Subitizing refers to the ability to instantly and accurately recognize groups of objects (i.e., dot arrays) between one and three items, whereas array identification involves mental counting and can be assessed with arrays consisting of four to seven dots.
The Subitizing subtest assesses a student's ability to recognize the correct quantity of dots on a sheet of paper when flashed by the presenter for less than 1 second. Subitizing is viewed as a nonserial process rather than a conscious counting procedure. Typically developing children between ages three to five should be able to subitize arrays of three objects.
The Subitizing assessment is comprised of 12 items. Five items were created to assess subitizing (3 or less dots) and seven items were created to assess array identification (more than 3 dots). Array identification items were created with both scattered and ordered configuration, with ordered configurations resembling typical dot patterns (e.g., as seen on dice). Each time an item is flashed, a student responds to the question “How many dots?”