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Non Verbal Reasoning tests for 10/11+ children, why?

(25 Posts)
SecondhandRose Sat 25-Jun-05 17:19:25

What do the results of Non Verbal Reasoning tests tell teachers? TIA

Janh Sat 25-Jun-05 17:20:56

How intelligent children who do not have a facility with language are. Obviously. duh.

roisin Sat 25-Jun-05 17:47:32

The theoretical claim is that NVR tests - and other similar tests - can give a 'pure' measure of 'intelligence'. If there is some significant discrepancy between this result and school test results (reading age, SATs, etc.) then the child may be underperforming in some way, and the possible reasons for this can be investigated. These might be poor teaching, low self-esteem/motivation/parental support, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ... etc.


AuntyQuated Sat 25-Jun-05 17:49:29

hijack alert...
roisin...i will teaxt you later...or can i email you now?

sorry to hijack

Janh Sat 25-Jun-05 17:50:19

roisin! You are back!

roisin Sat 25-Jun-05 17:50:45

Yes do email - you can try anyway. PC is slightly happier today, but still rather temperamental.

AuntyQuated Sat 25-Jun-05 18:01:00

i have emailed it there?

roisin Sat 25-Jun-05 18:09:21

Yes, got the email and replied.
SHR - sorry for completely hijacking your thread
Did you get the answer you needed?

tigermoth Sat 25-Jun-05 18:11:50

I'd like to think the NVR tests do test pure intelligence, so there is no need to revise or prepare for them in any way. However, lots of coaching books exist for NVR tests, and there is IMO certainly a knack to doing them. So if you sit them blind IMO you could be at a disadvantage over someone who was familiar with them.

SecondhandRose, if you are asking rhe question in relation to 11+ or entrance tests, I would say that the NVR tests ( in our area at least) are often the hardest - the English, Maths and Verbal Reasoning tests are easier. I heard lots of the children who came out of the NVR exam last year saying it was hard. I have heard from a couple of teachers (and an 11+ exam invigilator who is a parent at our school) that this is often the case.

In retrospect, I wish my son had spent more time preparing for NVR tests. We didn't do loads of preparation but it could have been better spread. As it was, my son's 3 other test results were between 10 - 20 marks higher than his NVR test. He still passed his 11+, but NVR was signficantly his lowest score.

SecondhandRose Sat 25-Jun-05 18:43:06

Thanks for that Tigermoth. We're just going into year 6 in September. He has done some tests last year but I don't know if he was prepped for them or not. The school don't like to give too much away. So is it an IQ thing do you think?

roisin Sat 25-Jun-05 18:59:03

NVR tests would be part of an IQ test SHR, along with tests of verbal reasoning and mathematical reasoning.

But because NVR do not require facility with letters or numbers, they claim to be able to give a measure of potential, irrespective of current or past educational experience or achievement.

DS1 certainly did some NVR tests in school this year (yr3), but I don't know whether that was routine for them, or part of some special project. No-one's told us any results, and I haven't asked.

Many secondary schools do NVR tests in yr7 with new entrants as a basis to streaming, as they find the SATs results unreliable.

tigermoth Sun 26-Jun-05 09:09:47

secondhandrose, based on the little I know, I do think NVR tests help measure intelligence. I agree with roisin that they don't require a certain standard of numeracy and literacy so are a purer form of measuring potential.

But IMO some children may simply be better at matching pattens than others and feel more at ease doing so. I think there's a knack to them (a bit like doing a rubic's cube perhaps) so IMHO it's not just an intelligence test.

Looking at some 11+ NVR practice papers for the first time, I personally found it hard to get my head round them. Once I became familiar with the different ways you look for similarities and patterns, it became easier.

Prep books take you through the different methods you can use to find the pattens. Once you know the methods, you can apply them to any NVR test, I assume. Of course you have to think very quickly, so that demands a certain level of intelligence. We didn't use any prep books, but I flicked through a few after the 11+ and thought they looked useful.

elastamum Sun 26-Jun-05 09:19:50

Surely testing kids and not giving feedback to parents is unethical? ~Im amazed that education authorities think it is ok to do this

happymerryberries Sun 26-Jun-05 09:21:40

On a personal basis (in work) I would use them to gauge how well the child was doing across the board. A big difference between the verbal and non verbal could flag up particular issues. Always take them all with a pinch of salt and use them looking at the 'whole child' IYSWIM

SecondhandRose Sun 26-Jun-05 18:39:59

In our school they don't give any results to any tests to parents and you feel like your are badgering them if you ask. It is an independent school and I don't know why they work like this. I have finally found out the results of the last two sets of tests done on DS but still don't understand what 4B means!!

Rarrie Sun 26-Jun-05 23:42:56

My schools have always used them, because as Roisin said, they are considered to be more reliable than SATS (which tell us more about the school than the kid).

In my experience these results never go home to parents - although they have always been told that the children are doing the tests and that they won't know the results!

However, the main way that they are currently being used in my school is to predict GCSE grades and KS3 SATs results. I'm sceptical about this, although I do think they are very handy in identifying underachievers, and students who like to coast and pretend that they're "too thick" to do nay better!!!

tigermoth Mon 27-Jun-05 06:55:59

can ask a question please? do teachers ever give NVR tests to younger children, ie year 1 and 2s as a way of testing potential? I think my youngest son might have had some NVR tests, but am only guessing.

SHR, sorry for the hijack.

Celia2 Mon 27-Jun-05 09:38:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tigermoth Mon 27-Jun-05 13:40:27

Celia, yes, my son had some pre 11+ tuition. I'd be interested to see how much tuition is or is not the norm. I am slightly but not hugely surprised that you were told most boys at your grammar school had had some tuition.

My son wnt to a 1 hour class once a week for about 8 months. The classses were run by older students - average age 17 - 20 years, I'd say. He did not have any personal tutor at home. But I also tried to work with him at home for about half an hour, 5 days a week, for the last 2 months before the tests.

I do not know how this compares to others in the grand scheme of things. Of the 17 11+ entrants in his class, I think most had personal tutors, some for two years twice a week, plus homework. I get the impression that the amount of coaching varies hugely. Don't know how much this variation affects results.


swedishmum Mon 27-Jun-05 13:43:41

My dd didn't have any tutoring for 11 plus but did papaers at home with me. Don't know how much that counts. She scored 140/140 for VR and 136/140 for NVR tests. Most of what we worked on at home was speeding up!

swedishmum Mon 27-Jun-05 13:45:26

I find it so sad that some children have all that tutoring - very unfair for those whose parents can't or won't support them in the same way.

tigermoth Mon 27-Jun-05 13:51:13

I agree, it is very unfair. My son really feels the tutoring and my time with him was what got him through the 11+.

swedishmum Mon 27-Jun-05 13:57:41

Mind you, I'll be doing exactly the same thing for dd2 in 18 months or so...

tigermoth Mon 27-Jun-05 14:03:45

yes, and there is the fact that some parents haven't the time or wherewithall to sit with their children and do test papers with them - so have to pay tutors to do this. I noticed that some of the less tutored children had parents who had teaching experience.

Berries Mon 27-Jun-05 14:46:16

DD2 had these this yr (yr3). Not sure whether they usually tell the parents. We found out as she aced the nvr, but has always been content to chug along in middle/bottom of the class. Sick to death of spending 6 months of every yr trying to convince the teachers she is conning them!

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