Everything You Need to Know About NAPLAN

What is NAPLAN?

The National Assessment Program – Literary and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is a national exam for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It assesses students in reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy, ranking them among their school and national cohorts. NAPLAN assesses essential skills that are vital for students to progress and excel in their future education.

The development of NAPLAN has been essential for the government, schools, parents, and students to determine students’ academic performance. NAPLAN is critically critical to providing an insight into students’ strengths and weaknesses, allowing teachers to adopt student-centred pedagogies that address student struggles.

As an experienced primary teacher and tutor, a teacher’s role is to observe and become familiar with all his/her students’ different learning styles and cater to their needs. When teachers program and create their learning lessons, they factor in their students’ learning styles by providing them with creative, hands-on learning experiences for all these types of learners. Below are the different types of learners and their best ways to learn.

Why is NAPLAN important?

  • NAPLAN is not an exam that students pass or fail; instead, its purpose is to demonstrate students’ performance and allow teachers, parents and students to work together towards students’ academic goals. 
  • It allows teachers to cater to students’ needs and re-evaluate their teaching pedagogies and strategies.
  • It helps teachers to recognise the high achievers and students that need extra support.
  • For the government, NAPLAN acts as a form of insightful data that helps distribute funds to schools.
  • NAPLAN data also help education authorities to make better decisions regarding the academic curriculum.

The Ultimate Guide to ACING NAPLAN

We understand that preparing for NAPLAN can be highly stressful for parents and students. The uncertainly of the type of questions and content covered may lead some to feel overwhelmed and anxious. To help students and parents feel more confident when sitting the exam, The Thinking Cap has a comprehensive guide explaining everything you need to know to ace the exam along with practice questions.

Exam Structure

NAPLAN divides testing into four sections that students complete over three consecutive days. 

Test 1: Reading and Writing 

Test 2: Language Conventions 

Test 3: Numeracy


They will provide students with various text types for the exam’s reading component, ranging from narratives, poems, posters, essays, blogs, and many more. The reading exam assesses how well your child can comprehend the texts through a series of multiple-choice questions and short answer responses. The questions asked in comprehension tests are either literal or interpretive.  Literal questions ask students to retrieve information from the text, while interpretive questions are more challenging and rely on students’ critical thinking skills to answer them correctly.


The writing section constitutes the second component of test 1, to which students must complete immediately after reading. Here, students will be assessed on their ability to formulate complex sentences and develop a sophisticated response based on the question and stimulus provided in the exam. 

The writing component can be either an imaginative story or a persuasive essay. Each text type also has a unique writing structure with its language features. Therefore, becoming familiar with the marking criteria is critical for understanding the expectations and requirements needed to score a high mark.

Writing Conventions

Writing convention is the second NAPLAN test students must complete, comprising of spelling, punctuation and grammar. 

For spelling, students must identify the misspelt word and write the correct spelling. Other times, they must correct the spelling of a term given to them already misspelt. 

Punctuation questions examine the use of:

  • Quotation marks 
  • Commas
  • Colons
  • Semi-colons
  • Dashes
  • Ellipsis Marks
  • Apostrophe 
  • Italics

Grammar assesses the correct use of tense and students’ ability to select the appropriate use of a function according to the sentence provided.


The Numeracy exam assesses students’ abilities in three different areas:

  • Numbers and Algebra
  • Measurement and Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability

These topics will demonstrate your child’s understanding and application of mathematical concepts. The numeracy exam now consists of 48 questions, whereby it initially consisted of 64 questions varying from multiple choice to short answer.

How to Ensure Your Child is Given the Best Opportunity to ACE the Exam


We know that many parents and students feel more anxious and stressed as the NAPLAN exam dates come closer. Preparing for NAPLAN is very different from any other school assessment and exam. It requires the development of skills over time. Through high-quality preparation offered at The Thinking Cap, your child will develop confidence in their abilities to perform and answer questions with reassurance.  

There is a widespread myth that students cannot study for the exam due to its unpredictable nature. We are here to tell you that this is entirely false! NAPLAN preparation is a crucial element that plays a significant role in increasing your child’s chances of achieving higher results. 

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed with Pressure and Unsure of How Your Child Should Prepare For NAPLAN?

Thankfully, The Thinking Cap team has got you covered!

At The Thinking Cap, we run six weeks NAPLAN workshops that target and identify student knowledge gaps. The workshops are offered for all NAPLAN years (Years 3, 5, 7 and 9) to guide students before the exam.  Our expert tutors go through practice papers with students to familiarise students with the format of the exam and the style of the questions. Practice papers are crucially important as they allow students to ask questions and seek clarification on any confusion. Within the six weeks workshop, each lesson covers a different topic. In the end, our ultimate goal would be to empower students to feel more confident when sitting the exam.

NAPLAN Workshop 1: Reading Strategies

  • Students learn to analyse and interpret texts.
  • Students learn the purpose of different text types when representing and portraying ideas. 
  • Students learn to become critical thinkers.
  • Students develop comprehension reading skills that will assist in the Reading component of the exam.

NAPLAN Workshop 2: Writing Strategies- Persuasive Writing

  • Students learn the structure and language features that are essential to the text type.
  • Students learn the purpose of persuasive writing and understand the language techniques necessary to persuade an audience.
  • Students are provided with the marking criteria for NAPLAN to become aware of higher scoring responses requirements.
  • Students are provided with a high scoring NAPLAN response to perceive how the expectations can be implemented when writing.
  • Students receive feedback on their writing.

NAPLAN Workshop 3: Writing Strategies- Narratives

  • Students learn the structure and language features that are vital to the text type.
  • Students learn the purpose of narratives and understand the language techniques necessary to craft an imaginative story.
  • Students receive the marking criteria for NAPLAN to become aware of the requirements for higher scoring responses.
  • Students are provided with a high scoring NAPLAN response to perceive the expectations.
  • Students receive feedback on their writing.

NAPLAN Workshop 4: Language Conventions

  • Students learn various spelling techniques.
  • Students learn the rules of punctuations.
  • Students learn the appropriateness of grammatical functions in sentences.

NAPLAN Workshop 5: Numeracy

  • For year 7 and 9, students will practice numeracy questions that involve a calculator.
  • For year 3 and 5, students will learn to develop problem-solving skills in Algebra, Number, Probability, Statistics, Measurement and Geometry.

NAPLAN Workshop 6: Numeracy

  • For year 7 and 9, students will practice numeracy questions without a calculator.
  • For year 3 and 5, students will continue to practice questions on Algebra, Number, Probability, Statistics, Measurement and Geometry.

Why choose The Thinking Cap?

  • Learn from our specialised workshops that feature exclusive tips and tricks on how to ace the exam
  • Seek personalised teaching in small groups
  • Achieve higher results with the help of our experts

Still unsure?

The Thinking Cap is an expert team of tutors that prioritise your child’s learning through high-quality preparation. We have a team of tutors who understand the pressure NAPLAN can place for students and are ready to help. With 16 years of experience with tutoring students, The Thinking Cap is very familiar with the exam structure and the challenges that students may face. But don’t worry, we have you covered! The Thinking Cap NAPLAN workshops offer practice material, techniques, and comprehensive class discussions on the exam’s set topics.

If group classes are not suitable for your child, we offer one on one help too!

As mentors and inspirational role models, The Thinking Cap tutors are ready to create an impact on your child’s learning experience. We offer tutoring for all Years from K-12, as well as one on one lessons for students who need help. 

For more information to enrol your child and ACE NAPLAN exams, give us a call on 0415 625 525 or check us out on Facebook & Insgtagram!

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