Early Literacy Research Library (ELRL) - Metric

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP)


Access: FREE/Open Access

evaluation focus

Phonological Processing Abilities

applicable ages

Grade: Preschool-12; 48-299 months; 4-24 years

available language(s)



Must be purchased


The Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP) is an instrument that can be used to measure phonological processing abilities of school aged children. This instrument employs a variety of subtests to measure several components of phonological processing.


5 Composites:

    • Phonological Awareness Component Scores (PACS)
    • Phonological Memory Component Scores (PMCS)
    • The Rapid Symbolic Naming Composite Score (RSNCS)
    • Rapid Non-Symbolic Naming Composite Score (RNNCS)
    • The Alternate Phonological Awareness Composite Score (APACS)


    • Elision
    • Blending Words
    • Sound Matching
    • Phoneme Isolation
    • Blending Nonwords
    • Segmenting Nonwords
    • Memory for Digits
    • Nonword Repetition
    • Rapid Digit Naming
    • Rapid Letter Naming
    • Rapid Color Naming
    • Rapid Object Naming

Administration Format: test completion and manual scoring

Total Time: 40 minutes


Reliability (US Bureau of the Census 1977, Hintze 2003):

    • Internal Consistency: composite score reliability estimates range from 0.83 – 0.96 (PMCS-PACS), with an estimated 0.90 median.
    • Test-Retest: composite score reliability estimates over a 1-year period range from 0.70 to 0.94 (RSNCS-APACS), with an estimated 0.84 median.
    • Interscorer: reliability estimates ranged from 0.97 – 0.99 across all years.


Validity (US Bureau of the Census 1977, Hintze 2003):

    • Criterion-Predictive: strong relationships with
        • Word identification
        • Word analysis
        • Sight word efficiency
        • Phonemic decoding efficiency
        • Connected reading
    • Construct-Identification: the CTOPP has been shown to measure three phonological processing abilities that are distinct yet correlated.


Available for Purchase: https://www.pearsonassessments.com/store/usassessments/en/Store/Professional-Assessments/Speech-%26-Language/Comprehensive-Test-of-Phonological-Processing-%7C-Second-Edition/p/100000737.html


Source: https://www.pearsonassessments.com/store/usassessments/en/Store/Professional-Assessments/Speech-%26-Language/Comprehensive-Test-of-Phonological-Processing-%7C-Second-Edition/p/100000737.html

supporting literature

Hintze, J., Ryan, A.L., Stoner, G. (2003) Concurrent Validity and Diagnostic Accuracy of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills and the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing. School Psychology Review, 23(4), 541-556.
PDF: CTOPP – 1 – Hintze 2003
Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02796015.2003.12086220

Wagner, R.K., Torgesen, J.K., Rashotte, C. A. (1999) Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP). Assessment for Intervention, 31(2), 81-83.
PDF: CTOPP – 2 – Wagner 1999
Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/073724770603100207

Mitchell, J. (2001) Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 26(3), 57-63.
PDF: CTOPP – 3 – Mitchell 2001
Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/073724770102600305