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Understanding All There is About the NNAT 2 Test

Understanding All There is About the NNAT 2 Test

Approximately 6 to 10 percent of the student population in the U.S. is gifted and talented, which equates to around 3 million to 5 million students. Schools use a multitude of tests and criteria to determine eligibility for entrance into their gifted-and-talented programs. One of them, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT), is particularly useful when students' first language is something other than English, or when a child is not reading yet. The test does not rely on English fluency or reading ability to gain insight to the child's cognitive ability.

Administered to students 5 to 17 years old, the NAAT takes about a half-hour to complete. Multiple-choice selections make up a portion of the test, which consists of a total of 48 problems in the form of pictures, symbols, and diagrams that gauge a student's reasoning capabilities.



The content of the NNAT is designed to test students in various aspects of logic and interpretation. Areas in which they are evaluated are: 

.   Patterns --  Children must find the pattern in a given set of objects and find the next object to complete the sequence.

.   Reasoning by analogy --  Students must show they can see how objects are related to one another geometrically.

.   Serial reasoning -- Students are asked to identify a sequence of shapes.

.   Spatial visualization -- Students are required to visualize how two or more objects would appear if they were combined.



After your child takes the NNAT and you receive the scores. You will find three main scoring areas: the raw score, the Naglieri Index (NAI), and the percentile rank.

.   Raw score --The raw score tells you exactly how many of the 48 questions your child answered correctly. For example, if your child were to answer 35 questions correctly, the score would read 35/48.

.   Naglieri Ability Index (NAI) -- The NAI compares your child's raw score to those of children of the same age. A standard score is then given based on the normalized standards, which range from 84 to 116, with the highest score being 160.

.   Percentile rank -- The percentile rank tells you how your child performed against other students of the same age nationwide. It is not a percentage grade of how your child performed on the actual test, nor is it an index score number (as in the NAI). Rather, it indicates what percentage of students he or she outperformed on the test. For example, if your child was in the 89th percentile rank, then he or she performed better on the test than 89 percent of students nationally. 


How NNAT scores are used

NNAT scores help to determine a student's eligibility for a school's gifted program. Although schools have their own specific requirements, most expect students to score a 132 or higher on the NAI. Schools also use the percentile rank when deciding on your child's acceptance into their gifted program. Although they differ on the expected rank, it ranges between the 92nd and 95th percentiles. 


If you believe your child may be gifted or talented, be proactive about his or her education and bring it to the attention of the school administrators. Check your school district for testing registration information. Discovering early whether your child needs to be in a gifted program will help him or her succeed.   


Credits: Sherilyn Kaye


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