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Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing – Second Edition (CTOPP-2)

The Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing – Second Edition (CTOPP-2; Wagner, Torgesen, Rashotte, & Pearson, 2013) is an individually administered, norm-referenced measure of phonological awareness, phonological memory, and rapid naming.


The CTOPP-2 is helpful in identifying individuals with poor phonological processing abilities in individuals aged 4 to 24.

The purposes of the CTOPP-2 include identifying students who are behind in developing phonological skills and determining which skills have not been acquired or adequately developed. The supplemental tests allow for assessing specific strengths and weaknesses related to phonological processes.


Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing – Second Edition (CTOPP-2) Wagner, Torgesen, Rashotte, & Pearson (2013) 0–4 and 11–24

Individually administered, norm-referenced measure of phonological awareness, phonological memory, and rapid naming (foundational reading skills); 2 forms (ages 4–6;

ages 7–24)

Yields age equivalents, grade equivalents, percentile ranks, subtest scaled scores, composite indexes, and developmental scores.
40 min.

CTOPP-2 Composite Scores: Phonological Awareness Composite Score (PACS); Phonological Memory Composite Score (PMCS); Rapid Symbolic Naming Composite Score (RSNCS); Rapid Non-Symbolic Naming Composite Score (RNNCS); and the Alternate Phonological Awareness Composite Score (APACS)

Subtests: 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; and Rapid Object Naming

Availability: Pro Ed,


Myth Reality
Full-scale IQ is a good description of a student’s cognitive ability. Students with autism typically demonstrate a scattered profile on comprehensive cognitive measures, performing better on tasks involving rote skills than on tasks involving problem solving, conceptual thinking, and social knowledge (Mayes & Calhoun, 2008; Meyer, 2001-2002).
If a student has an average IQ, an adaptive behavior measure is unnecessary. Although a student has an average IQ and may even be doing well academically, it does not mean that an adaptive measure is not necessary. Research indicates that many students with autism have deficits in communication, daily living skills, and socialization (Lee & Park, 2007; Myles et al., 2007). Klin and Volkmar (2000) stated that adaptive behavior is a critical area of planning for students with Asperger Syndrome (now referred to as autism spectrum disorder, Level 1) to facilitate transition from the school environment to work and community environments.
If a student demonstrates a well-below-average IQ, the student does not have any cognitive skills. A flat profile of skills may indicate difficulty accessing what the student knows. Formal cognitive assessments may not yield valuable information for assessing current level of functioning and needs for programming. In addition, students with autism spectrum disorder may not be able to generalize skills from the classroom setting to the testing environment, or the manner in which the information is being assessed may prohibit the child from demonstrating mastery of skills. For example, if the student has learned to perform a task in one way with a certain prompt and the assessment asks for it in a different way, the student may not be able to demonstrate knowledge of the skill.
Formal IQ is more valid than informal data from the classroom. Informal classroom data provide information about how the student functions on a daily basis. Analyzing formal and informal data to determine patterns of skills and learning is a key component of assessment (Hagiwara, 2001-2002). Informal data from the classroom may be more valuable than information gathered in a contrived one-on-one setting when determining programming for a student with autism spectrum disorder.