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Assessment and Evaluation

Phonological Awareness Assessment

An informal assessment phonological awareness, including what the assessment measures, when is should be assessed, examples of questions, and the age or grade at which the assessment should be mastered.

On this page:

What it measures

  1. Recognizing a word in a sentence shows the ability to segment a sentence
  2. Recognizing a rhyme shows the ability to identify words that have the same ending sounds
  3. Recognizing a syllable shows the ability to separate or blend words the way that they are pronounced
  4. Understanding onset-rime shows the ability to blend the first sound in the word (onset) and the rest of the word (rime)

When should it be assessed?

Typically, phonological awareness is assessed during kindergarten and throughout first grade. During the beginning of kindergarten, assessment should be limited to recognizing words, rhyme, syllable blending, and segmentation to help guide instruction.

Examples of assessment questions


  • How many words are in this sentence? “I am happy.” (Correct response: 3)


  • Do these words rhyme? “Big, Fig” (Correct response: Yes)
  • What about “Key, Tree?” (Correct response: Yes)

Syllable blending:

  • I am going to say a word in parts. Listen: o…pen. What word did I say? (Correct response: open)

Syllable segmentation:

  • Can you tell me the two word parts in “open?” (Correct response: o…pen)

Syllable deletion:

  • Say “open” without the “-pen.” (Correct response: o)


  • What word do these sounds make? /s/ – /ee/ (Correct response: see)
  • How about /h/ – /op/? (Correct response: hop)

Age or grade typically mastered

  • Word: Age 3
  • Rhyme: Age 4
  • Syllable blending: Age 4
  • Syllable segmentation: Kindergarten
  • Syllable deletion: Kindergarten
  • Onset-rime The middle of kindergarten
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