AAG Phonological Awareness Test 2 PAT 2 by sbhK71y


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                               At-A-Glance Test Review: Phonological Awareness Test-2 (PAT-2)

Name of Test: Phonological Awareness Test-2nd edition
Author(s): Carolyn Robertson and Wanda Salter
Publisher/Year: Linguisystems 1997; Linguisystems 2007
Forms: one
Age Range: 5 years, 0 months through 9 years, 11 months
General comment: The recent second edition (2007) features a new normative sample, division of the subtest into two groupings-
Phonological Awareness and Phoneme-Grapheme subtests, and reduced administration time. It contains an optional invented spelling
subtest that is not normed. The substitution without manipulatives task has been dropped in order to “shorten the test” (Robertson &
Salter, 2007a, p. 7).
Norming Sample:
Total Number: 1 582 (N.B. an additional 316 at risk students participated in validity studies)
Number and Age: The students were between 5 years, 0 months through 9 years, 11 months of age in 10 six-month intervals.
Location: 48 states and the District of Columbia. (The sizes of these communities are not given).
Demographics: 792 male, 790 female, 58% White, 16% Black, 19% Hispanic or Latino, 7% Asian and Others.
Rural/Urban: no information
SES: Categories divided into: High, Middle, and Low. Comment: The table on page 44 of the examiner’s manual does not define the
income ranges for these categories. Such specific information is found in later in the examiner’s manual in the section on
race/socioeconomic differences in test performance.
Other (Please Specify): The norming sample included children with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) who attended regular
classes. Exclusion criteria included: hearing impairment, children who were nonverbal, children who were non-English speaking, and
those living outside of the United States. Comment: The information on clinical populations is slim leaving me to wonder what their
performance might be. This omission becomes important later when considering aspects of validity when only the term “at-risk” is
used to describe the students who participated in the validity studies.
Summary Prepared By: Eleanor Stewart 26 July 2007; revised September 2008
Test Description/Overview:
Purpose of Test: The purpose of this test is to assess phonological processing and phoneme-grapheme correspondence.
Theoretical Model: The authors provide an overview of the key evidence for the relationship between phonemic awareness and
reading as presented by the National Reading Panel (2000). Five key findings that form the basis for evidence-based practice are
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listed. The authors state that the revised PAT incorporates the findings of the panel as well as “expert professional practice”
(Robertson & Salter, 2007a, p. 1). The authors state that phonological awareness is linked to early reading development and that
Children who lack this skill require intervention.
Areas Tested: The authors state that the subtests are “generally arranged in developmental progression” (Robertson & Salter, 2007a,
p.11). The subtests, each briefly described on page 11, are:
The Phonological Awareness Subtests:
     1. Rhyming: two tasks-discrimination and production,
     2. Segmentation: 3 tasks-sentences, syllables, and phonemes*,
     3. Isolation: isolate initial, final, and medial* phonemes,
     4. Deletion: compounds and syllables, phonemes,
     5. Substitution, with manipulatives
     6. Blending, syllables and phonemes
The Phoneme-Grapheme Subtests:
     7. Graphemes, consonants, long and short vowels, consonant blends*, consonant digraphs*, R-controlled vowels*, vowel
         digraphs*, and diphthongs*
     8. Decoding, VC words*, CVC words*, consonant digraphs*, consonant blends*, vowel digraphs*, R-controlled vowels*,
         CVCe words*, and diphthongs*.
*The authors marked these test items as inappropriate for five-year-olds and are to be administered with discretion to that age group.
If not administered, these items are marked 0 on the raw score and the subtest score would be 0.
Optional subtest: Invented Spelling (no standardized results offered).
          Phonological Awareness             Segmenting    Blending      Elision     Rhyming
               Other Phoneme-Grapheme skills (graphemes and decoding) and Invented Spelling.
Who Can Administer: “The test should only be administered by a professional trained in analyzing the phonological structure of
speech. For example, a speech-language pathologist, learning disability teacher, reading teacher, or special education consultant”
(Robertson & Salter, 2007a, p. 15). These skills are unlikely to be in the skill set of assistants or other support personnel.
Administration Time: The administration time is 40 minutes. PAT-2 can be administered over more than one session but individual
subtests must be completed during a session.
Test Administration (General and Subtests): If it is clear that the student is unable to do the task, that task should be discontinued
