NNAT Test Sections

The NNAT (Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test) is a nonverbal test. It relies on shapes and figures instead of pictures or words. These tests assess a child’s thinking and reasoning abilities instead of what he or she has learned in school.

Educators often administer the NNAT in school settings to assess children for gifted and talented programs. The test can be administered via pencil and paper or computer and typically takes about 30 minutes.

What does “Nonverbal” mean?

In the context of the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT), the term “nonverbal” refers to the format and nature of the test questions. These questions are designed to be independent of language, meaning students don’t need to read, write, or speak to understand or answer them.

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

What’s on the NNAT ?

As with most tests, the NNAT test is not just an arbitrary exam. The test evaluates your child’s visual-spatial reasoning skills rather than testing “real” information. The abilities tested on the NNAT test are important for your child’s success in school.

The NNAT test includes between two and four different types of questions, depending on the test level.

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 typically presents a pattern or design, but it omits one part of it. 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, students encounter a series of figures arranged in a specific relationship or order. In Reasoning by Analogy, they identify the rule governing figure arrangement and select the next figure based on it. This assesses their ability to recognize relationships, similarities, and differences among shapes and apply these rules in new situations. Consequently, 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 objects combine or rotate. For example, they might see separate parts of an image and select the combined result. Spatial Visualization assesses the student’s ability to mentally manipulate shapes and figures. 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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