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PALS-PreK is a scientifically-based phonological awareness and literacy screening that measures preschoolers’ developing knowledge of important literacy fundamentals. The assessment reflects skills that are predictive of future reading success. It measures name writing, beginning sound awareness, print and word awareness, rhyme and nursery rhyme awareness, and alphabet knowledge.

The assessment scores indicate children’s strengths and areas that may require more direct attention. The assessment is designed to be administered to four-year-olds in the fall of PreK in order to guide instruction during the year. A second administration in the spring of PreK serves to evaluate progress.

PALS-PreK provides developmental ranges and expectations for four-year-olds in the spring of PreK. The best interpretation of PALS-PreK includes using child-level results to help meet children’s specific needs and using classroom-level results to guide instruction for groups. Scores from an entire classroom can inform teachers’ curriculum planning so they can provide and enhance opportunities for exploration and language-based literacy instruction for all children.


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