and all subtest items scored as zero. They direct the examiner to use the normative data and scoring procedures with zero scores on
subtest, section, and total test results (Robertson & Salter, 2007a, p. 15). Detailed procedures begin on page 19 in the section on
Scoring. Administration begins with the Rhyming Discrimination subtest. A demonstration item is presented followed by the test
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items. All subtests are described in a set format with a brief description of the task followed by details of the procedure, prompts,
recording and scoring of responses. Comment: In general, I wonder what influence accent, dialect, and/or articulation has on both
the examiner’s presentation and the student’s responses. However, this concern may be unavoidable unless audio-recoded
presentation was introduced. This test is widely used so I doubt that this concern proves to be much of an issue.
Test Interpretation: The section, “Discussion of Performance” (Robertson & Salter, 2007a, pp. 35-40), uses a question and answer
format to address common questions related to interpreting results. This section of the PAT-2 is unchanged from the original version
with the exception that a question regarding socioeconomic effects on performance is addressed. This Discussion of Performance
section also has “Suggestions for Intervention” which includes sample activities at the word, syllable, phoneme, and grapheme levels
(Robertson & Salter, 2007a, pp. 37-40). In addition to these brief descriptions of intervention, the authors recommend The
Phonological Awareness Kit (Robertson & Salter, 1995a) and the Phonological Awareness Kit-Intermediate Robertson & Salter,
1995b) which provide more comprehensive intervention activities. The next section of the examiner’s manual, “Statistical and
Normative Analyses”, contains instructions for compiling the results, information on the standardization study (with sample
characteristics), and the interpretation of results with reference to standardized score. With regard to standardized scores, each is
defined and described with references to the tables contained in the Statistical manual (Robertson & Salter, 2007b). Comment: The
organization of the two sections, “Discussion of Performance”, and “Statistical and Normative Analyses”, is confusing. I would
have expected that interpretation of results would be in one section not spread out over two sections. The actual interpretation
section is buried in the second of these two sections though the question and answer format of the previous section would lead to the
expectation that the first section is where interpretation is found.
Standardization:        Age equivalent scores        Grade equivalent scores       Percentiles    Standard scores       Stanines
    Other: Profiles of Age Equivalent scores and Standard Scores
Reliability: No information is provided on the sample characteristics. Usually test authors provide detailed information about the
participants in reliability studies so that the reader is assured that performance was the same across all groups and to allow examiners
to compare their local populations.
Internal consistency of items: Item homogeneity was calculated using Kuder-Richardson (KR 20) coefficients. KR20 coefficients
are presented by age with averages across all age ranges for each subtest ranging from.58 (Syllables in Blending subtest) to .82 (R-
controlled vowels). Subtest totals ranged from .74 (Substitution Total) to .97 (Decoding Total), whereas Phonological Awareness
Total was .96 and Phoneme-Grapheme Total was .98. The overall total test consistency score was .99.
Test-retest: The test-retest data was collected from 145 students “across ten age ranges” (Robertson & Salter, 2007a, p. 47). The test
was re-administered within 14-21 days by the same examiner. Coefficients, presented in Tables 4-1 to 4-5 (Robertson & Salter,
2007b, pp. 51-52), range from an average of .60-.90 for individual subtests with test totals of .90 for Phonological Awareness Total,
.92 for Phoneme-Grapheme Total, and .93 for Total Test.
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Inter-rater: Eight raters, who were speech-language pathologists, rated 11 randomly selected completed test forms. Percentage
agreement was reported to range from 95 to 98 with an average of 97.
Comment: Although percent agreement makes sense as a way of demonstrating inter-rater reliability, other tests reviewed in this
series use reliability coefficients and I am left wondering why the PAT authors did not make such as choice.
Other (Please Specify): Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) for test results are described in the examiner’s manual (Robertson &
Salter, 2007a, p. 47) and actual age and subtest SEM data are found in table form in the Statistics manual alongside the test-retest
reliability coefficient data (Robertson & Salter, 2007b). Sensitivity and specificity are not given.
