PALS Early Literacy Screener


The Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) is a research based screening, diagnostic, and progress monitoring tool. Wisconsin teachers use PALS to identify students at risk of developing reading difficulties, diagnose students' knowledge of literacy fundamentals, monitor progress, and plan instruction that targets students' needs. Student data collected from PALS provides a direct means of matching literacy instruction to specific literacy needs.

PALS is required to be administered to all 4-year-old kindergarten to 2nd grade students enrolled in public school districts and charter schools. Schools are also required to report the screening results to the parents or guardian of each student and to provide interventions or remedial reading services to each student that is identified as being at risk of reading difficulty.

PALS has been the required screener for Wisconsin students since the 2012-13 school year when 5-year-old kindergarten students were first required to be screened.


PALS-PreK Information for Parents

PALS-PreK stands for Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening for Preschool.

Why is my child being assessed with PALS-PreK?

PALS-PreK is an early literacy assessment designed to provide information to teachers about what students know and need to know about early literacy fundamental skills. PALS-PreK is designed to be administered to PreK students at all stages of development.

What does PALS-PreK measure?

  • Name Writing
  • Alphabet Knowledge
  • Beginning Sound Awareness
  • Print and Word Awareness
  • Rhyme Awareness
  • Nursery Rhyme Awareness

What types of scores does PALS-PreK provide?

PALS-PreK provides scores for each of the skill areas assessed. The scores are compared to a benchmark range, which reflects expectations for the spring of the PreK school year, the spring prior to entering kindergarten. While PALS-PreK tasks are appropriate to use with three-and four-year-old students, the scoring ranges apply only to the spring of the four-year-old year.

How are the PALS-PreK results used?

PALS-PreK results inform teachers’ planning of literacy instruction and activities in the classroom. Results help teachers determine particular reading skill areas that need additional attention in the classroom, to ensure students are receiving instruction in all of the important early literacy fundamentals.