Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Decoding the NNAT, by Mikey Smith, M. Ed.

Decoding the NNAT
by Mikey Smith, M.Ed

SAT, STAAR, AP, PTO. . . the World of Education is filled with some fairly familiar acronyms. One acronym, however, may not be so familiar: NNAT. It stands for Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, a test that might play an important role in your student's academic life. Jennifer Smith, veteran educator and administrator, helps break down the basics of the NNAT (or Naglieri) test.

In a nutshell, what is the NNAT?

The NNAT, also called the Naglieri, is a test commonly used for identification of students for Gifted and Talented programs. This test assesses a child's spatial intelligence (visual skills).

How is the NNAT different from other standardized tests?

It is different from other tests because there are no passages to read or math questions to answer. In fact, there are no words at all! The test is made up of only pictures that students have to analyze.

What types of questions are on the test?

There are 4 types of questions:
Pattern completion- Which option will complete the missing piece of a pattern?
Reasoning by Analogy- Is there a relationship between shapes?
Serial reasoning-  Which option comes next in a pattern?
Spatial visualization- Can you visualize how objects might look when rotated or otherwise transformed or combined?
Where is it administered & how long does it take?

It is administered at the child's school and students are given 30 minutes to complete 48 problems.

How is it scored?

The score on the NNAT is based on the number of questions a student gets right as compared to other students of the same age. This score is called the NAI score, and it is reported as a percentile rank. A percentile rank of 50 does NOT mean a student got 50% of the questions right or wrong.  A student who scores a percentile rank of 50 did as well or better than 50% of other students who took the same test.
Who takes it and why?
Many schools use this assessment as a part of GT identification. In Houston ISD, all kindergartners and 5th graders take the NNAT in the fall. This year it will be administered the 3rd week in November.

How is it used?

In Houston ISD it is used as one piece of the GT identification "pie."  The results are used along with those from the Stanford Test, report card average, and a parent or teacher recommendation to determine if the student qualifies for GT services.

How can parents learn more?

Parents can visit the official NNAT website to learn more.
Offical NNAT Website

Why should kids prepare?

There are many reasons that students should prepare for the NNAT. Although facts and figures cannot be memorized for this test in the way that they can for other types of tests, there are other ways students can get ready. Students are not typically explicitly taught the skills tested on the NNAT, so the test format may catch unprepared students off-guard. Students who are more familiar with the components and format of the test will not be taken by surprise, so they will be more comfortable overall with the test-taking experience. Additionally, familiarity with the types of questions asked can also help students navigate the NNAT successfully.

Are there any other activities that can help prepare kids for the NNAT?

There are many surprising activities kids can do at home that help to increase their spatial intelligence including:

Jigsaw Puzzles
Constructing Models

Just to name a few!

All of the components of the NNAT are addressed in Raising the Bar's Naglieri Know-How test preparation class. Classes are available for kindergartners - 1st graders and 4th - 5th graders.

Interested in finding out more about our early November
Naglieri - Know How prep class? Check out http://www.raisingthebarcc.com

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