NNAT Test Sections

The NNAT (Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test) is a nonverbal test, which means that all the questions rely on shapes and figures instead of pictures or words. These tests assess a child’s thinking and reasoning abilities as opposed to what he or she has learned in school.

The NNAT can be administered via pencil and paper or computer. It is often given in school settings to assess children for gifted and talented programs. The test is timed, and it takes about 30 minutes.

What does “Nonverbal” mean?

The term “nonverbal” in the context of the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) refers to the format and nature of the test questions, which are designed to be independent of language. This means that the test does not rely on verbal comprehension or expression — students are not required to read, write, or speak in order to understand the questions or to convey their answers.

The NNAT uses abstract shapes and designs, rather than words or numbers, to assess cognitive abilities such as reasoning, problem-solving, and spatial visualization. Each question consists of a series of diagrams or images, and the student must identify patterns, relationships, or principles based on these visuals.

The nonverbal design makes the NNAT a particularly useful tool for assessing students from diverse backgrounds, including those who are not proficient in English or those who have limited reading or verbal skills. The NNAT can therefore provide a fair and equitable measure of cognitive ability, regardless of a student’s language skills or cultural background.

This test is designed to assess a child’s abilities without relying on language skills specific to any language like English. It is a Nonverbal test that is comprised primarily of Pattern Recognition Questions not requiring any verbal instructions.

What’s on the NNAT ?

As with most tests, the NNAT test is not just an arbitrary exam. There is no “real” information tested; rather, your child is being evaluated on her visual-spatial reasoning skills. The abilities tested on the NNAT test are important for your child’s success in school.

Depending on the level of the test, children are given between two and four different types of questions on the NNAT test.

The four types of nonverbal test sections are explained further at the links below.

Pattern Completion 

This section of the NNAT requires the student to observe a pattern and then identify what is missing from it. A square box is typically presented with a pattern or design, but with one part of it missing. The student’s task is to select the correct option from a selection of choices that completes the pattern accurately. Pattern completion primarily tests the student’s perceptual reasoning abilities. The task requires attention to detail and the ability to recognize and complete patterns, skills that are foundational to logical reasoning and problem-solving.

Reasoning by Analogy

In this section, the student is presented with a series of figures arranged in a particular relationship or order. The task is to discern the rule or principle that governs the arrangement of figures and to apply this rule to select the figure that should come next in the series. Reasoning by Analogy tests the student’s ability to identify relationships, similarities, and differences between shapes and figures, as well as to apply these rules to new situations. This section helps measure a student’s ability to think logically and analytically.

Serial Reasoning

Serial reasoning problems involve a series or sequence of figures. The student must identify the rule or pattern that governs the progression of the figures in the series and then select the figure that comes next. Like Reasoning by Analogy, this section tests the ability to identify relationships and patterns. However, Serial Reasoning problems are often more complex because they may involve multiple rules or principles, such as alternation or rotation. This section tests a higher level of logical and analytical thinking.

Spatial Visualization

This section of the NNAT involves problems where the student must visualize how two or more objects would look if combined or how an object would look if rotated. For example, the student might be shown separate parts of an image and asked to select the combined result from a list of options.Spatial Visualization tests the student’s ability to manipulate shapes and figures mentally. This is a higher-order thinking skill and is important in fields such as architecture, engineering, and the physical sciences.

Each of these sections provides a unique insight into a student’s cognitive abilities. By assessing a range of skills, the NNAT provides a comprehensive measure of a student’s nonverbal reasoning and problem-solving abilities.

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