Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test ~ What to Know About NNAT 2023 - 1win aviator game
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Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test ~ What to Know About NNAT

Naglieri NonVerbal Ability Test

The purpose of a Naglieri NonVerbal Ability Test is to identify gifted and talented students. It measures nonverbal reasoning as well as problem solving abilities.

The Naglieri NonVerbal Ability Test is also referred to as NNAT, NNAT2, or NNAT3. The differences are updated versions of the test. NNAT3 is the most recent edition.

Naglieri measures nonverbal abilities, eliminating factors such as language and learning disabilities. An advantage of this test is it is culturally neutral.

It’s a multiple choice test. The test contains pictures and diagrams instead of words. The directions and problems are illustrated. The NNAT tests children’s reasoning capabilities. It doesn’t measure knowledge students have acquired.

Learn about Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test scores, the types of questions, and why schools administer the test.

CogAT Nonverbal Battery

CogAT Sample Questions for Young Students

Naglieri NonVerbal Ability Test

Naglieri NonVerbal Ability Test

Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test

Students who score high on the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) may qualify for enrichment opportunities at school.

This may mean a gifted and talented class or an accelerated program. It might mean taking all advanced or honors classes and being put on track in which teachers teach to the next year’s grade level standards.

School districts handle NNAT scores differently based on what programs they have and how many students they can accept.

What does the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test measure?

The Naglieri test measures students’ ability to think critically and to solve problems. The questions measure the child’s ability to complete patterns and to use reasoning by analogy.

In addition, depending on the student’s grade level in school, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test may measure serial reasoning and spatial visualization.

As an example, for students taking the Naglieri in 2nd through 6th grades, they will have questions which measure four things: serial reasoning and spatial visualization as well as pattern completion and reasoning by analogy.

However, for students in kindergarten, the Naglieri ability test will measure pattern completion and reasoning by analogy.

The Naglieri test does not measure knowledge students learned in school, math abilities, or language, including vocabulary, grammar, tenses, etc.

What is a good Naglieri score?

A good score on the NNAT test is considered High Average, Superior, or Very Superior.

However, a good score on the NNAT depends on how your child’s school will use the scores. If the school is using the Naglieri for admittance to a gifted program, a good score will be whatever score they consider the minimum score to qualify.

This will depend on how many students they can admit to the program. Schools with large populations (hundreds of students per grade) may accept scores that are Very Superior which is in the 98th percentile — meaning, these students scored in the top 2% of test takers. This is a score of 131 and above. It may be more difficult to get accepted in the enrichment program at larger schools.

Alternatively, larger schools they may be able to have entire classrooms of enrichment and be able to accept more students than schools with less students and resources.

In smaller schools with less enrollment, students may need a superior score on the Naglieri to qualify. This means students scored within the 90 – 97th percentile with NNAT scores between 121 – 130.

It comes down to how many students the school can accept into the program. If they have room for 30 students, they may view the NNAT scores and take the top 30 students. In this case, a good score on the Naglieri means scoring in the top 30 students in that grade. That may be the 94th percentile or it could mean the 97th percentile or something else.

Is the Naglieri an IQ test?

There isn’t a verbal component to the Naglieri test. It’s not considered an IQ test as it only tests for nonverbal abilities.

How can I prepare for NNAT test?

For parents, guardians or students who want to prepare for the NNAT test, there are two options.

The first is to use free sample test questions online. Parents can print the questions or children can look at the questions on the screen.

There are also gifted and talented NNAT test prep workbooks based on children’s grade level. This will give your child the opportunity to complete the problems with a book and a pencil. They will be laid out in an organized way that may be less stressful than using an online resource. Kids can work through the workbook as time permits.

These are valuable resources to help prepare for the NNAT. They will give students an advantage. Students can use Naglieri practice questions to help them learn to seek solutions through reasoning and process of elimination.

These are great questions to encourage critical thinking and problem solving and to enrich at-home learning.

Other options to prepare for the Naglieri are to play brain games, do puzzles, mazes, and other activities which get kids exploring concepts different.

