Free Phonics Reading Test


The free Ultimate Phonics Reading Test lets you quickly and easily test the basic reading fluency of anyone, ages 4 to adult.

Can Your Student Read this Simple Test?

You can use this free test to check the basic reading fluency of your students, regardless of age. You can administer the test to a student in around 10 minutes.

If your students perform poorly on the test it means they are not fluent readers. If you have older students, 3rd grade up to adult, this is a huge problem that needs to be fixed ASAP. Until the reading fluency problem is fixed they are blocked from developing into good readers.

This is a good time to review reading fluency and remind ourselves why it is so important for good reading comprehension and higher reading level.

What is Reading Fluency?

Reading fluency is the ability to read text accurately, quickly, and automatically so that most of the attention can be given to comprehension.

Fluent readers read effortlessly and automatically, without getting bogged down with decoding issues. Their reading sounds natural, as if they are speaking.

Why Reading Fluency is Important

Reading fluency is a requirement for good reading comprehension.

Because fluent readers read accurately and do not have to concentrate on decoding individual words, they can focus their attention on what the text means. This allows them to make connections between the ideas in the text and their background knowledge, resulting in better comprehension.

Students who are not fluent readers by the end of 2nd grade enter a cycle of learning failure where they fall farther and farther behind as they move into higher grades. The only solution is to dramatically improve their reading fluency with a complete, systematic, explicit phonics program such as the Ultimate Phonics Reading Program.

Two Types of Non-Fluent Readers

Two common types of non-fluent readers are Guessers and Plodders.


Guessers are whole word memorizers who never learned how to accurately sound out new words with phonics.

When they try to read a word they don't already know they will guess, usually by substituting a different word starting with the same letter and with similar length. Or sometimes they'll just skip the word altogether.

This causes poor comprehension because they are not reading what the text actually says. They are changing the meaning by substituting incorrect words and leaving words out.


Plodders read slowly and laboriously, word by word. They are better off than guessers because at least they are sounding out new words instead of guessing and skipping.

The problem with plodders is their phonics skills are too weak. They give so much attention to figuring out individual words that they can't keep track of the meaning, which causes poor comprehension.

How to Improve Reading Fluency

For both Guessers and Plodders, the solution is to teach them with a thorough, systematic phonics program, like the Ultimate Phonics Reading Program.

For students who guess, they need to learn the phonics system of English and how to sound out words accurately based on the spelling.

For students who read slowly, they need a lot of controlled, systematic reading practice so they learn to sound out words quickly and automatically.

A program like Ultimate Phonics, with thousands of expertly organized words and sentences, acts as a training program to turn slow, halting readers into fast, accurate readers with good comprehension.

Free Test for Reading Fluency

Download our free Ultimate Phonics Reading Fluency Test or read it below. Anyone who performs poorly on this test will benefit greatly from our Ultimate Phonics software.