All students Grades 1-3.

We recommend starting in middle of year for first grade, and then screening all other struggling readers beyond Grade 3.


Three times a year; new enrollments; summer school sessions.


It's imperative to screen every student in order to:
1) Understand whole class, small group, or individual issues for instructional purposes.
2) Identify students who have developed "coping skills" but not phonics skills.
3) Identify students who are excelling in order to keep them challenged with instruction.
4) Take full advantage of KeyPhonics beyond an individual student level.


One-on-one using two computers. If being administered remotely, the student can also use a smart phone. Device one is used for scoring and recording student responses, device two is used to display words for the student to read aloud. You control the student screen via internet, minimizing testing time and eliminating the need for paper and pencils.


Words can be scored at the error level or entire word level. This scoring feature automatically produces reports allowing you to accurately identify specific phonics skills students need instruction on. There is also a note taking option, allowing you to track and record exactly what the student said.


The assessment is NOT timed, but students should only be allowed three seconds per word. Otherwise the word should be marked wrong. There are a total of 36 randomized words representing the 12 most critical phonics patterns . The assessment only takes about three minutes total including set-up, reading the directions, and scoring each word.


Features like key words and prerecorded pronunciations of each word make it easy to administer and score. Most people learn how to use KeyPhonics in under 1 hour.

Skills Assesed

Includes the 12 most critical phonics patterns with three words per category for a total of 36 words. The 12 categories are:
CVC, CVCC, R-controlled, CVCe, vowel team, digraphs, blends, CVCCVC, prefixes, short vowel with suffix, long vowel with suffix, and contractions

The words are all nonsense (except contractions), and they include single and multisyllabic patterns making it appropriate for any grade level.

Instant Reports

Available at the grade, class, and individual level. They can be viewed right away or can be retrieved and printed later. Results allow you to determine:

  • Is every student grade 1 and up learning phonics?
  • Are phonics skills improving over time for students in my classroom?
  • Which students in my classroom need help with phonics and which do not need help?
  • Which students in my classroom need a diagnostic test?

Linked to Instruction

Reports allow you to make the following instructional determinations:

Which phonics skills should I teach?

  • Are there phonics skills I need to teach? (i.e., skills which have not yet been learned)
  • Are there phonics skills I need to review/reteach? (i.e., skills that were once mastered but students are now struggling with)
  • Are there phonics skills I can ignore? (i.e., skills are mastered and I can focus on teaching other skills)

How should I group students?

  • Which phonics skills should I teach the whole class? (i.e., most students need instruction on this skill)
  • Which phonics skills should I teach a small group? (i.e., only a few students need help with this skill)
  • Which phonics skills should I teach one-on-one? (i.e., only 1 student is struggling with the skill)