Non-verbal reasoning is problem solving using pictures, diagrams and shapes, instead of words. Unlike verbal reasoning it doesn’t rely as much on the English language. The questions use shapes, codes and drawings and it’s up to the student to find similarities and break the code.
Non-verbal reasoning tests aim to see how your child can use critical thinking and apply logic to solve problems. Usually this can give a basic indication of their mathematical capabilities.
Every child is different and because of that their ability to solve such problems will obviously differ. Having good spatial awareness which means understanding the relation of objects to each other even when they change positions is helpful when it comes to non-verbal reasoning. An expressed interest in maths is also usually a good sign that they’ll handle these types of tasks more easily.
Regardless, even if your child is struggling in the beginning, this is a skill that can be improved with practice. The key is to be disciplined and systematic. Start with short daily exercises and slowly improve the difficulty of the tasks. Children, especially when they’re young, tend to soak up information like a sponge, so as long as you’re consistent, you’ll see improvement!
The main reason to test non-verbal reasoning is because it shows different skills that are not limited by language. These types of tests can be particularly useful for children who are more shy or find it difficult to communicate with others.
The tests show how children can learn new ideas and display how quickly they can find similarities or differences in the information that is presented to them. Sometimes there is a time limit which also promotes quick decision-making. Skills in non-verbal reasoning are useful for subjects such as maths, engineering, computing and design. Furthermore, they’re not only used in school, some job interviews also include them!
As mentioned before, a good base in maths is extremely useful, so encourage your child to gain a basic understanding of numbers, subtraction and addition. Other ways you can help them improve include:
Playing games like “spot the difference” and sudoku.
Getting your child jigsaw puzzles, legos and constructors to play with is also an easy way to quickly develop their spatial awareness. Not only is it fun for them, but they’ll also learn a lot without even realising it.
Drawing shapes on pieces of paper and asking your child to draw their mirrored image. You can use an actual mirror to check if they did it correctly and to help them if they’re struggling in the beginning.
Letting them use a computer from time to time. Although most parents don’t want their children getting stuck in front of electronic devices for too long, allowing them some time on occasion will improve their non-verbal reasoning skills quicker than you might think.
Last but not least you can find plenty of example questions and tests online.