Entrance exams: what do I need to know? Part 2: NVR

It takes time to build a successful approach to Non Verbal Reasoning

What do we hear most often from parents who come to us for entrance exam preparation?  “I can help my child with everything but Non-verbal Reasoning.”  If you feel like this also, read on for how to get results that are pleasing in Non Verbal Reasoning.

Non-verbal reasoning, in case you are uninitiated, looks like this.  Being faced with row upon row of strange pictures that look like messages from an alien spacecraft can be daunting for your little learner, but don’t worry.  Practice (and technique) does make perfect

Three Rules for NVR Study

1.  Start at a level that your child can cope with.

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re probably right.  So it makes sense to give your child a nice gentle start in NVR – you can always rev things up later on.  NVR includes identifying the odd one out or deciding what comes next in a sequence of pictures, so it’s needn’t be too trying (you can find a full list of question types here).  If your Year 5 child has not done any NVR yet, start them on Bond second papers now, but ideally they would be working comfortably on Third Papers by now and looking to move on to Fourth Papers by Easter.  In any case, remember to…

2.  Work at a level that is challenging but manageable.
You should be looking to make fairly rapid progress, but do be sensitive.  Your child may just take a while to get used to all the question types so be patient.  Work in frequent chunks of 10 – 20 questions: when they have achieved between 90 and 100% three times in a row, move them on to the next level.

3.  Take a step back to take a step forward.
Mistakes are fuel for learning: he or she who never made a mistake never made anything.  This is the most important part of your child’s NVR practice.  Don’t just explain it to them; be very patient and give them the thinking time they need to work it out (but not too much – you don’t want to leave them staring at the same question for 45 minutes!).  If they can’t work it out alone, try to work it out together.  It’s fine, and indeed very effective practice, to tell your child the answer and see if s/he can work out why this is correct.

Never, ever stress your child out over entrance exams preparation and always stay positive with them.  Never let them get into the mindset that they are ‘no good at NVR’.

We have a huge range of NVR resources in our professionally equipped tuition centre including computer software and our own worksheets.  We are experts in NVR with years of experience and there is very little that will faze us, so if it’s all a bit too puzzling, contact us for a chat about how we can help.  You can also take a look at our useful links section to find a range of free online activities that will help to boost your child’s performance.

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