Non-Verbal Reasoning

Centres: Edmonton
Options: Termly


Non-verbal reasoning is often one of the least understood 11 plus entrance exam topics. In this article, Atom’s Education Experts will de-mystify non-verbal reasoning and share tips to help your child fully prepare for the 11 plus non-verbal reasoning test.

What is non-verbal reasoning?

Non-verbal reasoning involves analysing visual information and solving problems using shapes, diagrams and pictures, rather than words (as you would find in verbal reasoning).

11 plus non-verbal reasoning tests are designed to assess your child's:

  • maths skills,

  • logic and problem-solving,

  • spatial awareness,

  • ability to identify patterns and rules,

  • and overall general intelligence.

These skills may come more naturally to some than others, but this doesn’t have to be a disadvantage.

It is sometimes said that there’s no need to prepare for non-verbal reasoning exams, as it is based on logic and patterns which do not need any prior knowledge. This is not true! It is absolutely possible to prepare effectively for non-verbal reasoning tests.

Non-verbal reasoning questions can be very confusing to those who have never come across them before. Getting familiar with the question types and practising the basic rules of problem-solving will increase your child’s ability to tackle these kinds of problems successfully.

Non-verbal reasoning question types

Non-verbal reasoning questions fall into two main categories: interpreting shapes and manipulating shapes.

See descriptions of the types of non-verbal reasoning questions within each category in the table below:

A list of non-verbal reasoning question types

Interpreting shapes

Question types:

  • Odd one out

  • Matching groups

  • Matrices

  • Find a code

Manipulating shapes

Question types:

  • Parts within a shape

  • Rotations and reflections

  • Nets and cubes

  • Combining 3D shapes

  • 3D shapes from above

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