Scientifically Rigorous

The Minnesota Executive Function Scale (the MEFS App™) measures executive function
like no other assessment.

Science is the cornerstone of the patented Minnesota Executive Function Scale (the MEFS App™), the only early learning readiness assessment that can be used with children as young as two. Founded at the University of Minnesota and funded by the National Institutes of Health, the MEFS App was developed by Reflection Sciences, an organization with a long history of scientific success. Supported by its founders, Stephanie Carlson, Ph.D. and Phil Zelazo, Ph.D., Reflection Sciences continues to make breakthroughs in the important field of Executive Functioning research and development.

An Objective Measure

With traditional rating-scale assessments, the results are subjective and prone to bias. Subjective results are generally not sensitive to change. But the MEFS App fixes that. Our objective kindergarten and early learning executive functioning app provides unbiased results and is extremely sensitive to change. This means you can:

• Test groups of students with similar backgrounds, obtaining differentiated results
• Test students over time to measure growth and effectiveness of teaching methods, curricula, and interventions

Because the MEFS App only takes 5 minutes to complete, it is easy to test multiple times throughout the year. With the MEFS App, you now have the ability to track data over time and use it to inform your teaching practices.

An Efficient Measure

Our goal was to do away with time-intensive assessments that did not help teachers. And we have succeeded. The MEFS App only takes 5 minutes to complete. Compared to most other measures of Executive Function, that buys back about 2 days of instruction and learning time for each class of 20 students.

The MEFS App Packages & Pricing Details

The MEFS App is available for purchase by educators, researchers, clinicians, and non-profits through a tiered product package and pricing approach. All MEFS App licenses provide unlimited testing per child within one (1) calendar year (we advocate two to three assessments per child annually). Each package contains the MEFS App license, the MEFS App Examiner Training Course, and an examiner Training Manual.

The MEFS App Pricing:
Pricing for the MEFS App begins at $10/child annually; but decreases to $5/child annually based on purchase volume. The first volume discount begins at 150 children annually. Pricing remains consistent at $5/child annually for college/university researchers.

The MEFS App Examiner Training Course + Training Manual Pricing:
Pricing for the MEFS App Examiner Training Course is $250/educator or $175/researcher or clinician. We recommend one (1) MEFS examiner per every 25 children approximately, but institutions are free to determine their own assessor-to-child ratio. A MEFS App Training Manual is included for every Examiner. Examiners are required to complete a re-certification process annually at $100/educator ($50/researcher or clinician).

Pricing Example: An educator is interested in testing 100 students in the first year.  They will train three (3) examiners.  The approximate price to get started is (100 MEFS App Licenses x $10) + (3 Training + Training Manuals x $250) = $1,750 for the first year

Parents interested in the MEFS app are encouraged to download this Executive Function Advocacy Handout and share it with their child’s educator.

Frequently Asked Questions about the MEFS App™

Administration time is usually 3-6 minutes. The scale is computer-adaptive, and programmed to figure out the limits of a child’s performance quickly (for most children, only 2-3 levels need to be administered).

Yes. Re-test reliability is consistently very high (greater than .90).

Yes. The MEFS App has been validated as a robust measure of age-related changes in Executive Function in young children, highly correlated with full-length batteries of Executive Function, predictive of kindergarten readiness measures of math and literacy (independent of IQ), and children known to have Executive Function impairments perform more poorly on the MEFS assessment. (See Technical Report for details.)

No. The MEFS App was designed to provide a brief, comprehensive assessment of emerging Executive Function skills. There is a large body of data showing that Executive Function is a unitary construct in early childhood.

Yes. It is currently available in English, Spanish, Dutch, German (Swiss), Swedish, Mandarin Chinese, Somali, Hmong, French, and Arabic. Please contact Reflection Sciences to request additional language versions.

Yes. The MEFS App is portable and brief, which is important for field settings.

Yes, the app does require that your tablet has an internet connection. A Wi-Fi “hotspot” is recommended for remote areas.

Yes. The MEFS App has been used successfully with children from a wide range of backgrounds, from very disadvantaged (homeless) to very privileged. The items have been chosen to be familiar and engaging for most children.

The MEFS App is designed to be administered individually to ensure that young children are fully attentive and that the results give an accurate portrayal of their Executive Function skills.

The MEFS App is designed for use across a wide range of ability levels, from very low to very high, but children must understand the language of testing, and have normal or corrected to normal vision and hearing. They must also be able to interact with a tablet touchscreen.

The MEFS App is compatible with iOS (Apple) and OS (Android) platforms. For iOS iPads, the requirements include: iOS 8.0 or newer, 2 GB RAM, 4 Core Processor, and 8 GB Internal Memory. We do not recommend using the iPad Mini, as the screen is too small. For OS Android tablets, the requirements include: Android 5.0 or newer, 2 GB RAM, 4 Core Processor, and 8 GB Internal Memory.

Children as young as 2 years of age find the tablet very engaging and catch on quickly to “touch” and “drag” features. Practice trials are included to give children a chance to learn how to drag the images. For novices, we suggest warming up with a game that involves dragging, such as, “Where’s My Water?”

The MEFS App is designed to sensitively capture Executive Function skills in individuals ages 2 to 85+. It can be used with very low functioning and very high functioning individuals within this age range. For older children and adults, there are modifications to the presentation.

No. The MEFS App is not intended to be a diagnostic tool, although it provides reliable and valid information about a child’s current level of proficiency and growth in Executive Function relative to norms and instructional goals, including state standards.

Yes. Recent analyses of large samples show that females perform slightly better than males on average.

Yes, the MEFS App can be used to detect Executive Function difficulties in rising kindergartners, however, it is not just a screener. It is sensitive to individual differences and growth in normative and high-functioning children, and thus also can be used as a formative assessment in combination with Executive Function-focused activities.

No. There has been no evidence of practice effects when the MEFS App is re-administered (different forms) the same day, after several days, or after two weeks.

It is not possible to “memorize” answers. Nonetheless, we recommend using alternate forms of the scale (with different combinations of shapes and colors) when re-administering the MEFS App to the same child.

The colors have been chosen to be discriminable for most forms of color blindness.

Most likely, yes. All items were chosen based on research showing which words for colors and animals children typically learn first. All images and colors are labeled by the Examiner.

Data are not stored on your portable tablet. Instead, you can access your data by going to​ ​and entering the login information provided to you after you had completed training. Here, you can download PDF Individual Reports, as well as an excel Group Report of your group as a whole.

A strong training program ensures that your data and the norms are valid. Brief in-person or online training is followed by personal practice and certification, totaling approximately 3 hours of time.

As of recently, the MEFS App™ has been...

administered by 2,500+ trained examiners...
ProfessionalDevelopmentIcon4 10 different languages....
...over 50,000 times...
icon-network 230+ locations across 37 US States and 14 unique countries!

Where in the world is the MEFS App™ being used?

Understand, Measure, & Improve the true predictor of academic and life success.