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The Phonological Awareness Profile
Ages: 5-8   Grades: K-3

The Phonological Awareness Profile is an individually-administered, criterion-referenced test designed to diagnose deficits in phonological processing and phoneme/grapheme correspondence. 

Test Set
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Phono Awareness Profile Forms (15)
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Test Purpose
Assess students' phonological processing and phoneme/grapheme correspondence.  Use the test as a pre- and post-measure to track improvement in phonological awareness.  The profile serves to complement other comprehensive measures of reading ability.  Test results help you plan intervention programs. 


Test Description
Six tasks help determine the student's phonological awareness: rhyming, segmentation, isolation, deletion, substitution, and blending.  Three additional tasks assess knowledge of phoneme/grapheme correspondence: graphemes, decoding, and invented spelling.  Administer the entire test or select skills of interest.  



  • Phonological Awareness
    • Rhyming—discrimination and production
    • Segmentation—sentences, compound words, syllables, and phonemes
    • Isolation—initial, final, and medial sounds
    • Deletion—compounds/syllables and phonemes
    • Substitution—with and without manipulatives (you supply the blocks)
    • Blending—compounds/syllables and phonemes
  • Graphemes
    • consonants
    • short and long vowels
    • vowel and consonant digraphs
    • diphthongs
    • r-controlled vowels
    • consonant blends
  • Decoding
    • VC and CVC words
    • consonant blends
    • vowel and consonant digraphs
    • diphthongs
    • r-controlled vowels
  • Invented Spelling—rate the spelling of words according to the logical representation of the sounds in the words

Examiner Qualifications
The test should be administered by a professional trained in analyzing phonological structures of speech (e.g., speech-language pathologist, learning disability teacher, reading teacher, special education consultant). 


Test Procedures

  • Directions and demonstration items are printed on the test form.
  • Begin each task with the demonstration item, if provided.  Give extra demonstration items if needed, but don't teach the concept. 
  • Prompts used in demonstration items may be used in test items.
  • Select test items appropriate to the student.  Kindergarten and beginning first grade students may not have been introduced to phoneme/grapheme correspondence. 
  • Invented Spelling task may be administered in a group setting.  It's not necessary to administer Invented Spelling during each evaluation.   
  • Items mastered in previous testing do not have to be retested in post-measures.
  • Begin each subtest with the first item (basal).
  • Discontinue testing after three consecutive items on a subtest are answered incorrectly (ceiling). 
  • Rhyming, Segmentation, Isolation, Deletion, and Blending subtest items are presented verbally by the examiner.
  • Substitution subtest uses six to eight color blocks (you supply the blocks).
  • Graphemes subtest uses letter cards (supplied with the test).

Testing Time

  • 10-20 minutes

Scoring/Types of Scores

  • Individual test items are scored + for a correct response and 0 for an incorrect response.
  • Calculate the number correct in each subtest.  80% correct or greater is considered mastery of that particular skills, with the exception 100% correct criteria for the graphemes subtest.
  • If a student falls below the mastery level of a task, the student needs instruction in that area. 

This well-respected test is a criterion-referenced not a normed-referenced instrument.  Criterion-referenced tests compare the subject's mastery of the specified behaviors to the specified behaviors.  Such tests are designed to provide information for instruction, not to compare students with each other. 

Copyright © 1995

Test Set includes: examiner's manual, 117 letter and word cards on perforated card stock, 15 profile forms


Carolyn Robertson, Wanda Salter


Carolyn Robertson, M.Ed., completed undergraduate work at Illinois State University in special education.  She received her master's degree from North Georgia College and has done postgraduate work at Saint Michael's College and the University of Vermont.  She has over twenty years of experience in teaching special education for grades kindergarten through graduate school.  At present, she is a learning specialist/consulting teacher and assessment specialist for the Grand Isle Supervisory Union in northern Vermont.  

Wanda Salter, M.S., CCC-SLP, completed undergraduate studies in anthropology and linguistics at McGill University and received master's degrees in Teaching English as a Second Language from Saint Michael's College and in Communication Science and Disorders from the University of Vermont.  She has taught English to adolescent and adult students and served as a public school speech-language pathologist at Alburg Elementary School in northern Vermont.  Wanda is currently employed by a private manufacturer of augmentative communication aids.  She provides consultative services to school and hospital teams in northern New England.

The Phonological Awareness Profile is Carolyn and Wanda's second publication with LinguiSystems.  They are also the co-authors of The Phonological Awareness Kit.