The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) is a screening test used most often to determine if a child is a gifted learner. Many school systems use the test as one of its benchmarks for admission into a gifted and talented school or resource program. The test consists of diagrams, shapes and patterns and is designed so that children who do not speak English as a first language will not be at a disadvantage. Interpreting the results will help you to understand how well your child fared on the test.

Understanding the Score Report

Step 1

Mother and son looking a test scores
Mother and son looking a test scores

Locate the percentile rank that is on the score report. The percentile rank (PR) tells you how your child did in comparison to other children who took the test. For example, a percentile rank of 98 would mean that your child scored higher than 98% of the students who took the test.

Step 2

Mother talking with daughter
Mother talking with daughter

Find the ability index score earned by the child. This score relates to a separate percentile scale than the PR. For instance, students who scored 67 and below would be in the first percentile. A score of 68 to 70 would be in the 2nd percentile, a score of 71 or 72 would be in the 3rd percentile, 73 and 74 or in the 4th percentile, etc. This pattern continues, and a score of 133 to 150 places children in the 99th percentile.

Step 3

Parent in meeting with teacher
Parent in meeting with teacher

Locate your child's raw score on the score report. The raw score is simply the number of NNAT questions answered correctly. Raw scores can be converted to scaled scores and "normed" by the child's age. "Norm referencing" is just a further way to compare children, based on their age at the time of the test. Using the raw score to gain more information about your child's performance will need to be done using a norms booklet, which the gifted and talented specialist or testing coordinator at your school will have. This staff member can help you put your child's score in more perspective if you need to. But the PR gives you the best picture of how your child fared on the test.

Step 4

Boy taking test at school
Boy taking test at school

Compare your child's score to the information your school provides on scores needed for admission to a gifted program. Every school system has a different "cut-off" for admission or consideration into their gifted and talented programs. Many school systems use the 93rd percentile as a cut-off, while others start as low as 88th percentile or as high as 96th percentile. If your child's classroom teacher is not aware of the criteria for admission into the school system's gifted program, call the gifted and talented office for your school district.