What score is gifted?

A Naglieri score is gifted when it is 132 or higher. Schools will look at the percentile rank as well.

School districts will determine what score is gifted for entrance to their programs differently based on how many students they can have in the programs. They may take students who score in 95% percentile or higher.

What does the NNAT3 measure?

Like all versions of Naglieri, the NNAT3 measures students’ reasoning abilities and how strong their problem solving skills are. It determines how students think critically.

NNAT example question for K-12

NNAT example question for K-12

There are four sections but the NNAT3 will measure 2 – 4 criteria depending on the child’s grade level in school.

What kinds of questions are on the NNAT?

The Naglieri test features four types of questions which test for a student’s critical thinking skills. These questions use figures, patterns, designs, and shapes to evaluate students’ problem solving and reasoning skills.

Teachers read the directions and lead the students through examples. This can take between 5 – 10 minutes, and then the students begin the test. Students have 30 minutes to complete the test. The entire administration and test portion takes 35 – 45 minutes.

It measures a child’s visual and spatial reasoning. It doesn’t require past knowledge nor does it  rely on a child’s language abilities. NNAT questions measure these four areas, depending on their grade level:

  • Pattern completion
  • Reasoning by analogy
  • Serial reasoning
  • Spatial visualization

Pattern completion

In the section for Pattern Completion, the students look at a design. Their goal is to correctly answer which section is missing.

Reasoning by analogy

In questions which measure Reasoning by Analogy, children look at the problem and determine the relationships between different geometric shapes.

Serial reasoning

Questions in the Serial Reasoning sections ask pupils to recognize a sequence of shapes.

Spatial visualization

With questions that measure Spatial Visualization abilities, students are to combine two or more objects and determine what the resulting figure will look like.

NNAT questions

It’s important to note, there will be more or less questions in each category based what Naglieri test the student takes. It’s based on what grade they are in school. Depending on what grade your child is in, they will be tested on the above skills.

In addition, if the school administers the first version of the NNAT, students will have 38 questions divided into the following sections. If they give the NNAT2 or the latest version, NNAT3, students will asked to complete 48 questions.


  • Pattern completion
  • Reasoning by analogy

1st grade:

  • Pattern completion
  • Reasoning by analogy
  • Serial reasoning

2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade:

In these grades, their tests will include all four question types:

  • Pattern completion
  • Reasoning by analogy
  • Serial reasoning
  • Spatial visualization

7th grade, 8th grade, 9th, grade, 10th grade, 11th grade, 12th grade:

Students in grades 7 – 12 will be tested in three areas.

  • Pattern completion
  • Reasoning by analogy
  • Serial reasoning
sample NNAT question

sample NNAT question

The examination is nonverbal. It includes different illustrations and diagrams with various patterns and shapes. Students need to look for what comes next in a sequence or make connections between diagrams.

Questions may show something missing and students will need to figure out the pattern. Or students may need to identify shapes and objects based on what is shown.

Duration of the NNAT

The NNAT needs to be completed within half an hour, which is 30 minutes. There are differences between the NNAT tests in terms of the number of questions.

Whichever NNAT version the school administers, the types questions are similar. You will not have a choice which version your child takes. Depending on your child’s grade, there will be more or less questions in each category.

NNAT38 questions in 30 minutes
NNAT248 questions in 30 minutes
NNAT348 questions in 30 minutes

Skip the question or guess?

Seeing that there are 48 questions kids have to answer in 30 minutes, you may wonder if that is enough time. It’s natural to wonder if students who are nearing the end of the test should guess or skip the question.

For the NNAT, students are graded on the number of correct answers. They aren’t penalized for incorrect answers. Therefore, it’s better for students to answer all the questions.

According to the test creators, students who were given more time do not obtain higher scores. They deem 30 minutes to be sufficient to complete the test.

Benefits of NNAT

Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test doesn’t rely on school performance such as report cards. This test doesn’t factor in acquired knowledge. What does this mean? Well, think of a standardized math test. Students will have to know how to perform equations that advance in difficulty. To answer questions on the NNAT, students use their reasoning abilities, not information they already have learned.

