Sunny Articulation and PhonologyTest (SAPT) – A Review

Sunny Articulation and Phonology Test (SAPT)

By Barbara Fernandes at Smarty Ears

SAPT screen shot - iPad


An app which provides a screening tool and full-evaluation for both articulation and phonological skills for use with children and adults of all ages. With quick administration times (5-20 minutes), the app serves as a useful tool for any Speech-Language Pathologist and SLP graduate student to use in combination with other tools for assessment, continued progress monitoring, and for writing goals and objectives.

Price: $59.99 (Smarty Ears offers discounts on their apps several times a year, so follow them on Twitter or Facebook for updates)


  • Screening: There is a quick ‘screening’ tool included in the SAPT in addition to the full SAPT battery. 
  • Tracking Progress: Criterion referenced evaluation tool to track progress of both articulation and phonological skills for school-age children and adults. Update IEP goals using the full evaluation test SAPT to assess which skills require continued targeting in specific contexts or have been mastered. 
  • Articulation Tracking: While standardized tests provide a comparison to norms and age-equivalents, the SAPT uses varied contexts to provide an automated report for quick percentage breakdowns on articulation skills. An example of the write-up for initial, medial, and final positions of consonants in words appears below.
  • Phonological Processes: There are several standardized tools used for assessing and measuring the use of phonological processes, such as the Clinical Assessment of Articulation and Phonology (CAAP). Even though the SAPT is not standardized, it provides automatically calculated results for the most common processes. Again, helpful for tracking progress and updating goals and objectives.
  • SLP Graduate Students: Smarty Ears made this assessment app as easy as possible for SLPs. And as a newbie SLP, it was really really easy to administer and the auto-report helped me pinpoint weaknesses and strengths based on the results. I’m still trying to like the GFTA-2 and realize I have to use it because of the standardization; however, to my fellow SLP graduate students, this app is worth saving $$ for! 

SAPT sample write up screen print

Comparison of the SAPT to the Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation – 2 (GFTA-2)

Before I realized GeekSLP had published such a well-written, well researched post (2011) comparing the GFTA and SAPT, I had already started taking notes and comparing the two on my own. I’m sometimes wary when an app developer writes a post on their own app because it’s their baby, their prized possession – hard to rag on something you create. 🙂 However, her post eloquently echoes my own feelings towards the app and the GFTA-2 after having used both. Both tests highlight articulation abilities at the word level in all positions; the SAPT goes a step further with including phonological processing skills and creating a report for the SLP automatically. Here is a chart I created of the GFTA compared to SAPT.  The price tag for the SAPT makes me hesitant to throw around “must buy app” or “an app for every SLP”, but the more I compare, the more I agree. There is just nothing else on the iPad or in a digital format that compares to the quality of Smarty Ear’s Sunny Articulation and Phonology Test (SAPT).

What I Like 

  • Quick administration and helpful manual
  • Percentages and raw scores are calculated for you. No need to calculate anything, the SAPT does it for you!
  • Clear, real pictures with a white background instead of clip art or drawings.
  • Very quick administration time for both the screener and full-evaluation.
  • Ability to record and then email the recordings to myself for comparison or further evaluation.  You can also email the report as a PDF via email once finalized.
  • Automatically generated full report using easy-to-read language, the child’s name, and age.
  • Percentages and raw scores for each sound (i.e. plosives, glides, etc), position (initial, medial, final), voicing errors, and phonological process (i.e. fronting, backing, final consonant deletion).

Other Reviews, uses, and How-To’s for SAPT:

Critique and Suggestions

  • Evaluation Summary: The report includes a chart with an age of acquisition chart for comparison of the results. There is a reference in the manual to Caroline Bowen (1998) and her article Typical Speech Development: A gradual acquisition of the speech sound system regarding the chart’s validity based on Australian children; however, I would like the option to not include this in the final print-out as my district or work-place may use a different chart. As of now, you can simply delete it before printing.
  • Stimulus Items: There are some pages where the stimulus picture is not for the word elicited, yet there are no instructions either. For instance, a page with 2 dogs appears and the target is “This”. Similar to the Goldman Fristoe, the SLP must prompt “Which one is bigger/taller?” Not clear to newbie users like myself and not mentioned in the manual either.
  • Documenting Errors: The client must look at the same screen as mark their errors. The children I administered this with did not seem to mind me marking their errors in front of them. However, on an adult who can read and is more self-aware, I can see how this might be distracting and discouraging.  I would consider not even showing them the screen, only asking them to repeat.


  • Grunwell, P. (1997). Natural phonology. In M. Ball & R. Kent (Eds.), The new phonologies: Developments in clinical linguistics. San Deigo, CA: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.
  • Kilminster, M.G.E., & Laird, E.M. (1978) Articulation development in children aged three to nine years. Australian Journal of Human Communication Disorders, 6, 1, 23-30.
  • Sander, E. (1972). When are speech sounds learned? Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 37, 55-63.

I did receive a free copy of this app from Smarty Ears, however the suggestions, evidence referenced, and critiques are all my own. 

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