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The test at school (NNAT) was easier than the questions on the website. I knew my answers were correct for all the questions except for two of them that I found somewhat confusing. I had a lot of fun doing the test!

About the NNAT Pattern Completion Test

In NNAT Pattern Completion items, students are shown a design and asked to identify which portion is missing. In order to reach the answer, the child must conceptually extend the given pattern. Pattern Completion items appear in NNAT levels which are intended for elementary school aged children (such as Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades because they are among the simpler types of NNAT questions.)

NNAT Pattern Completion Sample Question

Below you will find a sample question. Try answering it and after you are done, you can check our explanation to see if you were right. Our explanations include not only the reasoning needed to find the correct answer, but also why the rest of the answer choices are incorrect. This way, you can learn different methods of finding the correct answer (either by applying logic, or eliminating other possible answer choices).

Look at the design in the large rectangle while paying attention to the missing square. Which of the answer choices completes the pattern?

NNAT Pattern Completion Example

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is C.

Imagine extending the diagonal lines across the empty square. The diagonal lines extend from the top-right corner to the bottom-left corner of the square. We can eliminate answer choices A and D, in which the diagonal lines extend from the top left corner to the bottom right.

The general idea is using the corners as anchor points. Knowing the color that should be in each corner is a great help, we can use it to eliminate the wrong answer choices.

In this sample, the color between the two diagonal lines will be yellow and the color above the diagonal line will be blue.   We can eliminate answer choice B, as the color above the line is white and not blue. The color below the diagonal line will be white. We can eliminate answer choice E, because the color below the bottom line is blue instead of white. We are left with answer choice C as the correct answer.

Common Mistakes

When dealing with a Pattern Completion question the first instinct is to complete the image in your mind and comparing to the answer choices. Usually that method helps to eliminate several of the simple answer choices. However, when dealing with answer choices that vary from one another in minor details, the instinctive approach might lead you the wrong direction. 

To avoid that, you should use anchors - details that are distinctive (such as the color next to the corners, or lines that are easy to follow). These anchors are unique to the design and will help you find the correct answer. 

Another common mistake happens when you finish figuring out the anchors, but don't pay attention to the measurements of the design. You could get all your anchors (colors of the corner sides for example) and still get the answer wrong if you do not verify that your answer choice does fit to the original design.

Avoiding this common mistake is rather simple. Once you finished working out the design anchors and choosing one of the answer choices, you should always make sure it fits to the original design in colors and measurements. 

How to Solve NNAT Pattern Completion Questions

  • Ensure that your child understands what is being asked in the question. Children should understand that they need to find which answer choice fits in the empty square and completes the pattern.
  • Encourage your child to imagine continuing the lines of the design across the empty square. The design's lines will act in a predictable way that fits the pattern.
  • It is helpful to focus on the corners of the empty square as anchor points and determine what color(s) the corner(s) will be.
  • Pattern Completion items require students to pay careful attention to both the general orientation of the design (the direction of the pattern) as well as the specifics that may be involved (e.g. where the diagonal line intersects the empty space).
  • It is helpful to relate Pattern Completion items to finding the missing piece of a puzzle. Work on puzzles at home to help hone this skill.
  • Practice eliminating incorrect answer choices.

NNAT Video Academy

Pattern Completion questions can be difficult to solve for young children. These questions, along with the other NNAT question types, are all covered in detail in the NNAT Video Academy. This video series is designed to teach young children how to approach and solve each question type on the NNAT. The Video Academy is included in every NNAT Premium Pack.


To continue with the NNAT Video Academy, purchase any NNAT Premium Pack.


NNAT Pattern Completion Practice

Prepare for the NNAT Pattern Test with TestPrep-Online! We offer a variety of practice material for a variety of level. Get sample questions, step-by-step explanations for solving problems, and full practice tests to work through. 

All TestPrep-Online material is, of course, online, and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. All you'll need is a willing student, and a willing WIFI connection. Got both? Start practicing now!


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