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Activities To Improve Scores in CTOPP for RNNCS Tests

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My 6 year old was recently tested and scored very low in Matrix reasoning and fluid reasoning. Also very low in Rapid Non-Symbolic naming. He scored average on almost everything else except verbal he was above average. He has difficulty in reading and writing. What are some games and activities I can use to strengthen these areas? Thanks.

A: I believe your son took the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP) for Rapid Non-Symbolic Naming Composite Score (RNNCS) measures the child's ability to include efficient retrieval of phonological information from long-term or permanent memory and execute a sequence of operations quickly and repeatedly. The RNNCS is comprised of the Rapid Color Naming and Rapid Object Naming subtests.

For this you can use a programme of reading practice that incorporates rapid naming practice into it. The activity should also address visual tracking, which may cause reading problems. When you combine the training you alleviate two problems with one practice. However, it would be best to check if your son has any learning difficulty especially since he scored above average on verbal. If he has a reading problem, perhaps you may want to get him some help. Read a little about it at

A low score on Matrix Reasoning may demonstrate mild problems processing visual stimuli and some difficulties with nonverbal reasoning skills. To improve this, general teaching methods that consist of making visual-motor tasks easier for the child should be used. For e.g., use of large print, large copy work, minimizing distracting influences, guides for visual-motor work, gross-motor exercises, and others can be used. For finer coordination, activities can be gradually introduced when the child progresses (e.g., physical education or gymnastics).

He can also benefit from auditory teaching methods. For instance, activities that involve identifying and recognizing letters is essential (e.g., matching letters or whole words). He will also benefit from finding and outlining forms, pictures, and even letters that are hidden in a large picture. Puzzles (with various designs, letters, pictures, words, etc) are also very helpful. Make sure that left-to-right orientation should be reinforced by aiming at a target moving from left to right. Structured art and free drawing such as tracing, copying, finger painting, colouring, and other similar activities are beneficial as well. Fluid intelligence can be improved by training on working memory. Read more on fluid reasoning at the following sites:

Hope that sheds some light. Good luck.


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