How to Prepare your Child for Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) For Kindergarten?

The NNAT exam is a standard practice all around the United States that aims to test and identify gifted students. While the test is not mandatory, if you notice that your child is “quick” at understanding new things, it might be a good idea to enroll them and check their cognitive abilities.

This article will give you all the information you need about the NNAT test and its content. We will explain the testing section of the NNAT for Kindergarten, provide you with some sample questions, and further refer you to a free NNAT sample test.

Furthermore, we will give some helpful tips to help your child prepare and successfully solve the NNAT exam. We will also direct you to the most extensive online library for practice materials, where you can find NNAT Kindergarten test practice materials.

What Is The NNAT Test?

Class Assessment

The NNAT is an abbreviation for the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test. The test was developed by Pearson Inc and aims to test K-12 students, from the age of 5 to the age of 17, for their nonverbal cognitive reasoning skills.

The NNAT test is a group-administered test given as an entrance exam into gifted programs.

The NNAT test measures students’:

  • Visual and spatial reasoning
  • Ability to solve problems

But, the questions on the NNAT test are not information-based questions that follow the school grade curriculum.

Instead, they use shapes and figures to test students’ logic and reasoning while solving problems. This ability is more connected to assessing students’ cognitive abilities and how they think, instead of concentrating on what they learn and know.

Furthermore, by using exclusively abstract pictures and shapes, the NNAT minimizes the possibility of using students’ language skills to answer the questions. This ensures that the abilities measured are exclusively connected to logic and reasoning, not understanding, knowledge, or usage of words and language.

What Is The Format Of the NNAT Test?

The newest and most updated version of the NNAT test is the NNAT3 edition. This revised test has 48 questions and around 20 minutes to complete.

The test utilizes four types of questions to measure logical thinking:

  • Pattern completion
  • Reasoning by analogy
  • Serial reasoning
  • Spatial visualization.

But, not all students get the same test or are tested through the same types of questions. The complexity of the test depends on the grade that the student is in and the standard of what they should be able to comprehend.

For example, the NNAT test for kindergarten contains questions from the first two types – Pattern completion and Reasoning by Analogy.

What Is The NNAT Test Used For?

Kids Studying

The NNAT test is used repeatedly throughout the United States to test students suitable for gifted and talented programs.

The questions on the NNAT test aim to measure students’ cognitive abilities, and those with high scores are considered gifted and able to join acceleration programs.

What Does The NNAT Test Measure?

The NNAT test aims to measure the cognitive abilities that students have during problem-solving nonverbal problems. Since there is only minimal language usage, the test doesn’t rely on skills or knowledge connected to reading, speaking, or writing.

By utilizing abstract shapes, designs, and pictures, the test gives unbiased scores about kids’ logical reasoning, regardless of their language, socioeconomic status, or previous education.

This is what the NNAT test measures:

  • Ability to think logically and abstractly
  • Ability to solve problems
  • Notice patterns, similarities, and differences
  • Deductive reasoning
  • Visual reasoning

Overall, the test’s initial aim is to test the student’s thought process, not what they’ve learned at school. The scores, in the end, identify the gifted and the average children.

What Kind Of NNAT Tests Do Kindergarten Students Take?

The NNAT test is assigned by grade level and the child’s age. Each student is only compared with other children within three months of age.

The NNAT for kindergarten is also called NNAT Level A exam and contains only the Pattern Completion and the Reasoning by Analogy questions.

  • The test has a total of 48 questions with a time frame of 20 minutes for completion.
  • The test administration is done either in the form of a pen-and-paper test or online.

What Type Of Questions Does The NNAT Test For Kindergarten Have?

Little Girl Preparing For Her Exam

As we previously mentioned, there are two types of questions on the NNAT exam for kindergarten kids.

Our following sections will explain these two types of questions and tell you what they measure and how they measure it. Scroll further down to also find sample questions of these two types.

Pattern Completion

As the name suggests, the Pattern Completion part of the NNAT kindergarten test measures the student’s ability to find a missing piece.

The design will resemble a jigsaw puzzle with a pattern, a blank spot, and four to five proposed answers. It will be the child’s job to identify which of the suggested answers will fit the blank spot to complete the pattern.

In order to come up with the answer, kindergarten students need to:

  • Visually perceive the design
  • Understand what they need to do
  • Mentally present how the missing piece might look
  • Mentally cross-check the given answers to check their answer
  • Identify the missing piece

When solving these questions, students will use their spatial, visual, and cognitive reasoning.

If you want to learn more about the Pattern Completion part of the NNAT test, we recommend you to read the helpful Pattern Completion guide from TestPrep-Online.

Reasoning by Analogy

The Reasoning by Analogy sub-test will measure the child’s ability to identify and continue a pattern.

The question on this sub-test will have an example pattern that shows a certain change in the relationship of the shapes presented. It will be the child’s job to notice and understand that change and later implement the same rule to answer the incomplete pattern.

The questions will have one or two presented sequences in which the two images in a row have the same elements but with a certain change.

Once the child understands that change, they need to implement the knowledge and add it to the first image of the last sequence. With that, they will be able to identify the missing counterpart of the last sequence.

While solving these questions, the student will:

  • Visually perceive the pattern
  • Understand what they need to do
  • Understand the change made from the first to the second image
  • Implement the finding on the last pattern
  • Identify the missing piece by following the understood “rule”

These questions will require the student to use spatial, visual, cognitive, and deductive reasoning.