The NNAT is a good predictor for success in a school’s gifted and talented program.

In addition, it is fair for students who have transferred into the district and who wouldn’t have had the same curriculum as his/her peers.

In addition, the test doesn’t require students to be fluent in English. It doesn’t rely on reading and writing and language skills. This makes it a culturally-neutral test. Scoring is unbiased.

While the questions depict different patterns, diagrams and shapes, the only colors they use on the test are yellow and blue. White and black are also used.

Disadvantages to NNAT

While this test is meant to give all students an equal chance at success, there will be parents/guardians who help their child prep for the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test. This is typically the case with most all standardized tests because of access to sample test questions online as well as practice Naglieri workbooks.

Therefore, there will be some students who will have gained an advantage in taking NNAT sample tests and practicing NNAT questions in advance.

Familiarizing students with the types of questions and explaining what to look for to decode patterns and analogies will give kids an advantage. They will have the benefit of seeing the types of questions on the NNAT even if the questions aren’t exactly the same.

Students who prep in advance won’t use as much of the 30 minutes trying to figure out strategies for solving the problems. They may be able to get right to work answering questions.

When is the Naglieri test administered?

Schools typically use the Naglieri Nonverbal in the fall and/or in early spring. They may choose to test once or twice during the school year.

Because schools typically use Naglieri scores for placement into a gifted program, most tend to only test children once in a school year. Some schools administer the test based on a certain grade. As an example, “all 2nd graders take the NNAT”.

In other schools, all students might take the test once every year or every other year, etc. Again, it depends on the school district.

How do students take the NNAT?

The Naglieri test is set up so students can take the test on paper with a pencil. They can also take it online with a computer or tablet.

The NNAT is a multiple choice test. The directions are illustrated.

Who takes the Naglieri?

Schools can give the Naglieri to students PreK through 12th grade. However, it’s more generally used starting in kindergarten rather than preschool. High-ability preschoolers can take it but the test is designed for children who are at least five years old.

School districts decide who which grades take the Naglieri. It might be all students in certain grades take the test. As an example, “all 6th graders” take the NNAT in the fall.

Schools use NNAT scores to determine who should be admitted to a gifted program. Therefore, if the gifted program starts in 2nd grade, the school may have 1st graders take the NNAT in the spring or 2nd graders take it when they return to school in the fall.

The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test is considered to be a fair test for schools with diverse populations, especially where various languages are spoken. Students do not need to know how to read to take the NNAT test.

One of the barriers, however, is that there will be students who access NNAT practice tests in advance. Prepping for the Naglieri will give those kids an advantage.

Levels of the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test

There are different stages of the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test. There are seven in total. This information shouldn’t concern parents as the schools administer the correct stage or level test based on the child’s grade in school.

A student in kindergarten will take the kindergarten test which is Level A. Level B is for students in Grade 1, and so on.

The examination consists of different questions including reasoning through analogy, completion of puzzles and patterns, sequential reasoning and 3D imagery.

Many people believe that the Naglieri is a sophisticated and effective way to screen children for their talents.

Why should your child attempt the NNAT/NNAT2?

If the school offers the chance for your child to take the NNAT, have him or her take the test. If the score is high enough, it could mean acceptance into a gifted and talented program or class.

In addition to enrichment, other schools may use Naglieri scores to separate students for math. They can use children’s problem solving skills as a measure to put them in the math class appropriate for their skills or use scores to separate out the students for an advanced math class.

There are several things about this test that set it apart from others. The NNAT does not require verbal communication.

You do not need a reason/qualification to take the test. Teachers can administer the examination individually or in groups.

It is suitable for a diverse range of students. There is equality in testing. The test measures critical thinking skills and natural reasoning abilities, not knowledge.

Difference between the NNAT and NNAT2

The biggest difference between the NNAT and NNAT2 and NNAT3 is the second and third versions contain 48 questions instead of 38 questions.

