NNAT2 Test to be announced by NYC DOE

As you may have heard, the NYC Department of Education (DOE) is announcing changes to gifted and talented tests this week. The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®2) is expected to replace the Bracken School Readiness Test® as one of two tests given for G&T qualification. Now, the NNAT®2 is expected to count for 2/3 of a child’s overall score, while the Otis-Lennon School Ability test® (OLSAT) will count for 1/3 of a child’s score.

The NNAT has 4 types of subtests. The child uses visual cues to figure out what is being asked. The question asked of the child employs very little verbal explanation. The question will go something like this: “Look at this picture. There is something missing here.” [point to the empty space where there is a question mark.] “Which of these answers” [point to all the answer choices] goes here? [point to the question mark.]

1. Pattern Completion – here, the child the child must perceive a pattern within a large rectangle in which a piece has been taken out and is missing. It is like a puzzle with a missing piece as you can see with the blue and yellow example (below and to the left). On the test, the child chooses between 5 possible pieces to complete the pattern. At the younger levels, this is the most common type of question a child sees on the test. Practicing with real puzzles will helpful for children who will have to answer these types of questions. Answer: D

2. Reasoning By Analogy – here, the child has to use visual-spatial reasoning about the logical relationships between different geometric shapes which change across one or more dimensions (size, color, number, shading, etc.) across rows and down columns. These are most often delivered in 4- or 6-box matrices (our example below and to the left is a 4-box matrix). The youngest children get these types of questions. Doing these types of practice questions will be helpful to children because it will allow them to see the many ways shapes and figures can change in analogous ways (i.e. going from large to small, black to white, right-side up to upside down, facing left to facing right, etc.). Answer: 4th figure above the bubble.

3. Serial Reasoning – here, children must recognize sequences of shapes (circles, squares, triangles, and other more complex figures) that change across rows and columns in a 9-box matrix. Working with patterns will be helpful to children here. I’d suggest working with coins, beads or Fruit Loops and creating patterns that your child can recognize and help extend. Answer: B

4. Spatial Visualization – here, children must determine how two or more designs would look if combined and in some cases rotated. These are the hardest types of questions and are more prevalent in the higher grades. Practice questions will help tremendously here – so will working with Origami in the real world! Two examples of these types of questions follow. The first question asks what figures would look like when combined. Answer: C

The second Spatial Visualization question asks what a figure will look like after the extra piece is folded over. These questions can get very complex in the later grades where there are folds and rotations that occur in the problems. Answer: D

There is one thing that I am a bit unclear about. The NNAT2 is a test that officially starts at age 5 (it’s designed for 5- to 17-year-olds, Kindedergarten to 12th grade). We will have 4-year-olds taking the test in NYC. So perhaps they are giving a test designed for 5-year-olds to 4-year-olds. Let’s see if this is clarified in the announcement the DOE makes (hopefully) this week. We shall see.

For over 1,700 practice questions for NNAT®2, visit www.TestingMom.com.