10 Best Ways to Prepare for the NAPLAN

The NAPLAN is indicated on a test scale of 10 bands. This article walks you through exactly how to be a top scorer, keep reading to find out more...

a year ago   •   5 min read

By KIS Academics
Photo by Dan Dimmock / Unsplash

Preparing for the NAPLAN can be daunting. Whether you're sitting it for the first or last time, you may not know what to expect or how to prepare. But we are here to help you, with some tips and advice on how to start studying to ace your exams, and feel confident and calm when NAPLAN time rolls around!


So… what is NAPLAN?

NAPLAN stands for National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy. This means that every year, all Australian grade 3, 5, 7, and 9 students have to sit a series of tests to assess their abilities. These tests include Numeracy, Language Conventions, Writing, and Reading.

The idea of so many tests may feel overwhelming, but something important to remember is that your results are used to gauge what students do and don't know so that schools can gain information about your learning needs.

Here are 10 Exam Tips for your NAPLAN study

1.  Set goals

It’s difficult to prepare when we aren’t sure what we are trying to prepare for. Before we begin our test preparation, we first need to decide what we would like to achieve during the NAPLAN. Whether it is a certain band level, a desire to perform well in a subject you find challenging, or you simply just want to answer every question in the test, this is something you need to decide. With a goal in mind, you can structure your preparation around this.

2.  Read a large variety of texts

We absorb a lot of information without even realising it when we read. Reading a wide variety of texts, whether it be nonfiction or fiction, recipes or even instruction manuals will benefit your reading and comprehension skills. By reading widely, you are less likely to be caught off guard by unfamiliar texts, allowing you to feel more confident and prepared during this section of the test.

3.  Take note of any unfamiliar words

Similarly, when reading texts, have you ever found yourself unsure of what a word might mean, but ignored it? To help improve your comprehension and spelling skills, you may find it beneficial to pay attention to any words you are unsure of and look up the meaning. This will strengthen your vocabulary, and encourage you to pay close attention to spelling you may not have previously.

4.  Find some Past exam papers

An effective way to prepare for the NAPLAN is to use past exam papers. A variety of tests from previous years can be found on the ACARA website. These tests will provide you with an idea of the type of questions, how many questions are usually in each section, answers and content you need to prepare for.

5.  Plan how you will use your test time

You may find you struggle with the time constraints in exams. It is helpful to create strategies to manage your time and allow you to complete the test to the best of your abilities. Each test time varies according to the grade and subject, so be sure to look this up before you begin. A good strategy may be to complete a practice test in exam conditions; put away your phone, find a quiet space, and set a timer. Additionally, you could write an outline for how you will use your exam time at the very start of the test.

6.  Brainstorm ideas for different writing prompts

One major section of the NAPLAN is the writing section, which will require you to write either a persuasive or creative text. It is a good idea to review and use writing prompts. This will introduce you to formulate ideas and arguments for a wide range of topics. This will provide you with more ideas, and a better recall of text structure when you sit the writing section of your exam.

7.  Revise effectively

For best results when studying for the NAPLAN, you need to employ effective revision techniques. Some tips include starting your revision early to allow yourself plenty of time, taking regular breaks to keep your energy levels up and ensure your brain is not being overloaded, developing a study routine, and forming study groups with friends to exchange and teach information.

8.  Practice writing and using online content

NAPLAN has recently become an online exam, which may be an unfamiliar forum. Find time to practise your typing and navigation so you feel more comfortable using online tools on your test day. Note that you can use tools like copy and paste but there will be no spell check or autocorrect, so remember to check your work for typos.

9.  Good quality sleep

You cannot expect yourself to sit your test effectively on a tired brain. Part of your exam preparation is ensuring your body and mind are relaxed and well taken care of so you can stay focused during your test. The night before, try and carve out time for an early bedtime, so you can wake up feeling rested.

10.  Stay calm

Do not allow your nerves to undo any of your precious work. Take deep breaths and reassure yourself that you are prepared for whatever the test may bring. Staying calm can help prevent errors, improve your focus, and overall make your trial a more enjoyable and practical experience.


What do my NAPLAN results mean?

Performance is indicated on a test scale of 10 bands. The minimum standard bands will change as you move up year levels, however, your results will illustrate what the national average performance is, and where you sit about this.

What happens if I’m sick/can’t attend?

Students who are absent on the day of the NAPLAN exams may be able to complete catch-up testing if they return to school during the NAPLAN test window. If a student is absent from school, they will be counted as absent and will not receive results for these tests.

Where can I find my results?

Your school will most likely provide your parents with a copy of your NAPLAN report, if not they can request it to view your result.

Written by KIS Academics Tutor India Iwers. India currently offers to tutor for QCE Math Methods, Literature and Literature and English Extensions. India is planning to pursue a Bachelor of  Art History and Curatorship at Australian National University. You can view India’s profile here and request her as a tutor.

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