University of Wisconsin–Madison

Undiagnosed Students

Worried About Your Academic Performance?

Difficulty with school performance can occur at any point in a student’s academic experience. These difficulties can be due to the following:

  • Common factors
  • Mental health or AODA concerns
  • Learning or attention difficulties

Common Factors

Difficulty with school performance can occur at any point in a student’s academic experience. Some common factors that can affect satisfactory progress in a class or academic program are insufficient academic preparation, ineffective study strategies, or low motivation or interest in the subject matter. Letting go of good self-care habits such as adequate sleep, regular exercise, a nutritious diet and positive social activities can increase stress and decrease performance.

If you are concerned about your academic performance, and you recognize any of the above factors as a potential source of your academic difficulties, your academic advisor is a very good first resource to look at your course plan and identify campus academic support services, including available tutoring resources. Your advisor can also help you evaluate your academic goals and develop a plan to reach them.

Mental Health or AODA Concerns

Persistent feelings of depression or anxiety can interfere with academic performance and a student’s overall sense of well-being. Likewise, alcohol overuse or illicit drug use can have a very damaging impact on short term and long term academic performance. If you are experiencing these challenges or they are becoming more pronounced in the college environment, counseling support through University Health Services (UHS) is an appropriate next step. UHS provides screening services and intervention for mental health or AODA concerns.

Learning Difficulties

Students with longstanding patterns of specific learning difficulties may notice a greater impact on academic performance in college. Formal learning disability assessment is available through the campus or community resources listed below.

Attention Difficulties

Students with longstanding patterns of attention difficulties may notice a greater impact on academic performance in college. Formal attention deficit assessment is available through the campus or community resources listed below.

Additional Resources for Students Experiencing Academic Difficulties

UW-Madison Assessment Resources

There are three clinics on campus that provide comprehensive psycho-educational testing. The Counseling Psychology Training Clinic and Psychology Training Clinic also provide personal counseling on a sliding fee scale. Please contact each clinic for more information about services, fees, and appointment availability (clinics may not be operating over the summer).

UW-Madison Assessment Resources
Name Address Phone Number
Student Assessment Services School of Education
Room 316, Educational Sciences
1025 W. Johnson Street
Madison, WI 53706
(608)265-2802
Counseling Psychology Training Clinic School of Education
Room 316, Educational Sciences
1025 W. Johnson Street
Madison, WI 53706
(608)265-8779
Psychology Research and Training Clinic Department of Psychology
Room 351, W.J. Brogden Psychology Building
1202 W. Johnson Street
Madison, WI 53706
(608)262-5925
Communication Assessment Clinic Communication Sciences and Disorders
UW Speech and Hearing Clinic
Goodnight Hall, 1st Floor
1975 Willow Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608)262-3951

UW-Madison AD/HD Assessment Resources

University Health Services (UHS) works in collaboration with Student Assessment Services (SAS) to provide Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) assessments for those students whose attention and concentration issues cannot be better explained by other mental health concerns, such as anxiety and depression, or other factors that impact academic performance. The diagnosis of ADHD in late adolescence/early adulthood is rare and can only be achieved through rigorous evaluation which includes a clinical interview with the student, evidence of past impaired academic performance, interviews with the student’s primary caregivers or teachers, psycho-educational assessment, and other measures relevant to the specific student.

If you are experiencing difficulties with attention and/or concentration and believe you may have ADHD, you may meet with a UHS counselor to discuss ADHD and other disorders that affect attention and concentration. Start with a drop-in “Access” consultation. If you prefer to see a community provider, UHS counselors can assist you with a direct referral.

UHS offers intervention options for attentional difficulties, including ADHD, which can often be quite effective in managing these behaviors and their impact on academic performance. Students will be referred to these intervention opportunities as appropriate. The results of the screening and recommended interventions will be used to determine the need for a referral to SAS for a comprehensive assessment.

To maximize limited resources for psycho-educational assessment at UW Madison through SAS, only those students for whom assessment is clinically recommended by UHS or by a community mental health provider will be referred to SAS for ADHD assessment.

If you already have a diagnosis of ADHD and would like to know more about academic accommodations for this disorder, you can Apply for Accommodations.

Community Learning Disability and AD/HD Assessment Resources

The following is an alphabetical listing of agencies that provide private assessment services to adults with suspected learning disabilities or attentional disorders. Fees and insurance coverage vary, as do timeliness of interview, assessment and report preparation. You are encouraged to contact more than one agency and inquire as to the cost, length of time between assessment and report receipt, and the qualifications of the clinicians relative to your specific referral issues. The McBurney Disability Resource Center does not control or guarantee the currency, accuracy, relevance, or completeness of information and it is therefore recommended that further information be gathered.