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Word-Attack Skills Assessment

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

The word-attack skills test (see table below) is designed to serve (1) as a quick screening test to determine at what level a student is reading, and (2) as a preliminary indicator of what phonic and structural elements a student does and does not know.

Note that we use the word "indicator" because no one test is definitive. Correctly identifying a word with a phonic element does not necessarily mean that the student could identify the same phonic elements in other words. For example, the student may read the word hawk correctly but not be able to generalize to another aw word such as claw.

The assessment is an individually administered oral test in which students read words in a list. The words are ordered according to the sequences we recommended for introducing phonic and structural skills. Each word is designed to test a specific phonic or structural skill. The element tested is written in parentheses in front of the word.

The teacher would make a list of the words in regular sized print. This student page would not include the elements in the parentheses in table below.

Word-Attack Skills Test

__ 1. (th) bath __ 21a.   happier __ 41. (ness) darkness
__ 2. (er) matter __ 21b. (y) funniest __ 42. (tion) invention
__ 3. (ing) handing __ 21c.   cried __ 43. (ist) artist
__ 4. (sh) shop __ 22. (ay) pray __ 44. (ible) sensible
__ 5a.   handed __ 23. (ou) proud __ 45. (age) package
__ 5b. (ed) licked __ 24. (ir) thirst __ 46. (sion) mission
__ 5c.   hopped __ 25. (ur) curb __ 47. (ence) sentence
__ 6. (wh) when __ 26a.   taped __ 48. (ish) selfish
__ 7. (qu) quiz __ 26b. (VCe) hoping __ 49. (ation) vacation
__ 8. (ol) fold __ 26c.   timer __ 50. (pre) preschool
__ 9. (y) sunny __ 27. (kn) knock __ 51. (ex) expect
__ 10. (est) biggest __ 28. (oi) boil __ 52. (over) overtime
__ 11. (oa) loan __ 29. (oy) enjoy __ 53. (ion) million
__ 12. (ar) cart __ 30. (ph) graph __ 54. (ship) friendship
__ 13a.   fine __ 31. (wr) wrap __ 55. (com) compare
__ 13b. (VCe) hope __ 32. (au) haunt __ 56. (ure) adventure
__ 13c.   cane __ 33. (aw) hawk __ 57. (ive) detective
__ 14. (ea) neat __ 34. (con) confuse __ 58. (ac) accuse
__ 15. (oo) toot __ 35. (ment) payment __ 59. (ous) joyous
__ 16. (le) candle __ 36. (teen) sixteen __ 60. (inter) interfere
__ 17. (ee) meet __ 37. (ful) handful __ 61. (for) forward
__ 18. (ai) pain __ 38. (dis) distant __ 62. (ize) realize
__ 19. (ch) lunch __ 39. (able) enjoyable      
__ 20. (or) port __ 40. (less) useless      
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