This test has been normed for individuals between the ages of 16 and 69.

Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test

This test evaluates visual-perceptual and visual-motor functioning, yielding possible signs of brain dysfunction.  Although used to assess emotional problems and developmental maturity in the past, it is not highly regarded for these purposes now.

Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination (BDAE)

This is a comprehensive battery of language skills in adults, and is often administered by speech pathologists.

Boston Naming Test (BNT)

There are currently several versions of this test on the market.  Each consists of pen-and-ink drawings of common objects which the patient is instructed to name.  When the patient is unable to name the objects, semantic and then phonemic cues are given.  One version of this test also includes a recognition trial.  This is a very popular and highly useful test of word-finding ability and is part of the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination but often used separately.  This test can be used to assist in determining the location of brain lesions.

The b Test

This test is used to assess level of effort in patients age seventeen and older.  The test taker is instructed to scan stimulus materials and correctly cross out all of the b’s without making any mistakes of commission or omission.

Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)

This is a 21-item self-report inventory designed to measure levels of anxiety.

Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)

This is a 21-item self-report inventory designed to measure levels of depression.

California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT)

This test is comprised of a word-list which is used to assess multi-trial learning, serial-position information, semantic organization, and other aspects of verbal learning and recall.  It is similar to the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test but offers normative data for semantic organization and other aspects of verbal memory, as well as a forced-recognition trial which can be used to assess malingering.

Cognitive Symptom Checklist (CSC)

This instrument is a self-report inventory which assesses the level of self-perceived cognitive impairment in both adolescents and adults.

Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT)

This is a test of verbal fluency in which the patient is asked to generate as many words as possible which begin with three specified letters, as well as the names of as many animals as possible, within specified time limits.

Cognistat (The Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination)

This is a quick neuropsychological screening test which examines language, memory, arithmetic, attention, judgment, and reasoning. It can be administered in under 10 minutes.

Clock Drawing Task

This is  an inexpensive, fast, “non-threatening” test of visuoconstructive and visuospatial skills, symbolic and graphomotor representation, auditory language skills, hemiattention, semantic memory, conceptual abilities, and executive function including organization, planning, and parallel processing.

d2 Test of Attention

This test measures concentration and selective attention.  The test taker is instructed to scan pages and identify target stimuli, in this case d’s.

Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS)

This battery of subtests is designed to assess both verbal and nonverbal executive functioning.

Digit Vigilance Test (DVT)

This is a test of visual scanning and tracking skills, concentration and processing speed.  The patient is required to sequentially scan a large array of numbers, row by row, and draw a slash through the number which the administrator has specified.

Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Battery (HRNB)

This is a powerful fixed battery that measures performance across neurocognitive domains to generate information about the localization, lateralization, severity and progressiveness of brain injury and impairment.  Many neuropsychologists consider this test the gold standard of neuropsychological batteries.  It requires extensive and specialized study to learn and takes nearly six hours to administer.  Subtests include Tactual Performance, Finger-tapping, Speech Sounds Perception, Seashore Rhythm, Trails A and B, Strength of Grip, Sensory Perception, Tactile Finger Localization, Fingertip Number Writing, Tactile Form Recognition, and Aphasia Screening.  Note that Trails is widely used independently of the larger battery.  (See the powerpoint on this website for more information.)

Kaplan Baycrest Neurocognitive Assessment (KBNA)

This is a concise fixed battery which can be administered in as little as an hour and a half.  It provides a wide range of information on functioning in most neurocognitive domains.

Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery (LNNB)

This battery was designed to assess all neuropsychological domains in terms of Luria’s understanding of cognitive functioning, and uses pattern analysis to infer cognitive strengths and weaknesses.

Malingering Tests

Many tests have been devised to identify performance patterns characterized by insufficient effort, suggesting possible attempts to fake impairment for personal gain.  These tests are not generally available to the public.

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI and MMPI-2, MAPI)

This is a clinical personality assessment tool designed to assess emotional functioning and psychopathology.  An older test, some of its constructs (e.g., “psychaesthenia” and “hysteria”) are no longer regarded as valid, but a great body of research and reinterpretation has led to its continued usefulness for many practitioners.

Memory Assessment Scales (MAS)

This is a comprehensive fixed battery which can be used to measure both verbal and visual memory encoding and retention.  It consists of 12 subtests used to measure list learning, verbal span, prose memory, verbal span, visual recognition, visual reproduction and memory for names and faces.

Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI)

This self-report inventory is highly sensitive to personality disorders as understood by its author, Theodore Millon.

Multilingual Aphasia Examination (MAE)

This brief battery is used to measure receptive and expressive language skills.  Areas of assessment include oral expression, sentence repetition and verbal associative, spelling and articulation.

North American Reading Test (NART)

This reading test is most commonly used to establish a client’s level of premorbid intelligence, given that vocabulary is widely considered to have the strongest correlation with IQ.

Quick Neurological Screening Test

This is a brief neurological assessment used to identify motor, sensory, and perceptual impairments.

Paced Auditory Serial Attention Test (PASAT)

This test of divided and rapid attention requires the patient to attend carefully numbers which are spoken rapidly by a recorded administrator.  Cassette and computer forms of this test are available, each with separate norms.

Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS)

Designed as a brief, repeatable measure of cognitive impairment, this battery includes two forms.

Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT)

This test evaluates the client’s ability to learn a list of fifteen unrelated words. The list is presented more than once to provide evidence of learning over time.  A distractor list is used to gain information about proactive and retroactive interference.  Short- and long-delay recall trials are used to assess longer-term retrieval, and a recognition trial offers information about encoding vs. retrieval.  It has also been used as an indicator of possible malingering.

Rey 15-item Memory Test (RFIT)

This simple memory test is used as a measure of possible malingering.

Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCF)

This test of visual-spatial and visual memory skills requires the client first to copy a complex geometric design, then to reproduce it from memory, both immediately and after a delay.  One version of the test includes a delayed recognition trial.

Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90)

This self-report inventory is used to evaluate the client’s subjective complaints.

Stroop Color-Word Test (Stroop)

This test measures word-reading and color-naming speed, as well as a client’s ability to inhibit reading in favor of ink-color naming when words are printed in colors different from those spelled out.

Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM)

This test of visual learning and forced-choice recall is widely used to evaluate possible memory malingering.

Tower of London

This test of three-dimensional visuospatial planning and problem-solving is part of the D-KEFS, but is also available in other forms under other names.

Trail-Making Tests A and B (Trails)

These tests measure visual scanning, motor tracking, numerical and alphabetic sequencing, and the ability to switch mental sets. Trails B was once a government test which is now part of the Halstead-Reitan Battery.  It has also been published in other forms (e.g., as part of the D-KEFS) with their own norms.  Some consider this test the most sensitive single measure of cognitive impairment.

Verbal (Word) Fluency Tests

These tests, which occur independently and as part of larger batteries, measure a client’s ability to quickly retrieve words by sound (e.g., initial letter) and/or by category.

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)

This battery is one of the most widely used measures of psychometric intelligence, and is now in its third version (WAIS-III).  It consists of 13 subtests which measure both verbal and “performance” (largely visuospatial) intelligence, as well as working memory and processing speed. Age and gender norms are provided in the scoring manual while additional racial age norms have been published in neuropsychological journals.

Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS)

This battery consists of 13 subtests which measure various aspects of verbal and visual memory.  It provides a fairly comprehensive assessment of memory and is co-normed with the WAIS-III, leading to these two tests often being administered together.  The WMS is the more purely neuropsychological of the Wechsler scales.  It consists of sub-scales for Information and Orientation, Logical Memory, Memory for Faces, Verbal Paired Associates, Family Pictures, Word Lists, Visual Reproduction, Letter-Number Sequencing, Spatial Span, Mental Control and Several Recognition Trials.

Wechsler Test of Adult Reading (WTAR)

This test uses reading skill level to estimate pre-morbid intellectual functioning, and is thus comparable to the NART (see above).

Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT)

This commonly used test of reading, spelling, and written arithmetic skills, now in its fourth version (WRAT4), is often administered with the WAIS-III to obtain information about intelligence vs. academic achievement, the same information obtained with the Woodcock-Johnson.

Wisconsin Card Sort Test (WCST)

This test requires the client to discern the rules governing the sequential appearance of symbols of different shapes, colors and numbers, rules which change over time.  It measures attention, analytic skill and concept-formation, and is considered one of the more difficult executive function tests.


This test measures both cognitive performance and achievement such as intellectual ability, specific cognitive abilities, scholastic aptitude, oral language and academic achievement.  It is commonly used to diagnose learning disabilities.

Word Memory Test (WMT)

This test is used as a measure of possible malingering.

Neuropsychological Tools