Non-Verbal Reasoning (NVR) preparation is crucial to the 11 Plus entrance exam. It entails solving problems using shapes, puzzles, and abstract concepts. As NVR is not included in the national curriculum, it is not taught in state schools. Consequently, parents often inquire about ways to assist their children with NVR at home.
Hence, our experts have put together this guide to demonstrate how you can support and assist your child by understanding what NVR is, why it can be challenging, and offering practical tips.
What is non-verbal reasoning?
Non-verbal reasoning entails analysing visual information and solving problems using shapes, diagrams, and pictures instead of relying on words (as in verbal reasoning).
The purpose of the 11 Plus non-verbal reasoning tests is to evaluate your child’s skills in:
While some individuals may naturally excel in these areas, it doesn’t have to be a disadvantage for others.
There is a misconception that non-verbal reasoning exams do not require prior preparation since they are based on logic and patterns. However, this is not true.
It is possible to prepare effectively for non-verbal reasoning tests. For those who have never encountered non-verbal reasoning questions before, they can be quite perplexing.
However, by familiarising themselves with the question types and practicing the fundamental principles of problem-solving, your child can enhance their ability to tackle these types of problems successfully.
Take Free 11 Plus Non-Verbal Reasoning Test Online
11 Plus Non-verbal Reasoning Questions (Types)
Non-verbal reasoning questions for 11 Plus are generally categorised into two main types: interpreting shapes and manipulating shapes.
- Odd one out
- Matching groups
- Find a code
- Nets and cubes
- Combining 3D shapes
- Parts within a shape
- Rotations and reflections
- 3D shapes from above
11 Plus Non-verbal Reasoning Example Questions
Here are some examples of common question formats in 11 Plus non verbal reasoning test papers that you can use as practice with your child.
Odd one-out example
In 11 Plus odd-one-out non verbal reasoning questions, your child needs to identify the shape that is least similar to the others.
Tip: It’s important to observe every image and shape provided carefully. Pay attention to details such as dot placement, angles, lines, shading, and rotation, as they are significant in solving non-verbal reasoning problems.
Following Folds Example
Following folds can be challenging in non-verbal reasoning tests. These questions require your child to visualise how shapes appear when reflected or folded.
Consider how the paper might look after being folded along the dashed line and having shapes cut out of it. Which image depicts the paper’s unfolded appearance?
Answer: D is the right answer! Across the vertical fold, the right half of the paper is a mirror image of the left half.
Nets and cubes example
Nets and cubes are other challenging questions in the 11 Plus non-verbal reasoning test. Your child will be asked to transform a 2D net into a 3D cube.
Question: Which one of these cubes can be created using the following net?
Answer: The correct answer is B! Cubes D, C, and A display shapes that aren’t on the net.
Helping your child develop a visualisation of nets and cubes as real-world objects will greatly assist them in answering these questions. You can provide a physical object like a dice or Rubik’s Cube to support their visualisation skills.
The practice questions at the 11 Plus Tutoring include visualisations to help your child develop a solid understanding of how 2D nets translate into 3D cubes.
Having a clear understanding of what a 45-degree and 90-degree rotation looks like can greatly simplify problem-solving in non-verbal reasoning.
Which option on the right is formed by rotating the shape on the left by 90° in the clockwise direction?
The correct option is B because it will be the final shape formed when the left is rotated clockwise by 90°.
Additionally, when a shape is rotated, it is crucial to pay attention to the direction of rotation, whether it is clockwise or counterclockwise, as it could be crucial in finding the correct answer.
However, it’s important to note that the direction is irrelevant when dealing with a 180-degree rotation.
Put your knowledge to the test with our free 11 Plus non-verbal reasoning assessments and worksheets – perfect for entry test prep!
Top Tips for 11 Plus Non-Verbal Reasoning Preparation
The following are some of the most effective tips and tricks on how to do 11 Plus non-verbal reasoning questions during exam preparation.
1. Learn the Process
To effectively approach most non-verbal reasoning questions, you can follow this process:
- Type: Determine the type of question you are dealing with.
- Analyse: Examine the shapes and patterns presented in the question. Identify the most prominent qualities such as shape, colour, and pattern.
- Similarities/Differences: Identify similarities and differences among the shapes and patterns. Remember to consider patterns and changes in frequency when observing a series of shapes.
- Rule: Deduce a rule or pattern based on the observed qualities.
- Eliminate: Exclude shapes or patterns that do not conform to the rule you have identified.
By following this process, you can approach non-verbal reasoning questions systematically and increase your chances of finding the correct answers.
Drawing can be a valuable tool to simplify non-verbal reasoning tasks. When attempting to mentally visualise multiple shapes, the images can become muddled, leading to confusion. Encouraging your child to draw the shapes can aid in visualising the answer more clearly.
By putting the shapes on paper, they can have a tangible reference point and a clearer representation of the problem. So, drawing can enhance their ability to analyse and solve 11 Plus non-verbal reasoning questions during exam preparation.
3. Encourage Regular Practice
It is essential to encourage your child to practise various types of 11 Plus non-verbal reasoning questions. Have they attempted all of the question types mentioned earlier?
Identify the types that they find most challenging and dedicate more time to working on those specific areas. Similar to other endeavours, practice leads to improvement, and the more questions your child practices, the quicker they will become in the actual test.
It will allow them to work confidently within the time limits. Increasing their overall speed in answering questions is crucial as it gives them more time to concentrate on the areas where they face difficulties.
By practising consistently and focusing on their weaker areas, your child can enhance their performance in non-verbal reasoning.
4. Make Learning Fun and Play Games
To make improving your child’s non-verbal reasoning skills enjoyable, incorporate games into their practice routine. Sudoku is a fantastic game that enhances logical thinking and attention to detail, essential non-verbal reasoning skills.
Another engaging activity is playing with Lego, as it allows children to practise shape-building and visualisation, which can significantly benefit them in these tests.
Incorporating fun games and activities into their practice sessions can make the learning experience more enjoyable. Therefore, we suggest you to use 11 Plus non verbal reasoning videos and apps to help your child develop the important skills.
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Master Non-verbal Reasoning with 11 Plus Tutoring
Do not feel discouraged if your child takes a while for 11 Plus non-verbal reasoning preparation. Since non-verbal reasoning is not included in the national curriculum, they will be learning entirely new skills.
We Start the preparation well in advance of the exam, allowing your child to gradually develop confidence and understanding of these question types without undue stress.
With proper preparation, they will soon become capable of tackling 11 Plus tests that include various non-verbal reasoning problems with speed and accuracy.
Keep in mind that each child progresses at their own pace, and consistent effort and support will lead to improvement over time. We are here to help your child, contact us today!