  • NNAT: 38 questions
  • NNAT2: 48 questions
  • NNAT3: 48 questions

The later versions enable students to take the test online instead of only with a pencil and paper.

All versions of the test are designed to examine the potential of children through spatial visualizations, reasoning through analogy, etc.

Consider the NNAT as a tool for schools to identify children who are naturally gifted.

NNAT preparation

When considering preparation for the NNAT test, it’s important to know that it will help to teach your child to analyze things more critically. Kids will learn ways through process of elimination to solve problems.

These are skills kids will use on the Naglieri test and in life. Taking advantage of NNAT prep materials will certainly give those children an edge. They will have seen the types of questions and will learn what to look for in order to solve them. It’s great practice for students before they take the NNAT test.

Remember that NNAT preparation is not an overnight thing. You need time, effort and patience as you and your child prepares. It’s best to start with workbooks that help kids think critically months before the test. They can do sample problems in a low stress setting as part of summer learning, etc.

Otherwise, it’s best to start preparing at least 2 – 3 months before the actual test.

While students may get straight A’s in school, it doesn’t mean they will score in the 95 percentile or higher on the Naglieri. This is because Naglieri scores don’t reflect knowledge.

Helping a child take a NNAT practice test will give them a better opportunity for success. Students will be able to see the test content and format in advance.

Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test scores

Your student will receive detailed scores after taking the Naglieri. Before interpreting the test results, it’s helpful to know why the school administered the test. You will want to find out what score your child needs to get if it means being accepted into a gifted or enrichment program or class.

When you know what scores the schools uses as their criteria, you can focus on those scores.

Naglieri scores provide the following:

  • Raw Scores
  • Scaled Scores
  • Normative Scores

Raw Scores

The raw score is the number of questions the student answered correctly. The highest score in this section will either be 38 or 48, depending on which NNAT version the school administered.

Scaled Scores

While the raw score treats each question the same — the student answered it correctly or incorrectly — the scaled score measures the difficulty of each problem. More challenging questions are weighted higher. Parents and schools can use scaled scores to compare scores from different areas of the test and to compare performance over time.

Normative Scores

The normative scores are based on the scaled score as well as how old the test taker is.  This score accounts for four additional measures. The results are then compared to the results from other students of the same age in a nationally representative norm sample.

These results use age rather than grade.

  • Naglieri Ability Index (NAI): The NAI score ranges from 40 – 160. The average score is 100. Using this score allows for more detailed study of differences for students who score very high levels as well as very low levels.
  • Percentile Rank: It’s important to know with NNAT scores, percentile rank doesn’t mean the percentage of questions the child answered correctly. Instead, it means how well the student scored relative to other students. As an example, a student scores in the 70th percentile scored in the top 30%. However, as the percentages increase, there are greater differences in abilities.
  • Stanine: Stanine scores range from a low of 1 to a high of 9. An average Stanine score is 5. Above Average is a score of 8 or 9.
  • Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE): The final factor in determining the Normative score is the NCE. This score is another version of NAI scale scores with an average of 50 and a standard deviation of 21.06.

When interpreting Naglieri scores, the higher the numbers, the better the student did on the test. They will have answered more questions correctly and answered the more difficult questions correctly. It also factors in how other students tested and how your student compares.

What is a raw score sheet?

You can also ask for your child’s raw score sheet when the Naglieri results come out.

A raw score sheet contains the number of questions which have been answered by the student correctly. Raw scores are then measured to form scaled scores that are arranged in order of the age group that your child belongs to.

Normative referencing is another way of comparing students on their performance of the NNAT with other students appearing for the test belonging to the same age group.

What are the admission requirements of a gifted school?

In order to determine whether or not your kid can get an admission to any gifted school you will need to match its requirements. You can do that by comparing your child’s score in the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test with what a particular gifted school requires.

Each program has different requirements and considerations when it comes to enrolling gifted students.

Many gifted programs have a standardized cut off, for example some schools require a 93rd percentile. Others start from the 88th percentile and some may require a 98th percentile.

