Serial Reasoning questions assess the test taker’s ability to supply a missing element in a given matrix comprised of geometric shapes. Each matrix is composed of nine boxes in a three-by-three grid. The test taker is to determine which answer choice belongs in the empty box in the bottom right-hand corner of the grid.

We used the NNAT practice pack. The NNAT examples helped him what to expect on the test...and he got into the gifted program!
We used the NNAT practice tests. We liked the practice drills and the fact that there was so much prep material! The videos were very helpful and I would recommend this product to other parents.
We used the OLSAT Level D tests. Our experience with TestPrep-Online's OLSAT practice pack was great! The content and layout are excellent and the site is so easy to use. Our son's results were excellent and we would definitely recommend this site to other parents.
The OLSAT for Level C practice pack was very helpful. My child was encouraged to do these sample tests.
We got the OLSAT/NNAT Bundle. We really like that we can watch the video academy multiple times. The site is easy and comfortable to use and I would recommend it to other parents of gifted children.
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!

Serial Reasoning Sample Question

Identify the image which completes the pattern by examining how the series of shapes change across the rows and down the columns of the matrix. The direction in which you examine the question should depend on where you can most easily visualize the relationship.

NNAT Pattern Completion Sample Question

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is A.

Across the rows, the sectors rotate 90 degrees (1/4 of a circle) clockwise. Down the columns, the sectors rotate 90 degrees counterclockwise. Rotating the sector in the bottom-middle frame counterclockwise 90 degrees will result in a sector which opens towards the top-right corner of the frame (answer choice A).

How to Solve Serial Reasoning Questions

  • Explain the concept of a matrix to your child. It is important that s/he understands that s/he needs to search for patterns both across the rows and down the columns and determine which answer choice is the missing figure in the bottom right-hand corner of the grid.
  • For children who are being exposed to these types of questions for the first time, it is helpful to solve the problems step by step:
    1. Look at the first row closely. Is there a pattern?
    2. Does a similar pattern appear in the second row? Does this pattern continue in the first two boxes in the third row? If so, you have probably found the correct pattern.
    3. Before looking at the answer choices, imagine what the answer choice could be based on step 2.
    4. If you did not find a pattern by examining the rows, look at the columns and repeat steps 1 through 3.
  • Familiarize your child with the different types of changes which commonly occur throughout the matrices in the Serial Reasoning questions on the NNAT. Common changing characteristics include:

    1. Changing colors/shading
    2. Re-appearing/disappearing shapes
    3. Rotational movements (clockwise/counterclockwise)
    4. Figures that remain constant
  • Practice eliminating incorrect answer choices.

NNAT Video Academy

Serial Reasoning questions can be difficult. The NNAT Video Academy is designed to teach your child strategies to solve all the different question types that appear on the NNAT, including Serial Reasoning questions. The Video Academy is included in every Premium Pack.

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

Try additional NNAT Serial Reasoning questions


The NNAT and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with TestPrep-Online or this website.