Yopp-Singer Test of Phonemic Segmentation
Directions for Administering

  1. Have one test sheet for each child in the class.
  2. Assess children individually in a quiet place.
  3. Keep the assessment playful and game-like.
  4. Explain the game to the child exactly as the directions specify.
  5. Model for the child what he or she needs to do with each of the practice words. Have them break apart each word with you.
Children are given the following directions upon administration of the test:
Today we're going to play a word game. I'm going to say a word and I want you to break the word apart. You are going to say the word slowly, and then tell me each sound in the word in order. For example, if I say "old," you should say "oooo-llll-d" (The teacher says the sound, not the letters.) Let's try a few words together.
The practice items are ride, go, and man. The teacher should help the child with each sample item - segmenting the item for the child if necessary and encouraging the child to repeat the segmented words. Then the child is given the 22 item test. If the child responds correctly, the teacher says, "That's right." If the child gives an incorrect response, he or she is corrected. The teacher provides the appropriate response. The teacher circles the numbers of all correct answers.

If the child breaks a word apart incorrectly, the teacher gives the correct answer:

 Child SaysYou say
Uses onset and rime
Repeats word
Stretches word out
Spells letters in word
Says first and last sounds
Says another word
Says a sentence
/d/ - /og/
d - o - g
"d" - "o" - "g"
/d/ - /g/
I don't know

The child's score is the number of items correctly segmented into all constituent phonemes. No partial credit is given. For instance, if a child says "/c/-/at/" instead of "/c/-/a/-/t/," the response may be noted on the blank line following the items but is considered incorrect for purposes of scoring. Correct responses are only those that involve articulation of each phoneme in the target word.

A blend contains two or three phonemes in each of these and each should be articulated separately. Hence, item 7 on the test, grew, has three phonemes /g/-/r/-/ew/. Digraphs such as /sh/ in item 5, she, and the /th/ in item 15, three, are single phonemes. Item 5, therefore has two phonemes and item 15 has three phonemes. If a child responds with letter names instead of sounds, the response is coded as incorrect, and the type of error is noted on the test.

Students who obtain high scores (segmenting all or nearly all of the items correctly) may be considered phonemically aware. Students who correctly segment some items are displaying emerging phonemic awareness. Students who are able to segment only a few items or none at all lack appropriate levels of phonemic awareness. Without intervention, those students scoring very low on the test are likely to experience difficulty with reading and spelling.

Student Test Sheet

Yopp-Singer Test of Phoneme Segmentation

Student's name _________________________________   Date _____________

Score (number correct) _______________

Directions: Today we're going to play a word game. I'm going to say a word and I want you to break the word apart. You are going to tell me each sound in the word in order. For example, if I say "old," you should say /o/-/l/-/d/." (Administrator: Be sure to say the sounds, not the letters, in the word.) Let's try a few together.

Practice items:(Assist the child in segmenting these items as necessary.)
ride go man

Test items:(Circle those items that the student correctly segments; incorrect responses may be recorded on the blank line following the item.)

1. dog _________________________    12. lay _________________________
2. keep _________________________    13. race _________________________
3. fine _________________________    14. zoo _________________________
4. no _________________________    15. three _________________________
5. she _________________________    16. job _________________________
6. wave _________________________    17. in _________________________
7. grew _________________________    18. ice _________________________
8. that _________________________    19. at _________________________
9. red _________________________    20. top _________________________
10. me _________________________    21. by _________________________
11. sat _________________________    22. do _________________________

Return to the Test Directions
The author, Hallie Kay Yopp, California State University, Fullerton, grants permission for this test to be reproduced. The author acknowledges the contribution of the late Harry Singer to the development of this test.

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