The purpose of the Reasoning module is to give the assessor a reasonable estimate of the student’s general intellectual ability or intelligence. This is a matrix test, in which both visual and verbal reasoning strategies may be employed. There is good evidence that such matrix reasoning tests correlate well with more extensive measures of intelligence and therefore provide a good overall indicator of general intellectual ability. Nevertheless, assessors should be aware that a small proportion of students may experience difficulties with this task, even though in other respects their intelligence levels are at least average. Hence in cases of low scoring where the assessor is puzzled by the result because it does not seem to accord with expectations, it would be wise to check the student’s intelligence using an alternative measure, such as the NFER-NELSON Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning Test Series, or the British Picture Vocabulary Scale (BPVS).

The Reasoning module in LASS 11-15 is not intended to be a speeded test (i.e. performed against the clock), but in the interests of avoiding excessively lengthy assessment sessions, a (fairly generous) time limit of 60 seconds has been allowed for each item. For most students, this should allow sufficient time for a reasonable attempt at each item. To allow greater time would not increase the validity or reliability of the test, so if students run out of time then this must be accepted as part of the exigencies of the task.