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The Phonological Awareness Test 2 (PAT 2)
Ages: 5-9   Grades: K-4         

This test assesses all the pre-reading skills that are early indicators of reading success.  Use it to identify children who lack explicit phonological knowledge and have difficulty acquiring sound/symbol correspondences in words.

Test Set
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Phonological Awareness Test 2 Test Forms (15)
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Test Purpose
The Phonological Awareness Test 2 is a standardized assessment of children's phonological awareness, phoneme-grapheme correspondences, and phonetic decoding skills.  Test results help educators focus on those aspects of a child's oral language that may not be systematically targeted in classroom reading instruction.


Test Description
This test assesses a student's awareness of the oral language segments that comprise words (i.e., syllables and phonemes).   The test is comprehensive and includes a wide variety of tasks; performance on each of these tasks has been correlated with success in early reading and spelling.  The straightforward, developmental format lets you easily tease out specific skills and plan effective interventions. 



  • Rhyming:  Discrimination and Production—identify rhyming pairs and provide a rhyming word
  • Segmentation:  Sentences, Syllables, and Phonemes—dividing by words, syllables and phonemes
  • IsolationInitial, Final, Medial—identify sound position in words
  • Deletion:  Compound Words, Syllables, and Phonemes—manipulate root words, syllables, and phonemes in words
  • Substitution With Manipulatives—isolate a phoneme in a word, then change it to another phoneme to form a new word
  • Blending:  Syllables and Phonemes—blend units of sound together to form words
  • Graphemes—assess knowledge of sound/symbol correspondence for consonants, vowels, consonant blends, consonant digraphs, r-controlled vowels, vowel digraphs, and diphthongs
  • Decoding—assess  general knowledge of sound/symbol correspondence to blend sounds into nonsense words
  • Invented Spelling (optional)—write words to dictation to show encoding ability


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


Test Procedures

  • All subtests are administered (Invented Spelling is optional).  There are no basals or ceilings.
  • A demonstration item is given for each subtest.
  • If it is apparent that a student is unable to perform a task, administration of that task is discontinued, and a score of 0 is given for items not administered in that task.
  • Directions are read aloud to the student and are printed on the test form.
  • Spiral bound stimuli booklets (included in the test) are used with the Graphemes Subtest and Decoding Subtest.
  • Eight color cubes (included with the test) are used for the Substitution Subtest.

Testing Time

  • 40 minutes

Scoring/Types of Scores
Each response receives a 1 for a correct response or a 0 for an incorrect response.  Correct responses are listed on the test form.  A pronunciation guide for nonsense words is on the test form.   

The raw scores for each subtest, each section (phonological awareness and phoneme-grapheme correspondence) and the total test can be converted to:

  • Age Equivalents
  • Percentile Ranks
  • Standard Scores

Discussion of Performance
The Discussion of Performance section in the Examiner's Manual helps you bridge from assessment to treatment.  There are descriptions of how weaknesses are manifested in the classroom, guidelines for intervention, and frequently-asked questions about the test. 


Statistical Test Results 
The Phonological Awareness Test 2 was standardized on 1,582 subjects.  These subjects represented the latest national census for race, gender, age, and educational placement. 

  • Reliability—established by the use of the following for all subtests and the total test at all age levels:
    • SEM
    • Inter-Rater Reliability
    • Test-Retest
    • Reliability Based on Item Homogeneity (KR20)

Reliability tests were highly satisfactory for the total test at all age levels.


  • Validity—established by the use of content validity which reflects the necessary phonological awareness skills of elementary age students:
    • Contrasted groups (t-values)
    • Point Biserial Correlations
    • Subtest Intercorrelations
    • Correlations Between Subtests and Total Test 

Contrasted Groups (t-values) comparisons show the test has a highly satisfactory ability to differentiate subjects requiring special reading services and those subjects developing reading skills normally.  Combined subtest intercorrelations revealed acceptable levels across all age levels.


  • Race/Socioeconomic Group Difference Analyses—conducted at the item and subtest levels.  The analyses show no significant differences when comparing race or SES on the PAT 2.   Tests included:   
    • z-tests
    • Chi Square Analysis
    • Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) F-tests

Count on the Phonological Awareness Test 2 to identify students who have weaknesses in phonological awareness skills, and to give you the reliable results you need to plan an individual treatment plan for each student.  It is a test that quantifies the link between oral language development and phonological awareness.  You'll discern how your students manipulate sounds, and identify their strengths and weaknesses in sound awareness skills.  It's the most complete test of phonological awareness you'll find!


Copyright © 2007

Test Set includes: examiner's manual, statistics manual, color cubes, graphemes book, decoding book, 15 test forms

Warning: CHOKING HAZARD - Small parts, not for children under 3 yrs.

In 2000, the National Reading Panel, in its report from the subgroups, summarized the viable research on reading instruction that included alphabetics, phonemic awareness, and phonics.  Based on this landmark longitudinal survey, the panel arrived at the following conclusions regarding phonemic awareness and reading:

  • Teaching children to manipulate phonemes in words is highly effective across all the literacy domains.
  • Phonemic awareness measured at the beginning of kindergarten is one of the two best predictors of how well children will learn to read.
  • Assessing a student's phonemic awareness before beginning instruction is the best approach.  This indicates which children need instruction, which children need to be taught beginning levels of phonemic awareness (e.g., isolating initial sounds in words), and which children are ready for more advanced levels involving segmenting or blending with letters.
  • Tasks that require students to manipulate spoken units larger than phonemes are simpler for beginners than tasks requiring phoneme manipulation.  Instruction of children in the study groups often began by teaching children to manipulate larger units and included such activities as rhyming, breaking sentences into words, and breaking words into syllables.
  • Phonemic awareness instruction helps all children improve their reading, including normally developing readers, children at risk for reading problems, preschoolers, kindergartners, first graders, older disabled readers through sixth grade, children across various socioeconomic levels, and children learning to read in English as well as in other languages.

The Phonological Awareness Test 2 incorporates these findings and is also based on expert professional practice.


National Reading Panel (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implication for reading instruction—Reports of the subgroups. Retrieved October 21, 2009, from


Carolyn Robertson, Wanda Salter


Carolyn Robertson, M.Ed., is a retired learning specialist/consulting teacher and assessment specialist.  She has taught in Georgia, Kentucky, and Vermont schools.  She completed undergraduate work in Special Education at Illinois State University and received her master's degree from North Georgia College.  She has done post-graduate work at Saint Michael's College and the University of Vermont.  Carolyn has over thirty years of experience in teaching special education for grades kindergarten through graduate school.  

Wanda Salter, M.A., M.S., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist in the Windsor Southwest school district in southern Vermont.  She also maintains a private practice, administering assessments and providing consultation in school and hospital settings in Vermont and New Hampshire.  Wanda 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 Communication Science and Disorders from the University of Vermont.  She has served as a public school speech-language pathologist in grades K-12 and provided augmentative communication consultation throughout northern New England.

In addition to The Phonological Awareness Test 2, Carolyn and Wanda are the co-authors of The Phonological Awareness Kit Primary; The Phonological Awareness Kit Intermediate; The Phonological Awareness Profile; The Phonological Awareness and Reading Profile; and Take-Home Phonological Awareness.