About HMH Phonics Inventory

Fast, Accurate, Scalable Phonics Screener

Student Taking Phonics Inventory Assessment +

As schools and districts across the country work to implement reading improvement strategies, they face a common challenge: How to ensure that the right students are placed into the right type of intervention for the right amount of time?

That’s where The Phonics Inventory can help. The Phonics Inventory is an accurate, easy-to-administer phonics assessment that helps educators determine which students are in need of the most intensive, foundational level of intervention (typically Tier III) and which students would be better served by an intervention program focused on comprehension and fluency (typically Tier II). The Phonics Inventory serves the vital roles of:

  • Phonics Screener
  • Placement Test
  • Progress Monitor

The Phonics Inventory is a foundational reading assessment that measures fluency of the phonological decoding and sight word reading of older, struggling readers in Grades 3–12+. Administered in fewer than 10 minutes, this computer-based phonics assessment provides a data-driven reading profile to support an appropriate reading intervention placement.

Teachers Reviewing Phonics Data +

Fast, Accurate, and Scalable

  • Testing, scoring, and reporting completed in approximately 10 minutes
  • Provides a concurrency rate of 700 students for universal screening purposes
  • Provides immediate reports that scale from the individual student level to the district level

Cost-Efficient, Capacity-Building, and Sustainable

  • Students take the assessment independently on the computer, significantly reducing human capital requirements.
  • Automatic scoring and data analysis provide educators with immediate results and support timely service delivery.
  • The program is available in both a locally hosted perpetual licenses deployment or a web subscription.


Grades 3–12+

Older Struggling Reader

Who is a candidate for
The Phonics Inventory?

The Phonics Inventory helps educators make accurate placement into appropriate reading intervention programs by determining if phonological decoding and sight word reading accuracy are adequate.

Candidates for The Phonics Inventory screening could include any student in grades 3–12+ who:

  • Is at or below an established percentile on a state or national normed reading test
  • Is at or below an established Lexile® measure on The Reading Inventory
  • Demonstrates a new or existing weakness in the content areas
  • Tends to use visual memory and sight word recall for reading
  • Cannot work with new words independently
Grade 5 Reading Intervention Student

Students who would benefit from The Phonics Inventory

Although Jasmine is a C student, her Lexile score is significantly below grade level. The Phonics Inventory testing revealed: very limited decoding skills with high accuracy in sight word recognition.

Jasmine is relying purely on sight word recognition skills to read and does not
have the skills to attack new words she encounters. Jasmine requires an intensive phonics-based intervention, and should be periodically reassessed with
The Phonics Inventory for progress monitoring.

Grade 7 Reading Intervention Student

Students who would benefit from The Phonics Inventory

Edwin is an English language learner and has not shown Lexile growth in two years. His standardized tests reveal a similar pattern of stalled growth. The Phonics Inventory testing revealed: An inability to decode word structures past the basic CVC constructions and moderate accuracy with sight word recognition.

Edwin missed explicit phonics instruction in the primary grades. He requires a word-based intervention that can fill in the gap in his learning. Edwin should be further assessed with The Phonics Inventory to measure his response to instruction.

Grade 9 Reading Intervention Student

Students who would benefit from The Phonics Inventory

Sarah is failing every subject. Although she was considered an able student in the earlier years, her performance has declined over time. The Phonics Inventory testing revealed: No decoding problems.

Although Sarah received a below average Lexile score, her phonics performance in
The Phonics Inventory indicates adequate decoding skills. Sarah needs support to develop reading comprehension strategies, to analyze texts, and to construct background knowledge. Sarah requires a reading comprehension-based intervention.


Sections of the Assessment

Phonics Test Mouse Check +

The Phonics Inventory was designed to be administered three times a year to measure fluency for two word-level reading skills: phonological decoding and sight word reading. Both reading skills are assessed by the speed and accuracy of the students' response in identifying target sight words or decoding pronounceable nonsense words.

An integral part of each test administration, the Practice Test “warms up” students by preparing them on the test interface.

Letter Recognition Test +

The Letter Recognition test measures students’ ability to identify lowercase letters read aloud.

Sight Word Recognition Test +

The SightWord Recognition test assesses students’ knowledge of high-frequency sight words. Orthographically similar words are used as distractors to ensure students’ strength in this skill.

Decoding Test +

The Nonword Decoding test assesses students’ “pure decoding” skills in a decontextualized environment. Non-words follow the structural conventions of the English language but have no meanings.