If you want to learn more about the Reasoning by Analogy part of the kindergarten NNAT test, read the TestPrep-Online guide article about Reasoning by Analogy.

NNAT Kindergarten Exam Sample Questions

Now that we’ve explained the two sub-tests on the NNAT test for kindergarten, it’s time to provide you with some sample questions. These next sections will tell you what to expect on the NNAT kindergarten exam. Later, we will offer some helpful tips to help you and your child prepare for the testing.

NNAT Kindergarten Pattern Completion Sample Questions

Choose the part that fits in on the missing part of the picture.

Picture courtesy: TestPrep-Online Free NNAT Kindergarten sample test

Picture courtesy: TestPrep-Online Free NNAT Kindergarten sample test

If you want to see some more questions and assess your child’s current cognitive abilities, TestPrep-Online has a free NNAT Kindergarten sample test they can take.

NNAT Kindergarten Reasoning by Analogy Sample Questions

Choose the shape that follows the same pattern of change as the example.

Picture courtesy: TestPrep-Online Free NNAT Kindergarten sample test

Picture courtesy: TestPrep-Online Free NNAT Kindergarten sample test

Tips To Help Your Child Pass The NNAT Test For Kindergarten

Even though the NNAT test is not mandatory, kindergarten students are, expectedly, going to feel nervous and anxious before their first test.

To help both you and them prepare and feel confident on the NNAT testing day, we made this list of helpful tips. We divided them into two sections – tips that can be implemented during the practice period and things to do before the test itself.

During Practice

  • Explain to your child what they need to do on the test

The first thing to do, is to explain to your child what they are expected to do on the testing. Even though their thought process and reasoning might be elaborate enough to answer the questions, they might get confused by the testing questions if you don’t explain them.

In the Pattern Completion part, they need to find the missing piece of the puzzle, and in the Reasoning by Analogy, they need to find the picture that has changed in the same way as the examples.

  • Use the help of practice materials

The best way to help your child prepare for the NNAT test is to utilize the help of practice materials. TestPrep-Online is the most extensive library for online practice materials with an NNAT Level A practice pack for Kindergarten.

Their practice is verbally and visually adapted to suit small children, so their practice is both fun and educational. Our next section will give you more details about their all-inclusive pack.

  • Come up with interesting games for practice through play

To help your child enjoy their practice, we recommend you come up with exciting games. For example, they could play with jigsaw puzzles or use everyday objects to organize them by similarity.

  • Help them with the logic during practice

If your child doesn’t know the answer to a question, help them come up with it by helping their logic. For example, they can start by eliminating the most apparent incorrect answer and then compare all of the remaining answers to the sample. With each comparison, help them determine why that particular answer is right or wrong.

  • Keep them motivated and confident

To help your child gain confidence about the test, praise their achievements and give positive reinforcement for their efforts. When they answer incorrectly, reinforce the statement that a mistake is not a mistake if you learn something from it.

But, be careful and make it clear to them that acing or failing the test would not change the fact that you think they are smart.

On The Testing Day

On the testing day, make sure that your child:

  • Has gotten enough sleep
  • Has eaten and drank water
  • Used the bathroom before the start of the test
  • Knows that they can ask for help if they get stuck
  • Is calm and relaxed
  • Understands that is not a big deal if they get a question wrong

How To Prepare For The NNAT Test For Kindergarten?

little girl doing homework at home

TestPrep-Online is the biggest library for online practice materials for all kinds of tests. On their website, you can find the NNAT Kindergarten Level A practice pack that contains everything your child needs to practice and learn.

  • Test simulations – the questions on the NNAT practice pack follow the same structure and complexity level of the actual NNAT test, so your student will get familiarized with the questions, their content, and their complexity during practice.
  • Practice quizzes – the pack offers quizzes your child can take to practice different parts of the test and further smooth their logic and understanding.
  • Study Guides – the NNAT bundle comes with a study guide with all the info about the NNAT test and its questions, as well as different strategies and tips to help them easily solve each section of the test.
  • Score reports – aside from testing material and some helpful tips, the NNAT K Level A practice bundle comes with score reports that can monitor your child’s improvement with each practice.
  • Exclusive NNAT Video Academy – with the help of the five video tutorials, your child can get some insight into the type of questions, how to approach each of them, what to look for and how to answer them.

This is what each NNAT K Level A practice bundle includes:

  • More than 450 questions for both Pattern Completion and Reasoning by Analogy
  • 3 complete NNAT practice tests for Kindergarten
  • 5 video tutorials from the NNAT Video Academy
  • 1 Study guide for children and another Parent Manual for the Caregiver
  • Questions and Answer thorough explanations
  • Score reports to follow the improvement
  • Safe and secure payment
  • 12-month license for usage of the practice materials


The NNAT test is utilized by schools across the United States to locate students that are suitable for acceleration and gifted programs. Given to students from the age of 5 up to the age of 17, the NNAT test is something that students get used to. But, children in kindergarten night easily get overwhelmed by the test and the pressure it brings.

This article told you everything you need to know about the NNAT Kindergarten exam, its testing sections, and questions, as well as helpful tips to make practice fun.

Now, we recommend you utilize the NNAT Level A practice pack from TestPrep-Online and help your child get into a gifted program.

​Written by Victoria Todorovska

Victoria (or Viki) is a Freelance Writer, Psychologist, and Gestalt Therapy Consultant. With years of experience in higher education as well as counselling others, she is well-placed to offer expert advice on guiding others up the career ladder.