Non-verbal Reasoning Introduction

The following is a guide to help you understand the basics of Non-Verbal Reasoning: Components, Shifts, Manipulations/Changes and Sequences. 


NVR questions are made using different components, such as lines, shapes, shading and patterns.


Various line shapes and line types are used.

Line Types:eleven plus non verbal reasoning typesLine Thickness:eleven plus non verbal reasoning types
Line Shapes:eleven plus non verbal reasoning line shapesExamples of other line shapes:eleven plus non verbal reasoning other line shapes


Non-Verbal Reasoning shapes can be thought of in terms of two different groups.

Standard Shapes:eleven plus non verbal reasoning standard shapesNon-Standard Shapes:eleven plus non verbal reasoning non-standard shapes

Shading and Patterns

Shapes can be filled in a variety of ways.

Solid Shading:eleven plus non verbal reasoning solid shadingLine Shading:eleven plus non verbal reasoning line shadingLattice Patterns:eleven plus non verbal reasoning lattice patterns


Irregular Patterns:eleven plus non verbal reasoning irregular patternsSpotted Patterns:eleven plus non verbal reasoning spotted patterns


In Non-Verbal Reasoning questions, shapes can shift in various ways. They can transpose, rotate, reflect or overlay.


eleven plus non verbal reasoning transpose

Shapes can move vertically, horizontally or diagonally.


eleven plus non verbal reasoning rotate

Shapes can move Clockwise or Anti-Clockwise.


a) Mirror Reflection eleven plus non verbal reasoning mirror reflections

Shapes can be mirrored using a line of Reflection (the shape will reflect and move from its original position).

b) Vertical Flipeleven plus non verbal reasoning vertical flipc) Horizontal Flipeleven plus non verbal reasoning horizontal flip

The line of Reflection runs through the shape (the shape will invert and stay in its original position).


eleven plus non verbal reasoning overlay eleven plus non verbal reasoning pverlay

Shapes can overlap each other or merge together. 


Shapes can be changed and manipulated in a variety of ways. 


A shape can change in size or transform by squashing and stretching.

eleven plus non verbal reasoning transform shape 11 plus non verbal reasoning


One or more new shapes can change the original shape.

eleven plus addition non-verbal reasoningThe original shape can be copied once or more often
eleven plus NVRThe number of shapes can change in regular intervals


Parts can be removed to create a new shape.

eleven plus non-verbal reasoning parts 


Shapes can make a sequence (pattern) by either repeating the same movement (or change to the components) or by increasing/decreasing in size or number in a regular interval.

Movement Sequence

movement sequence eleven plus non-verbal reasoning

Repetitive movement through rotation – 90 degrees clockwise. The shading also alternates in the above example.

Size and Number Sequence

 numbers and sequence eleven plus NVR eleven plus non-verbal reasoning

Be aware that more than one change can happen in Non-Verbal Reasoning questions. In easier questions you might have just one or two changes that happen to shapes, however questions with as many as 5 different changes are more complex to solve and more practice is needed to be able to identify these changes quickly.

Now it’s Your Turn!

Have a go yourself and start with our free NVR Initial Assessment in My 11PLUS (Chuckra Online Assessment Tool).

11+ Premium Access
Want thousands of 11+ questions?
Get over 5000 thousand practice questions plus tests, games and worksheets with 11 Plus Premium.

Current special £240.00 £39.00

What type of 11+ parent are you?

A Fussy Parent, a Tiger Mum, an Exocet Missile, a Give it a go Parent...

Join The 11 Plus Group on Facebook to find out.

Need help? See Website Support or contact us.

2 comments on “Non-verbal Reasoning Introduction

Leave a comment on: "Non-verbal Reasoning Introduction"