Deciding Between Group and Individual Assessment

What is the difference between the group and individual tests?

Group testing tends to be more affordable than individual testing, while individual testing tends to be more in-depth.

  • For group testing your child will typically take tests in a classroom with other children, and you will receive a one-page printout of results.
  • For individual testing your child will typically see an examiner on a one-to-one basis for several hours (usually three), and you will receive a detailed report of several pages offering an interpretation of test results with recommendations. You will also have a 30- to 60-minute feedback where the examiner will explain the results and answer any questions you may have. The child does not have to be present.

There is usually no need to take both group and individual tests. Many parents rely initially upon group testing and then schedule individual testing only if there is a need to appeal the FCPS placement decision.

Which test(s) does my child need to take?

Your most important source of information is staff at the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), and you may ask your school’s advanced academic resource teacher, counselor, or principal for guidance. You should read the Parent Information Packet at You may also telephone the Elementary and Middle School AAP Office at (571) 423-4740.

How often can I have my child tested?

For group testing you may have your child tested no more than once every six months, unless there are compelling and documented reasons to question the accuracy or validity of a prior test score. For individual testing, your child may not take the same test more than once a year.