What do the NVR Digital tests comprise

Non-Verbal Reasoning tests the ability to recognise similarities, analogies and patterns in unfamiliar designs. These reasoning processes are widely accepted as being fundamental to pupils’ ability to understand and assimilate new information and ideas. They enable pupils to make sense of new information and to relate it to what they already know. The processes are used whenever and wherever pupils learn, such as recognising similarities between words when learning to read and spell, identifying number patterns or even seeing an analogy between instructions for building a model and recipes for baking. Scores on this test will therefore give an indication of how easily pupils will acquire new concepts and master new material in a wide range of school subjects, based on their current levels of functioning. Using designs rather than words allows reasoning processes to be assessed independently of language skills.

Types of questions

The types of questions included in the test provide easily understood ways of assessing the key reasoning processes, without confounding the assessment with any other irrelevant knowledge or skills. For example, there are no reading requirements and no pictorial material used, as understanding of pictures often requires culturally-specific knowledge. Also, the mathematical knowledge needed is very limited, eg counting to three. Further, the test uses designs in which the need to create, maintain and manipulate precise mental images of shapes – sometimes known as ‘spatial visualisation’ – is at a very low level. (GL Assessment also publishes separate Spatial Reasoning Tests.)