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 Post subject: NVR questions
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:17 am
Posts: 62
A bit of a gripe here - not sure where this one belongs.
My son is doing a grammar school entrance exam on Saturday. He is a an able child (Level 3 across the board in KS1 SATS taken in Year 1, G&T register for Maths, 5B for Maths and high 4A in the others at the end of Year 5) and is scoring very highly on Maths and VR papers but seems to struggle a lot with NVR. I thought they were meant to be a purer test of intelligence than Maths/VR but, having not had a tutor, he really doesn't 'get' them. Funnily enough, although the NVR questions are 'obvious' to me, my husband, who I would say was brighter than me, can't do them.

Tutors have told me that NVR is about techniques that can be learnt rather than intelligence. Is there any truth in this and do other parents feel that NVR tests achieve the stated aim of testing a child's intelligence rather than how well they've been taught.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
Quote:
Group intelligence tests requiring recognition of similarities, analogies and patterns in unfamiliar designs, are referred to as non-verbal reasoning (NVR) tests. Like verbal reasoning tests, NVR tests are comprised of a variety of item types, including series completion, codes and analogies. However, unlike verbal reasoning tests, none of the question types requires learned knowledge for its solution.


http://www.nfer.ac.uk/nfer/index.cfm?20 ... F32480C310

In my experience you do need to teach the techniques but brighter (whatever that means :) ) children seem to learn quicker, remember more and beat me in timed tests. :roll:

So I guess in a way it does help predict which kids will be able "learn" more and pass exams.

steve


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:28 pm 
Non-verbal is a test of one type of intelligence. When I get a child who is phenomenonal at non-verbal, quite frequently a parent will be in a profession such as engineering or be very good at art or have some link to a line of work which requires visual perception.

I like non-verbal in that it is my greatest hope to gain entry for a child who is at a poor primary school. At least in this area he starts off on a level playing field (well, at least level with everyone else being tutored). Interestingly none of the independents in my area use non-verbal--which makes me think they prefer children who are already achieving their potential rather than testing for children who could be 'brought on' to a high level.

Not all clever children are good at non-verbal, however. One of my pupils last year was exceptional in English and Maths but not a natural at non-verbal. I trained her up for an NFER exam and she scored 36/40in the non-verbal but did very poorly in this area in another exam where she was confronted with quite different style of questions designed specifically for that exam. Meanwhile the children who excelled in non-verbal from the start found these easy.

So, yes, I do think you can train them up to perform well in an exam where you know the type that will feature but, confronted with something unusual and unexpected, they tend to revert back to their original level of performance.

With children who aren't very good at non-verbal (and even with the ones who are), I tend to advise them to eliminate the wrong rather than select the right one and to concentrate on one feature at a time rather than take in the whole picture so they might pass through them for colour first, then number of lines, then position of cross etc. until they are down to the only one it could be. This sounds time consuming but, if they get into an automatic routine of doing this, it speeds up with practice. Eliminating usually leaves you with two--the right and the almost right. Then it is a matter of observing the difference between these two and referring back to the diagram to see which one is correct. I am fairly confident this technique works.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:17 am
Posts: 62
Quote:
I like non-verbal in that it is my greatest hope to gain entry for a child who is at a poor primary school. At least in this area he starts off on a level playing field (well, at least level with everyone else being tutored).

But ahead of those children whose parents can't afford tutors..... Or believe what they are told, ie that there is no need to get a tutor. I guess there's no such thing as a pure test of intelligence though!


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