In this article, we tested, using a 1-year longitudinal design, whether symbolic numerical magnitude processing or children’s numerical representation of Arabic digits, is as important to arithmetic as phonological awareness is to reading. Children completed measures of symbolic comparison, phonological awareness, arithmetic, reading at the start of third grade and the latter two were retested at the start of fourth grade. Cross-sectional and longitudinal correlations indicated that symbolic comparison was a powerful domain-specific predictor of arithmetic and that phonological awareness was a unique predictor of reading. Crucially, the strength of these independent associations was not significantly different. This indicates that symbolic numerical magnitude processing is as important to arithmetic development as phonological awareness is to reading and suggests that symbolic numerical magnitude processing is a good candidate for screening children at risk for developing mathematical difficulties.