NNAT3® (Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test)

What is the NNAT3® (Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test)?

The NNAT3® (Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test) is a nonverbal group-administered abilities test for grades K-12 used to estimate students’ reasoning and problem solving skills. Unlike assessment tests which measure what a student has already learned, abilities tests are designed to measure a student’s aptitude, focusing on analytic and problem solving skills rather than specific knowledge.

Watch our video to learn more about Mercer Publishing’s NNAT3® Test Preparation.

What is on the NNAT3 Test (Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test)?

The NNAT3 test is made up of 4 question types listed below. With administration time, the NNAT3 test takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Chart of NNAT3 question types at each grade level

NNAT3 Question Types

Pattern completion – Students are shown a design and are asked to identify what is missing from a section of the image.
Analogy – Students are asked to determine the relationship between varying geometric shapes.
Serial Reasoning – Students are asked to recognize a correct sequence of shapes.
Spatial Visualization – Students are asked to combine two or more shapes and determine what the results will like.

For a more in-depth description of the NNAT3 test, utilize our Frequently Asked Questions page to answer any questions you may still have.

How to Prepare for the NNAT3 Test (Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test)

The best way to prepare for the NNAT3 test is by exposing your child to the exam format and the types of questions they will see on the day of the test. With Mercer Publishing’s full-length Practice tests, your child will experience the same format and number of questions as the actual exam. Each practice test booklet contains 1 full-length exam and comes with the answers and explanations. Downloadable versions of our tests are also available for Mac and PC users.

To see what typical questions look like, view our free NNAT3 Sample Questions here.

NNAT3 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT3) is a group-administered aptitude test commonly given as an entrance exam into school's gifted programs.

To determine your child's aptitude, the NNAT3 exam assesses how your child does on things that are new to them. Therefore, the exam has many types of questions that your child would not have seen before. If your child understands the short set of directions that the administrator reads to your child prior to each section, they will probably do OK on the exam, but if they misunderstand the brief description, they can miss entire sections on the exam - due to a misunderstanding, not their intellect.

Many schools rely solely on these test scores to place your child in the best programs. It is, therefore, highly beneficial to make sure that your child understands what each of the test areas is asking for ahead of time.

Our full-length practice tests for the NNAT3 exam are in the same format as the actual exam. With our practice tests your child will become familiar with how the tests are formatted, the symbols used and the number of questions in each test area. This will insure that they know what each test area is asking.

The levels of the test go from A through G and are associated with the grade levels in the chart below:

What level of the NNAT test will my child take? (Chart of NNAT3 by grade level and question type)

There is no difference in the question types of these three tests.

In 2011 the publisher of this test came out with the second version of the test so that they could update the norm tables used in assessing the scores of students across the U.S. They wanted to expand the age groups down to 4 year of age and up to 18 years of age.

The various types of scores utilized in the NNAT2 2011 updated norms are the same as those provided by the previous edition. There were no changes in the test items, scoring methods, score flow, the methods used to derive different types of scores, or the potential use and interpretation of the scores. The only change is the updated norm tables for deriving the NNAT2 Naglieri Ability Index (NAI). When using NNAT2 for the extended ages, Level A should be used for 4 year olds, and Level G should serve for 18 year olds.

The third edition of the NNAT, the NNAT3, was launched in the spring of 2016. The main differences between the NNAT2 and the NNAT3 are the rollout of new norm data for scoring and new administration options for online administration.

Students are given approx. 30 min to complete the test.

In their desire to finish quickly or first, many children select the first answer that seems right to them without looking all of the answers and choosing the one that best answers the question. No additional points are given for finishing the test early. Make sure your child understands the importance of evaluating all the answers before choosing one.

The official guideline from the publisher is that students should not guess if they do not know the answer – that random guessing compromises the validity of the scores. However, the NNAT3 score is calculated based on the number of right answers and the student is not penalized for incorrect answers. As a parent looking for a high score, it is better for your child to answer all questions than leave an answer blank.

The unique aspect of the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test is that it is completely nonverbal. This allows assessment of student’s intellect across boundaries such as cultural background or with those students with limited English skills. It is also considered a fairer test across social or economic status and for those students with limited motor skills, hearing impairments, and minimal color-vision impairment.

Sample questions for the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT3®) Grades K-12

The NNAT3 tests consist of 4 testing areas:
Pattern completion
Serial Reasoning
Spatial Visualization

The grade and level of the test will depend on which question types will be on your child’s test. Please see our table under FAQ that will show the number of question types per grade level.

For a more in-depth description of the NNAT3 exam, utilize our Frequently Asked Questions page to answer any questions you may still have.

Pattern Completion

Each question in this section has a large rectangle with a picture or design. There is a small section of that picture hidden behind the rectangle with a question mark. The student should select the answer that best completes the picture.

Sample question:

NNAT3 Pattern Completion Sample Question

Reasoning by Analogy

In these questions the design of objects changes as the pictures go across the row. The student will need to determine how each of the objects is modified as they go from the first picture to the second picture in each row and, again, modified from the second picture to the third picture in, perhaps, a different way.

Sample question:

NNAT3 Reasoning by Analogy Sample Question

Serial Reasoning

In these questions the design of objects changes as the pictures go across the row and down the columns. The student will need to determine sequences and patterns within the matrix and select the figure from the five available answers that will best complete the matrix.

Sample question:

NNAT3 Serial Reasoning Sample Question

Spatial Visualization

Each question in this section has three pictures or designs on each row. The third picture in each row is created from combining the first two pictures. The student should select the picture from the five available answers that would be created when the first two pictures on that row are combined.

Sample question:

NNAT3 Spatial Visualization Sample Questio

To begin preparing your child for success, click on the relevant grade level to view our selection of grade-specific practice tests and materials.