If you or your child’s teacher does not have information regarding the requirements necessary to get admission to a gifted school, it is best that you contact the institutions you are considering more detailed information. You will likely find the information online under the Admission Requirements section.

Should I be worried if there is considerable inconsistency between my child’s performance on the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test as compared to performance in school?

There is no reason to worry. There is a difference between bright students and gifted students. Both are smart and can get “good” report cards. However, they often consider and solve  problems differently.

Students may score low on the NNAT test but are outstanding students in the classroom.

In addition, there are many students who score well on the NNAT tests but may get average or below average grades on their report cards.

NNAT scores don’t demonstrate to students’ abilities in the classroom regarding memorization of information, reading comprehension, math skills, etc.

One of the benefits of the NNAT tests is pointing out that while a particular student does not do well in class but performed well in the NNAT, he or she may do well in a gifted and talented program.

Measuring potential is the crux of the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test.

Tips and guidelines for attempting a Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test

In order to attempt the NNAT/NNAT2 tests, it’s helpful to prepare.

It is a complex test aimed at defining your problem solving and reasoning abilities. It’s an advantage to see the types of questions in advance.

Here’s how you can prepare for the NNAT test.

1. Start preparing

Since the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test does not require speaking, it is suitable for children who do not speak English. However, because it is a nonverbal test, it could be something entirely new for your child.

It would help your child if you took some time out and started preparing some time before the test.

One of the best ways to help prepare your child is to have them review NNAT sample questions.

By giving them the advantage of seeing the types of problems in advance, they will know what they will have to do when they are actually sitting in front of the test. They won’t use as much time trying to understand directions.

Expose your child to the line of questioning in sample NNAT tests and make sure that your child manages to complete the test within the allotted time.

Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Practice Tests and Guides are online. Workbooks are very helpful and will be an organized way to practice.

2. Spatial reasoning

A Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test consists of questions related to spatial reasoning.

Spatial reasoning utilizes the use of different shapes and patterns and their relationships to identify how a particular child may interpret them.

You can try and use tangram pieces to practice spatial reasoning with your child. Create different shapes and patterns and ask your child to form different shapes.

This can be a fun process for both parents and their child.

3. Engage child in solving easy puzzles

Puzzle-solving skills can considerably increase your child’s spatial reasoning abilities. Having your child practice thinking critically will help them on the test. You can easily engage your child by playing puzzles, mazes, and other brain games. Make it fun.

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4. Do math with your child to increase analytical skills

It is also important that you teach your child math analogies. While there won’t be math problems on the NNAT, analogies teach focus on breaking problems in to different stages in order to identify their components so that the problem is easily recognized and solved in minimal time.

Good problem solving skills give students the ability to form solutions to complex problems that they face in the later years of their academic life.

You can easily buy books that contain puzzles and problem solving scenarios. Make it a habit to practice with your child. This can be a fun way to spend time together.

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What is nonverbal ability?

The Naglieri test measures nonverbal ability. What is nonverbal ability? It’s a person’s ability to analyze information and solve problems using strategies such as the process of elimination. It doesn’t rely on information the student already knows.

It’s the ability to solve problems based on other factors besides words and written directions.

Testing day

The NNAT test is a good predictor of academic achievement. The test is 30 minutes long. Students will complete 38 or 48 questions, depending on if the school administers NNAT (38 questions) or NNAT2 or NNAT3 (each are 48 questions).

Ensure you prepare your children for the test to give them the best opportunities for success. This includes planning for healthy eating and sleep leading up to the test.

Most schools will administer the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test in a particular grade. If given the choice, have your child take it. If they score high enough, they can partake in enrichment programs the school offers.

The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test helps to distinguish those students who, due to a limited proficiency in English, cannot perform well on other standardized tests which test for gifted placement, such as the CogAT.

NNAT results showcase that a linguistic barrier does not mean that the child is incapable of learning. This being said, it should be clear that while this test assess only a single aspect of a student’s performance.

Tests other then the NNAT may help in identifying a student’s other strengths. As an example, the CogAT test has a verbal, nonverbal and quantitative component while the NNAT strictly tests for nonverbal abilities.