Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test
In order to help you, as parents, better understand the NNAT, here are some frequently asked questions.
- What does the NNAT measure? The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test assesses school learning ability without requiring a student to read, write or speak. Instead, students rely on reasoning and problem solving skills to complete the test items. Many people assume that intelligence is differentiated in two categories: verbal and nonverbal. The distinction actually refers to the content of the items on an intelligence test, not to the type of thinking or intelligence required. Verbal and nonverbal tests are two different ways of measuring intellectual ability. Currently in Loudoun County Public Schools, the main purpose for administering the NNAT is to identify students for gifted services in the area of general intellectual ability. The NNAT results may also be used to screen general ability for students whose school performance may be hindered by limited English proficiency.
- Why the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT)? The NNAT was chosen because it was nonverbal. LCPS was looking for a way to identify gifted students who may not perform well on ability tests with a large number of verbal items, including students with limited English skills or learning difficulties.
- What types of questions are on the NNAT? There are four categories of questions on the NNAT:
Pattern completion: requires the student to complete a pattern by determining both general orientation and design details of the missing portion.
Reasoning by Analogy: requires the students to recognize a logical relationship between several geometric shapes
Serial Reasoning: requires the student to recognize sequence of shapes and changes in a sequence
Spatial Visualization: the student must recognize how two or more designs would look when combined
The geometric shapes and designs used for each test item are culture-free. Actual test items use blue, white and yellow because these colors are most easily perceived by those with color-impaired vision.
- How long is the test? The test has 48 items which must be completed in 30 minutes.
- How do I interpret the scoring report? Percentile ranks range from 1 to 99 and describe a student's test performance relative to other students of the same age in the national normative reference group. A student performing in the 95th percentile, for example, scored higher than 95% of the students at his/her age. Ranks between the 25th and 75th percentile fall within the average range of normative expectations.
- If there is a significant discrepancy between a student’s performance on the NNAT and his/her achievement in the classroom, should I be concerned? Students may score well on the NNAT who do not demonstrate high levels of achievement in the classroom. The NNAT demonstrates that these students have the ability to succeed in school, though they may not have acquired the skills required to achieve at that high level. Alternately, there are students who are very strong in the academic domain who may score poorly on the NNAT. The NNAT helps us identify students who may not demonstrate their ability on more traditional tests of knowledge because of limited English proficiency, language or learning difficulties, or other factors that may hinder achievement. It should be kept in mind that the NNAT scores give only one piece of information about a student. As with any assessment, some tests will identify the strengths of students more than other test.
- How does the NNAT help my child qualify for Gifted Education services? The NNAT is one of the tests used by Loudoun County Public Schools to identify students in the area of general intellectual ability.