An important first step in teaching kids how to read is figuring out what they already know. This simple reading assessment makes it easy to see the letter names, sounds and sight words students have mastered so that you can determine what to teach next.

It’s the perfect jumpstart to our 4 week teacher training called The Reading Roadmap!  Request an invite HERE so you can get my ready-to-deploy system for building rock solid readers.

Free Reading assessment for alphabet letters and sight words

Getting Started

To prep the reading assessment, I made one set of the record sheets for each student by printing the four black and white pages front-to-back on regular copy paper and stapling them together.

Then I made one copy of the colorful letter and sight word pages and laminated them for extra durability.

Assessing Letters

Starting with the red sheet of uppercase letters, I pointed to each square and asked my five year old to name the letter. If he made a mistake, I simply added an X in the matching spot on the reading assessment sheet.

Free alphabet assessment for letter sounds and letter names

NOTE: My five year old isn’t the type to worry about what I was marking on the sheets but, for those students who are, it would be a good idea to mark the correct answers with an O so that you’re always writing something. It’s a simple trick to prevent them from worrying that they’re making lots of mistakes.

I swapped out the red sheet for the yellow one showing lowercase letters and repeated the same steps, marking any errors as we went along.

Since I also wanted to determine if my son knew letter sounds, I pulled out the red sheet of uppercase letters again and asked him to name the sound – not the name – this time. For instance, for A he said /a/ like the first sound in the word “apple”.

I tallied the number he named correctly for all three categories and put the alphabet sheets to the side.

Assessing Sight Words

Next up were sight words! I pulled out the blue reading assessment sheet first and had my son read the words as I pointed to each one.

Free sight word assessment

When he made a mistake or didn’t know the word at all, I simply marked it with an X.

And when it became clear that he didn’t recognize any other words on the page, I stopped the test entirely to prevent him from feeling overwhelmed.

We talked about all of the awesome things he’s already learned before wrapping up.


It’s helpful to track student progress throughout the year so I will pull out the same record sheets again and repeat the reading assessment two more times.

I always love seeing how much children learn and accomplish as time passes!

Grab Your Set

Ready to download your free copy of the assessment? Click the blue download button below and then hop over and request an invite to The Reading Roadmap!

This is just the tip of the iceberg to the teaching training, tools and support waiting for you in the four work teacher training,

Inside the course, you’ll receive my time saving reading assessments, hundreds of print-and-play centers, step-by-step lesson plans and so much more.

I’m so proud to give you access to the easy-to-use system that I know without a doubt will help you become a rockstar reading teacher.

Enrollment only opens up twice and year so be sure to join the waitlist so you’re the first to know when the next round kicks off!

Join The Reading Roadmap waitlist RIGHT HERE.

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  1. This looks like a great tool for my RTI box! I plan on testing it out this upcoming week. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thank you for sharing! When do you expect students would be able to know all of the letters, sounds and words in the assessment?

  3. This a great idea that I can use to teach letter recognition and assessment.

  4. Is the Free Reading Assessment still available?

    1. Hi Valerie,
      Yes, the free reading assessment is still available.
      Simply click on the blue Download Here button at the bottom of the page.
      You will want to make sure that you are allowing pop-ups from our site.
      You can also check out our troubleshooting video HERE for help.
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

  5. I keep trying to sign up so I can download the assessment, but nothing happens

    1. Hi Sylvia,
      Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry you’re having trouble downloading. We never want that. Please check out our troubleshooting video HERE for help. You’ll also want to make sure you have the most recent version of Adobe Reader Other and that you’re allowing pop ups from our site. I hope that helps!
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

  6. Hi Ashley, I don’t think the download here button is working.

  7. Yes, the link is not working for me either. It does nothing when clicked.

  8. Good morning your link does not seem to work. I have clicked the blue download button but nothing will happen.

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