Non-verbal reasoning tests the ability to recognise similarities, analogies, and patterns in unfamiliar designs. These reasoning processes are widely recognised to be fundamental to a person’s ability to understand and assimilate new information and ideas. They enable people to make sense of new information and to associate it to what they already know. The processes are used whenever and wherever people learn, such as when when recognising similarities between words when learning to read and spell, or when identifying number patterns, or even seeing an analogy between the instructions for building a model and the instructions for a cooking recipe.
The scores on this test will therefore provide an indication of how easily this person will acquire new concepts and master new material in a wide range of subjects, based on their current levels of functioning. Using designs rather than words allows reasoning processes to be assessed independently of language skills.
The types of questions (matrix) included in the test provide ways of assessing the key reasoning processes, without confusing the assessment with any other irrelevant knowledge or skills. For example, there are no reading requirements and no pictorial material used, since the understanding of pictures often requires culturally-specific knowledge.