NVR Progression - Fill in the Blank in a 3 x 3 Grid (2)

Example – pick one of the five boxes on the right to fit in the blank box in the diagram on the left.


The first thing to do in this type of question is to work out which of the column / row / diagonal combinations we can use. Here it is clearly rows that give us the answer as the middle and bottom rows are each composed of similar types of shapes but different to the other row. Therefore we are looking for a shape similar to the top left and top right objects – not a lot of help, all of the options are! So how are the answers different? Firstly the direction of the arrow is important, secondly the position of the line and finally the direction of the shading. Make sure your child follows the same sort of path if they are not able to see the answer.

Let’s look at the way that the symbols change as you move along the row. The same thing will happen in each row so we need to examine our two sample rows. The shading in the second row is angled top-left to bottom-right for the first symbol but then the opposite way for the other two. The bottom row has identical ‘shading’ in the first and third and opposite for the middle one. This suggests a dead-end for our basic logic so we need to look at something else.

The lines move from the left or right to the opposite side but only in the third box, while in the first row that doesn’t happen. If you (or your child) have not sussed it out yet, it’s time to head back to the original list and look for something else. Imagine that you are using a mirror and reflecting the symbols in a horizontal or vertical axis; this is something which all children should have experience of by year 5 if not earlier. The first image can be treated as the basic shape. If you reflect that image in a horizontal axis (in other words flip it over, top to bottom) then the second image is created. The third image is the first image reflected in the vertical axis (in other words flip it across, from left to right).

So, the answer to this puzzle is ‘a’. The arrow flips to pointing upwards, the line flips to the bottom of the box and, importantly, the shading is flipped to face the opposite way. There are several tricky elements thrown into this question but it’s basically simple – reflect the objects.

Go to the next Non Verbal Reasoning working example - Progression - Fill in the Blank in a 2 x 2 Grid

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