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Learning Evaluations for Adults

The learning evaluation is designed for adults (18 years and older) for whom both language and/or learning issues may be affecting academic achievement, work performance, or daily functioning. This assessment includes evaluation of multiple areas including:

  1. Language (i.e., word finding, listening/speaking)
  2. Psychoeducational Evaluation:
    • Intellectual ability (i.e., IQ)
    • Academic achievement: Basic reading skills (word reading/decoding), reading fluency, reading comprehension, written expression (spelling, grammar, formulation), math calculation, math problem solving (word problems, reasoning)
    • Cognitive processing (e.g., attention, auditory memory, phonemic awareness, visual sequencing, perception of spatial relationships, etc.)
    • Reasoning and executive functioning (i.e., problem-solving and planning)

The testing takes place in one day (see the Schedule tab, below), including an initial interview and a final conference. Following the evaluation, a written report is provided detailing the findings of the assessment. A comprehensive list of recommendations is included with each report.


Testing is conducted from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm (5 ½ hours)

  • Interview and testing from 9-12:00
  • Lunch break from 12-1
  • Testing from 1-3:30
  • Break from 3:30-4
  • Feedback conference at 4:00 pm

Intake Process

To schedule an evaluation:

Contact Northwestern: contact us at 847-491-3165 or to begin the intake process.  Dr. Frank Van Santen will contact you to discuss your concerns and answer questions about the evaluation.

Complete an application: before we schedule an appointment, it is necessary for us to have some background about the nature of your concerns, as well as some developmental and academic history to help us plan our evaluation. Thus, you should complete and send us an application, along with copies of any other relevant materials (e.g., report cards, previous testing reports, ieps, etc.).

Northwestern review of application materials: once we have the application materials, they are reviewed to ensure that the evaluation is appropriate for your needs. If it is not, referral to another agency or clinic can be provided.

Contact and schedule: you will be contacted to schedule the appointment.


1. Who is conducting the evaluation?
The evaluation is conducted by Dr. Frank Van Santen, who is a clinical psychologist. Because this is a teaching center, there may be graduate students who are involved in some of the assessment; however, they are observed by a supervisor at all times, and they have received extensive instruction from licensed clinical supervisors prior to their participation in the evaluation.

2. How should I prepare for the evaluation?

  • Arrive early to make sure you can find a parking spot.
  • Once you arrive, check in with our administrative assistants in the lobby.
  • Make sure you have a good night’s sleep before the evaluation.
  • You should have a good breakfast before coming to the clinic. It is also a good idea to bring snacks and a drink to have during the evaluation.
  • If you normally take medication on a daily basis, you should take those medications during the evaluation.
  • If you wear glasses or hearing aids, please have them available during testing.
  • The temperature of the clinic rooms can vary, and it is important that you are physically comfortable during the evaluation. Therefore, it may be helpful to have a sweater or sweatshirt available to put on if you are cold.

3. How can I receive documentation for Standardized Test Accommodations ?
If you are having this evaluation conducted because you need documentation to receive accommodations on an upcoming standardized test (e.g., GRE, GMAT, LSAT, NCEES exams, etc.) or for your college or university, you should determine the following:

  • information about the testing,
  • application deadlines,
  • documentation requirements for that specific testing agency,
  • or information about what your school requires from evaluations.

For instance, if you are going to be taking the GRE, you should visit the site and visit the Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-Related Needs section to determine what the deadlines are, what sort of testing is needed, and what should be included in our report.

4. How long is the feedback conference?
Feedback conferences generally last approximately one hour, depending on the complexity of the results and the needs of the person being evaluated.

5. When will I get the report?
The report will be sent to you approximately four weeks after testing.