Explaining Non Verbal Reasoning (NVR)

"There is only one proven way to enhance performance on NVR tests - practice."
(Jensen, A.R. (1980). Bias in mental testing. London: Methuen)
Non Verbal Reasoning – “Recognising patterns and relationships between abstract shapes and geometrical figures, and the ability to reproduce and extend them.” (GL Assessment)

Each symbol on a NVR question has a number of elements.

These elements are: frequency (number), outlines, shading, line thickness, orientation (i.e. which direction it is ‘pointing’), size, and position in relation to other parts of the main symbol.

atestingtime refers to these common elements as the ‘usual suspects’.

In all NVR questions you are looking at the symbols in the question and trying to work out:

· What is changing between the question symbols?

· How are they changing?

· Are they following a pattern, or sequence of some sort?

· How does the pattern relate to the type of question being asked?

Look also at the things that are not changing between the symbols. As they are not changing it is most likely that they will be unchanged in the answer too. For example, if an element of the symbol has a background that is always vertical lines, it may well be that there will be vertical lines in the answersymbol too.

The way that the symbols change - by their usual suspects changing - will vary dependent on the type of the question.

Observations based on the usual suspects followed by logical steps are key to accurate solutions of NVR questions.

For further information on question types—see boxes right.

Matrices questions are very similar to Series and Analogy style questions and are solved in similar ways. It may be best to introduce Matrices questions after your child is familiar with Series and Analogies, or to do all 3 types together. All involve careful observation of 5 answer symbols to find a best fit with the question symbols but have different styles of presentation.

Subscribers to atestingtime can choose the order, type and number of NVR questions in My Home Page