NVR Progression - Fill in the Blank (2)

Example - pick one of the five boxes on the right to fit in the blank box in the progression.

11-plus-fill-in-the-blank-2

This time we have an example of the alternate boxes concept. The first, third and fifth boxes are identical – so we just need to concentrate on the second and fourth. It’s possible that there are several answers to this one – don’t worry though, there will probably be only one option given that will work. If we try the ‘working it out without seeing the possible answers’ approach, ideally we would have a symbol in the space which is identical to the symbol in the second box. Failing this, maybe a shape with dashed lines, or one which is pointing downwards. If the paper has been well written there will be one clear possibility and four that are just not as logical.

Now we can look at the possible answers – shape (c) is very likely to be right as it is what we expected. If we run through the alternatives, nothing is as strong a candidate. Shape (a) has nothing in common with the required answer except basic shape. Shape (b) is the right shape and direction but is not drawn with dashed lines. Shape (d) is dashed but is facing the wrong way while shape (e) looks great until you look closely and realise it is drawn with a mix of dots and dashes. There is no absolute correct answer but it makes a lot of sense to choose (c) as the answer as it is MORE CORRECT THAN THE ALTERNATIVES. Never be afraid to tell your child that sometimes there is no absolute answer and that they should choose the best one.

Technique tip:

Name the symbols you see regularly. Obviously squares are squares but you will soon become familiar with ‘house’ (as in example 2), ‘keyhole’, ‘round shield’, ‘pointy shield’, ‘bacon rasher’, ‘diamond’ and many more. Pick out the shapes that regularly occur on the sample papers of the style your child will face. Ensure that he or she knows what they are called – let them name them themselves if it helps. Draw and cut out each shape and allow your child to experiment by rotating it. He or she will then be familiar with ‘keyhole facing left’ or ‘upside down pointy shield’ and other combinations which will probably occur at some time on the paper.


Go to the next Non Verbal Reasoning working example - Progression - Fill in the Blank (3)

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