11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning

11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning is used in many Local Authorities and private schools as an element in their 11-Plus examinations. It is commonly used alongside Verbal Reasoning, English and maths – or a combination of these exam types. Non-Verbal Reasoning is rarely taught in schools and is probably the component of the 11+ exam that causes parents most concern. So, what is Non-Verbal Reasoning? For more information Click here

Our titles offer practice material in the following GL and CEM 11+ subjects:-

Verbal Reasoning | Non-Verbal Reasoning | CEM 11+ | 11+ English | 11+ Mathematics

What is Non-Verbal Reasoning?

Non-Verbal Reasoning is problem-solving based around diagrams and shapes, rather than words. It consists of diagrammatic questions which will test how a child can deal with visual information – visual reasoning as opposed to Verbal Reasoning which is based on words.

It contains a wide range of content such as which shape is next in the series, odd one out, reflections and spatial awareness of 2-D and 3-D shapes. Children may also be required to understand rotation and symmetry. A common and difficult question type is working out which cube is made from a net – in other words can your child understand the connections between a 2-D shape folded into a 3-D shape.

A pupil needs to be able to quickly spot differences and similarities between shapes. Sometimes a smaller shape will be hidden in a larger shape. Will your child be able to see the hidden shape?

Non-Verbal Reasoning also makes demands on a child's mathematical capabilities perhaps being asked to calculate how much of a shape is shaded. Understanding simple concepts such as right and left or up and down will help your child deal with more complex and demanding aspects of Non-Verbal Reasoning.


How do you improve a child’s 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning skills?

As many schools and Local Education Authorities administer at least one Non-Verbal Reasoning test this is a question that many parents and indeed teachers ask.

Non-Verbal Reasoning, or NVR as it is sometimes called, is difficult to teach and learn but quality teaching and learning of the basics will help any child.

Our How to Do Non-Verbal Reasoning book is a Step by Step Guide explaining the skills and techniques needed to improve a child's standards in Non-Verbal Reasoning. It covers 18 different types of question that any child may have to tackle in their 11+ exam.

Questions covered include complete the series, odd one out, hidden shapes, similar shapes, adding shapes, 2-D nets, opposite shapes and analogies.


The book is set out in structured individual units with each unit having two sections: -

  1. The INTRODUCTION with a worked example and Step by Step instructions.

  2. The EXERCISE with some hints for extra help.


This resource provides an excellent introduction and revision text for any child. Having used this resource then a  child will be ready to work their way through our workbooks, each work book contains 5 tests of 75 questions and they are available in both multiple choice and standard format.

A child working their way systemically through these books will improve their 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning skills and can approach their exam with more confidence.