Content: Content validity was evidenced qualitatively with the authors’ introduction in which the rationale for developing a test of
phonological awareness was presented along with highlight of the research evidence and report of the National Reading Panel. In the
section on validity in the Statistical and Normative Analyses, the authors note that all the skills that are necessary for the test domain
of phonological awareness are assessed in the PAT-2. Further, they state that the test “was developed following extensive review of
available tests and the literature which indicated the particular subtests and skills selected were those reflective of necessary
phonological awareness skills of elementary age students” (Robertson & Salter, 2007a, p. 48). Quantitative evidence of content
validity such as conventional item analysis is not presented. Comment: Quantitative evidence would strengthen the validity. Item
discrimination and item difficulty analysis would have shown how students’ performance could be differentiated.
Criterion Prediction Validity: Not reported. Comment: The authors offer contrasted groups validity in their section on criterion-
related validity. I find this a bit confusing as the terms criterion-related or criterion prediction validity generally refer to how well a
test performs compared to some other established measure of the same phenomenon being tested. Against this definition, the PAT-2
does not offer any evidence for criterion prediction validity.
Construct Identification Validity: Group differentiation was addressed in the form of contrasted group validity (Robertson &
Salter, 2007a, p. 48) which involved comparing test results of students who participated in the standardization study with a group of
students identified as at-risk for reading who were enrolled in special services. Using a matched sample, the authors report that the
data, based on t-test results, indicate that the PAT-2 differentiates between the two groups at every level of the test (i.e., subtests,
totals, and total test results). The mean test results for subtests and total test scores for at-risk students performed were consistently
and significantly lower than those of the normal students. Age differentiation is not addressed in the section on validity.
Comment: This is the first time that I have encountered use of group comparison statistics to demonstrate group differentiation. In
other tests, group differentiation is addressed using procedures such as factor analyses.
Differential Item Functioning: No information is provided.
Other (Please Specify): Though the use of t-tests z-tests and ANOVA make intuitive sense to me, I am not sure whether the analysis
proves rigorous enough given that most other tests I reviewed used factor analyses.
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Summary/Conclusions/Observations: I begin with a note on the original PAT. The description of reliability and validity studies in
the original PAT was very slim and confusing. So much information was missing that it was difficult to judge what the data presented
meant and how the test results could be used. This may reflect some of the inadequacies from the original normative sample. This
concern, along with the concerns about the sample and reliability of the original lead me to recommend that the new PAT-2 should
be used clinically even though testing standards allow us to continue using the original PAT for an overlapping period of two years.
Clinical/Diagnostic Usefulness: I think that the PAT-2 will be popular with clinicians because the tasks are familiar and make sense
given what we now know about phonological awareness. This is an easy test to administer, the scoring is clearly stated, and the
record form is well laid out and easy to use. A proficient clinician can administer this test in a short period of time. These attractive
features should be balanced with the concerns stated above regarding the sample and psychometric information.


National Reading Panel (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on
       reading and its implications for reading instruction. Rockville, MD: National Institute of Child Health and Human

Robertson, C. & Salter, W. (1995a). The Phonological Awareness Kit. East Moline, IL: Linguisystems.

Robertson, C. & Salter, W. (1995b). The Phonological Awareness Kit: Intermediate. East Moline, IL: Linguisystems.

Robertson, C. & Salter, W. (2007a). Examiner’s manual. Phonological awareness test 2. East Moline, IL: Linguisystems.

Robertson, C. & Salter, W. (2007b). Statistics manual. Phonological awareness test 2. East Moline, IL: Linguisystems.

To cite this document:

Hayward, D. V., Stewart, G. E., Phillips, L. M., Norris, S. P., & Lovell, M. A. (2008). At-a-glance test review: Phonological
      awareness test-2 (PAT-2). Language, Phonological Awareness, and Reading Test Directory (pp. 1-5). Edmonton, AB:
      Canadian Centre for Research on Literacy. Retrieved [insert date] from

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