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 Assessments — Early Readiness

Test of Preschool Early Literacy (TOPEL)

Authors: Christopher J. Lonigan, PhD / Richard K. Wagner, PhD / Joseph K. Torgesen, PhD / Carol A. Rashotte, PhD

  • School Readiness
  • Individual Administration
  • Ages 3 to 5-11
  • Norm-Referenced
  • Qualification Level B


Children entering kindergarten or first grade are expected to have a certain level of vocabulary, phonological awareness, and print knowledge to be successful in school. The TOPEL can identify preschoolers who are at risk for literacy problems, allowing early intervention. It is used by early childhood educators, special educators, psychologists, diagnosticians, and other professionals to document a child's print, oral vocabulary, and phonological awareness level; to document progress; and to plan intervention.

The TOPEL has three subtests. All the results of which are then combined to determine the Composite Score that ultimately best represents a childs emergent literacy skills:

Subtest 1: Print Knowledge 36 items; measures alphabet knowledge and early knowledge about written language conventions and form; the child is asked to identify letters and written words, point to specific letters, names specific letters, identify letters associated with specific sounds, and say the sounds associated with specific letters

Subtest 2: Definitional Vocabulary 35 items; measures single-word oral vocabulary and definitional vocabulary (assesses both surface and deep vocabulary knowledge); the child is shown a picture and asked to tell what the picture is, and to describe one of its important features

Subtest 3: Phonological Awareness 27 items; measures word elision and blending abilities; the child is asked to say a word, then say what is left after dropping out specific sounds (elision) for the first 12 items; the child is asked to listen to separate sounds and combine them to form a word (blending) for the remaining 15 items.

Administration and Scoring

The TOPEL can be administered in about 25-30 minutes. The three subtest scores are combined to determine a composite score; standard scores and percentile ranks are also available.



Item No.






Test Kit: Manual, Picture Book, 25 Record Booklets, all in a sturdy storage box


Components (Sold Separately)

Item No.






25 Record Booklets


See Also... (Sold Separately)


Item No. / Product Title



Young Children's Achievement Test-2nd Edition (YCAT-2)



Wiig Assessment of Basic Concepts (WABC)



Developmental Tasks for Kindergarten Readiness (DTKR-2)



Early Reading Assessment (ERA)



Kindergarten Essential Skills Assessment (KESA)



The Rossetti Infant-Toddler Language Scale


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