How to Prepare Students for NAPLAN


Written by Holly (Teach Starter)

It’s a sensitive issue, however, whether we like it or not, NAPLAN is rolling around for another year!

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We can discuss how detrimental it is to our students’ well-being. How it forces teachers to teach to the test. However, there are many worthwhile activities and resources we can use to prepare our students as much as possible.

Preparing students with the knowledge and skills required will allow a less stressful experience for them.

Here are some fantastic and worthwhile activities and ideas you can use in your classroom right now!

Rapid Writing Sessions

In the writing element of NAPLAN, students are provided with a writing prompt and 40 minutes to produce either a persuasive or narrative piece of writing.

The big thing that I noticed with my students was the time limit! This often stressed them out, especially if they were struggling to understand which genre to write about.

This is where incorporating ‘rapid writing’ into your daily routine will help your students prepare for that time restriction.

Here are some fantastic writing stimulus resources that you can use during a rapid writing session:

Use a timer and only allow a certain amount of time for the students to write.

You could also use our persuasive and narrative writing stimulus sheets to encourage the discussions on what genre to use.

Teach the Genres!

The other teaching opportunity is to focus on persuasive and narrative structure and language elements.

Our talented teachers and graphic designers have developed some amazing units that are easy to follow and include all the resources you could possibly need.

Developing Persuasive Writing Skills – Year 3 and Year 4 Unit Plan

Developing Narrative Skills – Year 3 and Year 4 Unit Plan

Writing Persuasive Texts – Year 5 and Year 6 Unit Plan

Writing Narrative Texts – Year 5 and year 6 Unit Plan

Feedback is Crucial

Using either our NAPLAN-style Assessment Rubric – Persuasive Writing or our NAPLAN-style Assessment Rubric – Narrative Writing, provide as much feedback as possible during your students’ writing practice of each of these genres.

Numeracy Preparation

Not all NAPLAN preparation has to be a practice test in test conditions.

Why not do a maths problem of the day! You could do this as a whole class, alternatively, you could give small groups different word problems to work out together!

Here are some problem-solving teaching resources:

Laminate task cards and have them readily available for students to focus on during maths rotations.

By utilising our Problem Solving Mat you are able to check back and see how each student tried to work out each problem.

Maths Word Problems

Another idea is to laminate and cut up some of the practise NAPLAN-style tests.

During maths rotations, have one station dedicated to answering these questions.

Providing students with similar NAPLAN-style questions, better prepares them for what to expect on the day.

Use our Numeracy Assesment Tool – Year 3 or Numeracy Assessment Tool – Year 5 for this activity.

NAPLAN-style Question Cards

Reading Preparation

The reading element of NAPLAN assesses whether students can do more than just decode the words on a page. It tests the extent of their vocabulary and whether they can infer information from the texts.

Explicitly teach comprehension strategies in isolation and then with multiple other strategies. Check out our blog – 25 Ideas and Resources for Teaching Comprehension in the Classroom.

We also have some NAPLAN-style comprehension tasks that you could do with your class leading up to NAPLAN.

NAPLAN Reading Magazine – Year 3

NAPLAN Reading Magazine

NAPLAN Reading Magazine – Year 5

NAPLAN Reading Magazine

Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar Preparation

We have a range of resources that could help increase your students’ capabilities to determine the correct or incorrect use of punctuation, spelling or grammar.

Use our editing passages as individual activities or literacy rotation task cards for students to find spelling mistakes and the incorrect use of punctuation.

I deleted the background of the PowerPoint and printed two slides to a page to create these fantastic task cards you can use again and again.

Editing Task Cards

We have some fantastic NAPLAN – Language Conventions Spelling PowerPoints Year 3 and Year 5.

You can use as a PowerPoint for a whole class activity, alternatively, print the slides (two to a page) and laminate the answer slide to the back of the question slide.

A great way for students to identify incorrect spelling in a sentence.

NAPLAN Language Conventions Task Cards

Check out some of our NAPLAN-style practice tests:

Give us Your Hints and Tips

We love to hear from teachers in the classroom! Tell us what you do or don’t do to prepare your students for NAPLAN.

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Comments & feedback

  • Kate Hawkes

    Holly you’re a life saver – this post & the accompanying resources are fabulous! Thank you 🙂

    Comment by Kate Hawkes on February 23, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    • Holly (Teach Starter) Holly (Teach Starter)

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment Kate! It is always a little bit of a tricky topic, so I tried to give worthwhile activities that teachers could use in the classroom!
      I am so glad these resources are helpful to you!
      Kind regards

      Official comment by Holly (Teach Starter) on February 24, 2017 at 11:40 am

  • Celia Nichols

    Many, many thanks!

    Comment by Celia Nichols on February 27, 2017 at 11:52 am

    • Holly (Teach Starter) Holly (Teach Starter)

      No worries Celia!
      Kind regards,

      Official comment by Holly (Teach Starter) on February 27, 2017 at 12:03 pm

  • Elleni Papageorgiou

    This is great!! Year 7 resources would be even better

    Comment by Elleni Papageorgiou on April 27, 2017 at 2:15 pm

  • Trish Beard

    Love these NAPLAN resources. Teaching Year 3 for the first time and these resources are giving me lots of ideas and helping me to feel a little more confident in my teaching. Thanks.

    Comment by Trish Beard on February 28, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    • Holly (Teach Starter) Holly (Teach Starter)

      Hi Trish,
      That’s fantastic! So glad you have found this blog useful! Best of luck.

      Official comment by Holly (Teach Starter) on February 28, 2018 at 12:52 pm

  • Heather DeWatteville Doe

    This is awesome 🙂

    Comment by Heather DeWatteville Doe on March 26, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    • Holly (Teach Starter) Holly (Teach Starter)

      Thanks for your comment Heather! Glad you found this helpful.

      Official comment by Holly (Teach Starter) on March 28, 2018 at 9:34 am

  • Manoji Sunda

    where may I find the answers for the NAPLAN Year 3 Magazine comprehension questions?

    Comment by Manoji Sunda on April 21, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    • Jill (Teach Starter) Jill (Teach Starter)

      Hi Manoji, thank you for your comment. When you download the magazine, the answers are included in the PDF file. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with.

      Official comment by Jill (Teach Starter) on April 22, 2019 at 1:37 pm

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