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# How to answer the NVR questions in the 11+ (Blog series 4 – identifying codes in images) Non-Verbal Reasoning involves the ability to analyse and interpret images and identify patterns and sequences. These Spatial Reasoning skills form a vital part of the secondary transfer test (11 plus). NVR is not taught in schools, and puts pupils who do not practice these questions at a disadvantage.

Our blog series on how to answer the Non-Verbal Reasoning (NVR) questions in the 11+ continues with the next types of questions pupils may be asked for the NVR section of the 11+; establishing codes in images. In these questions pupils need to use letter and images to attempt to decipher a code, and then use this code to find the answer.

We will be looking at two main question types, which are very similar in the process, but differ in appearance;

1. Horizontal codes

2. Vertical codes

Horizontal codes

In these questions pupils are given a set of images and letter codes on the left hand side. They are then given a ‘test shape’; this is the shape which we need to find the answer to. Pupils need to decipher the code within the letters and images, and then work out the letter answer based on this code. In this example, the top row of letters (X, Y, Y) indicate a code relating to the images. As Y and Y both have squares, and X is a circle, we can assume that the top row of letters is referring to the shape of the image. As such, our answer will begin with an X, because the ‘test shape’ is a circle. The bottom row of letters are S, T and S. The two images which have an ‘S’ have a white fill, and T has diagonal lines. As out test shape has diagonal lines, we will be looking for an answer with a T on the bottom line. When we combine our two letter we get XT, which would make our answer B. Vertical codes

In these questions pupils are given a set of images and letter codes on the left hand side. They are then given a ‘test shape’; this is the shape which we need to find the answer to. Pupils need to decipher the code within the letters and images, and then work out the letter answer based on this code. In this example, the left hand row of letters (S, S and T) indicate a code relating to the images. As both S shapes are lined and the T is filled white, we can assume that the first row of letters refers to the shapes fill. As our test shape is lined, our first letter will be S.

The second row of letters are X, Y and Z. Because all three letters are different, we would be looking for differences in all three images. All three images are different shapes, so we need to look at the bottom shape (Z) as it is the same shape (diamond) as our test shape. Hence our answer will be SZ, meaning our answer is A. Q1. C – In this question, the top row of letters relates to the size of the circle, and the bottom row refers to the shapes arrangement. As our shape has a slammer circle and is arranged in the same way as the second image, our letters will be LY, giving us the answer C.

Q2. E – The top row of letters is referring to the direction of the shape (D is pointing up and E is pointing down). The bottom row of letters is related to the colour combination. As our test shape is pointing down as has a white fill our answer will be E, as the letter combination would be EL.

Q3. D – In these questions, the first row of letters relates to the number of blocks in the arch. The second row of letters indicates the sequencing of the pattern in the arch. The third row of letters specifies the size of the circle. As our test shape has six blocks in the arc, starts with black and alternates, and has a medium sized circle our answer will be HLQ (or D).

Q4. C – As all of the letters in the first row are different from one another we can assume that it is referring to the shape in the middle, as all four images have a different shape in the middle. The second row of letters is relating to the colour of the two circles at either end of the image. The third row of letters is specifying the colour of the shape in the middle. As our test shape has a black circle in the middle, with white circles at either end our answer would be C (MQV).

Please note that these are really simplified examples of the questions pupils will receive on the 11+. We have a wealth of experience of assisting pupils prepare for all aspects of the secondary transfer test (11+), including NVR.