How to Interpret the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test Score

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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.

1 Understanding the Score Report

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2 Locate the percentile rank

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.

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3 Find the ability

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.

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4 Locate your child's

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.

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5 Compare your child's

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.

  • The Naglieri is only one measure of intelligence and does not equate to an IQ test because it does not have a verbal component. The Naglieri has been criticized for having a wide range of score variability. That means, compared to other standardized tests, the results may not be a completely accurate portrait of a child's intelligence.
  • 1 Testing for Kindergarten: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Ace the Tests for: Public School Placement, Private School Admissions, Gifted Program Qualification; Karen Quinn; 2010.

Kristen Bailey has been writing professionally since 2002. She has contributed to "Northern Virginia Parents Magazine," "Washington Parents" and Bailey holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and education from Longwood College, as well as a Master of Arts in educational leadership from the University of Colorado.