What is the NNAT Test?
The NNAT® (Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test™) evaluates problem-solving and visual-spatial reasoning skills through a series of questions that incorporate abstract shapes and designs. Questions from both the NNAT and NNAT-2 (Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test, Second Edition) are widely used in various gifted and talented program admissions assessments across the U.S., including Virginia Beach, Houston’s Vanguard Program and the NYC Gifted and Talented Test.
The NNAT and NNAT-2 are considered to be the gold standard for unbiased scoring regardless of each student’s primary language, socioeconomic status, educational history or color/ vision impairment. This is because both tests include minimal use of language and written directions to avoid relying on a child’s reading, writing or language skills. Additionally, only two colors (blue and yellow) are shown.
The NNAT-2 test takes about 30 minutes and includes 48 questions broken down into these four unique subtest types:
Pattern completion – Students must perceive a pattern within a larger design from which a section has been removed and then identify the correct missing piece (this type often resembles a jigsaw puzzle).
- Reasoning by analogy – Students use visual-spatial reasoning abilities to discern logical relationships between various geometric shapes and figures (e.g., large triangle to small triangle, then large circle to small circle and so on).
- Serial reasoning – Students must recognize sequences created by shapes and figures that change visually to form logical patterns. For example: Once a student identifies the relationship between two images shown in the top row, the same rule applies to images shown in subsequent rows.
- Spatial visualization – Students must determine how two or more designs would look when they’re combined (and it some cases, rotated). They may also see questions that ask what a design should look like after it’s been folded, rotated or otherwise altered, like punching holes in a piece of folded-up paper and then identifying the new pattern that’s visible when it’s unfolded.