Admission Tests Preparation

What is the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT)?

The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) is a nonverbal test of general ability commonly used to identify gifted children. The questions on the NNAT are composed of shapes and/or symbols, and require few instructions. 

About the NNAT

The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT), developed by Pearson Inc., is a standardized test designed to assess the reasoning ability of students ages 5 to 17. The NNAT is utilized extensively in the U.S. as an admissions criterion for gifted schools and programs. Questions from the NNAT test are used in the NYC Gifted and Talented Test.
Educational psychologist Jack A. Naglieri, Ph.D, developed the NNAT after more than a decade of research. The Naglieri test assesses nonverbal reasoning and general problem solving skills in children.

The NNAT is considered culturally neutral as it contains minimal use of language and directions, and does not require reading, writing, or speaking. Instead, the Naglieri test incorporates abstract shapes and designs, which allow for unbiased scoring regardless of a child’s primary language, education, and socioeconomic background. The use of only two colors in the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (yellow and blue) contributes to the unbiased nature of the test for students with minimal color vision impairment.

Back to top

NNAT Test Format

The second edition of the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT2) contains 48 questions and takes 30 minutes to administer.

There are 4 different types of questions that compose the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT2):

Question TypeDescription

Pattern Completion

In Pattern Completion items, students are shown a design and asked to identify which portion is missing.

Reasoning by Analogy

In Reasoning by Analogy questions, students are expected to recognize relationships between various geometric shapes.

Serial Reasoning

Serial Reasoning questions require students to recognize a sequence of shapes.

Spatial Visualization

In Spatial Visualization questions, students are asked to combine two or more objects and determine how the resulting figure will look like.

Back to top

NNAT Levels

There are seven NNAT levels administered, depending on the student’s grade level. Not all NNAT test levels contain all four types of questions. For example, the NNAT Level A for kindergarten includes only Pattern Completion and Reasoning by Analogy items.

The following chart displays what type of questions are included on each of the seven levels on the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test.

LevelGradePattern CompletionReasoning by AnalogySerial ReasoningSpatial Visualization




Grade 1


Grade 2


Grades 3-4


Grades 5-6


Grades 7-9


Grades 10-12

Back to top

How Is the NNAT2 Different than the NNAT?

The NNAT and NNAT2 are similar tests. Both measure general ability and are used as an admissions tool for placement in gifted and talented programs and schools across the country. Each contain seven levels (A-G) and four different types of questions. However, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test 2 consists of 48 questions while the NNAT consists of only 38 questions. The NNAT2 can be administered online. TestPrep-Online's materials are formatted after the NNAT2, the most recent NNAT test edition.

Back to top

NNAT Test Preparation

The NNAT is widely known as a difficult test. In order to receive a high NNAT score, it is important that your child is familiar with the different types of questions that will appear on the NNAT. TestPrep-Online recommends that students begin preparing for the NNAT 2-3 months prior to the test.

Now that you know more about the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT), have your child try some practice problems and NNAT practice tests to ensure s/he will be ready for the exam. Our premium test packages include full-length practice tests, 5 video tutorials (see video below), helpful study guides and hundreds of additional sample questions.

The NNAT is used as an admissions tool for gifted programs in Houston, TX, and Virginia Beach, VA, as well as in many other cities. Find out more about gifted testing in your local school district.

You may still be wondering about preparing your child for the NNAT if you cannot tell if your child is gifted or not. You can learn more about identifying gifted children, as well as understanding the differences between gifted and bright children.

Back to top

Hear What Parents Have to Say

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.

Created by red-id