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Wechsler Non-Verbal Scale of Ability (WNV)

The Wechsler Non-Verbal Scale of Ability (WNV) is a flexible assessment which provides a non-verbal measure of ability. This can be compared to a set of standardised scores. The assessment is delivered without relying on verbal instruction, therefore minimising the risk of a participant's ability to hear, understand or process language invalidating an assessment, or calling assessment results into question. Instructions are delivered through the use of pictorial directions. The assessment consists of Matrices, Object Assembly, Coding, Recognition, Spatial Span and Picture Arrangement. If preferred, a brief version can be done using two subtests to yield a single ability score.

Age range

4–21 years, 11 months

Who can use it?

This is a closed assessment and can only be administered by someone who is registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) as a practitioner psychologist and is also a chartered psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

What does it give us?

The WNV provides a non-verbal scale of ability that can be compared to a standardised population.

How is it used?

The WNV is administered as a sequence of subtests under strict guidelines to ensure comparable results. A brief two-subtest assessment takes 15–20 minutes. A four-subtest assessment takes 45 minutes.

The test was specifically created for individuals for whom English is not a first language, deaf individuals and those with language difficulties or disorders.


  • It gives a standardised score that does not rely on verbal instructions, thereby giving an insight into a child’s non-verbal cognitive ability without being influenced by their language skills.
  • It has pictorial instructions.
  • It is quick to carry out.
  • It is easily accessible for children.
  • It can be used to highlight and supplement other scores from the Wechsler series.
  • It provides insight into a child's progress in school.
  • It can be used in a linguistically diverse population.
  • Online marking and report writing via the Weschler Non-Verbal Scoring Assistant.


  • It can only be carried out by a narrow band of professionals.
  • Other assessments may be required to explore reasons behind lack of progress.

Is there a cost?


Where can I access it?