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Phonological and Print Awareness Scale (PPA Scale)

The Phonological and Print Awareness Scale (PPA Scale) measures early literacy skills in children aged 3.6 to 8.11 years. It is quick and easy to administer, helping to identify children who may benefit from early intervention.

The PPA Scale measures two important literacy skills that have been shown to predict later reading and writing ability:

  • Phonological Awareness: The ability to recognise and manipulate the individual sounds of whole words without any reliance on print.
  • Print Awareness: Understanding the elements of print, including alphabet knowledge and concepts about print.

A receptive, multiple-choice response format is used where examiners read the instructions and examinees can point to the colourful, self-standing easel to indicate their answer. This format makes the PPA Scale ideal for assessing young children and it's also suitable for use with children who may have speech impairments and/or expressive language difficulties.

This scale includes 69 items, which represent six underlying tasks:

  • Rhyming:
  • Print Knowledge
  • Initial Sound Matching
  • Final Sound Matching
  • Sound-Symbol
  • Phonemic Awareness

The items have been written in a way that provides a narrow focus on phonological and print awareness skills without placing demands of other cognitive abilities such as memory. There are three parallel forms available, allowing examiners to identify areas for intervention and to track progress over time. Scores include a standard score, growth score, percentile ranks and descriptive ranges. The growth score is the best way to measure a child's progress over time. A Descriptive Summary is provided on the Record Form, offering a qualitative way to look at item and task level performance. This summary allows examiners to review the objectives of missed items and identify patterns, which can help identify strengths as well as areas where children may require additional support.

The PPA Scale can be used for:

  • Screening to identify children who are behind their peers
  • Identifying strengths and areas needed improvement
  • Tracking progress over time, using the growth score and parallel forms
  • Research exploring the effectiveness of early literacy programmes
Test Abbreviation: 
PPA Scale
Registration Level: 
3.6 to 8.11 years
Country of origin: 
10-15 minutes
Work Area: 

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