Feifer Assessment of Mathematics (FAM)
Author(s): Steven G. Feifer, DEd / Professional Manual by Steven G. Feifer, DEd. / Heddy Kovach Clark, PhD
The FAM is a comprehensive test of mathematics designed to examine the underlying neurodevelopmental processes that support the acquisition of proficient math skills. It is based on a neuropsychological paradigm which posits that multiple neural pathways underscore cognitive processes used in mathematical problem solving. The FAM can be useful not only in determining whether the student has a general math learning disability (MLD) but also for identifying the specific subtype of dyscalculia, which can inform decisions about intervention. The FAM can explain why a student struggles in math, from a neurodevelopment viewpoint.
The test is made up of 19 subtests that evaluate various aspects of:
- Math fact retrieval
- Numeric and spatial memory
- Perceptual estimation skills
- Linguistic math concepts
- Core number sense development
Results from the FAM can be used in conjunction with traditional achievement tests, such as the Academic Achievement Battery, that measure overall math performance.The FAM was standardized on a nationally representative sample of 1,061 examinees in prekindergarten to college.
Administration and Scoring
Administration takes about 35 minutes for pre-kindergarten, 50 minutes for K-2, and 60 minutes for grades 3 and up. Subtest raw scores can be converted to percentiles, as well as age and grade equivalents. Three index scores can be computed, representing each dyscalculia subtype (Verbal Index, Procedural Index, and Semantic Index), as well as a Total Index score representing overall test performance.
- The Verbal Index is a measure of automatic fact retrieval and linguistic components of mathematics.
- The Procedural Index is a measure of a students ability to count, order, and sequence numbers or mathematical procedures.
- The Semantic Index is a measure of visual-spatial and conceptual components, including magnitude representation, patterns and relationships, higher-level mathematical problem solving, and number sense.
Index scores can also be converted to percentiles, z-scores, and normal-curve equivalents (NCEs). In addition, reliable change and discrepancy scores can be calculated.