NAPLAN are a series of literacy and numeracy tests that take place in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 of your schooling. In relation to literacy, there are three tests that you will be required to complete in year 7:

  • Language Conventions (Spelling and Grammar)
  • Reading (Language Comprehension)
  • Writing (Persuasive or Narrative Writing)

Language Conventions Test

This test requires students to identify and correct spelling errors and to answer multiple- choice grammar and punctuation questions. There are 57 questions.

Test time: 45 mins

Reading Test

In the reading tests students are provided with a colour magazine containing various text types. Students are required to read each text type independently and then complete multiple-choice and short answer questions in their test books.

Test time: 65 mins

Writing Test

Students are provided with a writing stimulus and asked to complete a persuasive or narrative writing task.

Test time: 40 mins

It is not necessarily possible to prepare specifically for these tests. However, it is possible to familiarise yourself with the testing format (which can take a lot of getting used to) and the general concepts that examiners will be looking for in your responses.

Persuasive Writing (Essay)

You could be asked to write a persuasive essay in response to a prompt (for example, whether junk food should be banned, or if toys are a waste of time).

NAPLAN Essay Assessment Rubric. A good way to prepare for the persuasive essay is to know what you are being assessed on. The following rubric is a simplified version of the official NAPLAN assessment criteria. You should read through it carefully, and make sure that your writing hits as many of the ‘high’ criteria as possible: NAPLAN Persuasive Writing Rubric

Persuasive Techniques Handout. The following document explains some of the persuasive techniques that you can use during the essay-writing portion of NAPLAN. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the techniques discussed here, and use as many as you can in your NAPLAN essay: Persuasive Language Techniques

Become an Examiner, Grade an Essay! The following handout includes two essays: one which has been graded, and one which you need to grade. Read them both carefully, go through the marks/feedback for the first essay, and then have a go at marking the second essay yourselves. Instructions are in the document: Naplan Essay Comparison.

Persuasive Writing Template. Print off and use the following template and use it to write a persuasive essay on the topic ‘Should mobile phones be banned from classrooms?’. Remember to look at the samples and examples first, and write in proper paragraphs using the prompts as a guide. Once you have completed an essay on the mobile phones prompt, you can swap it out for another issue, such as ‘Should animals be kept in cages?’, ‘Should all children play a sport?’ or ‘Should school students have to wear a uniform?’ You can download the template here: NAPLAN Persuasive Essay Template (Mobile phones)

NAPLAN Essay Structure. Below is an annotated version of a NAPLAN persuasive essay response. Read through it carefully, look at how it is written and structured, and take special note of how the various persuasive techniques are used:

Narrative Writing (Story)

You may be required to write a narrative in response to a prompt.

Remember that a story must follow the following narrative structure:

  • Orientation: set up your story
  • Complication: develop the situation
  • Resolution: how it all works out


You only have 40 minutes to complete the task, so make sure you get right to the action:

  • ›Select unexpected topics; create complications…they add interest.
  • ›Avoid long introductions and lengthy descriptions.
  • ›Avoid just simply recounting events with no complications…BORING!


Remember the importance of character and setting:

  • ›Select details to create distinct, memorable characters. You might use convincing dialogue to show character traits or reactions.
  • ›Choose details to create a sense of the place and atmosphere. The setting could be used to create suspense.


Remember to show, don’t tell, in your writing:

  • Let the readers SEE it for themselves
  • Let the readers FEEL it for themselves
  • Use STRONG verbs (crept, careened…)
  • Use different SENSES

When writing a narrative in response to the prompt, you should use the following checklist:

  • Start with SETTING: What is the place and time of the story?
  • Then establish the CHARACTER: Who are they and what are they doing?
  • Have you opened with a HOOK?
  • Have you included AT LEAST TWO similes?
  • Have you included SENSES (what they see, hear, smell and feel)?
  • Have you included interesting VERBS and ADJECTIVES?
  •  Have you USED ONE TENSE?
  • Have you CONCLUDED your story?
  • Use MINIMAL dialogue. If you use it the character must be CLEARLY identified.

NAPLAN Narrative Writing Assessment Rubric. A good way to prepare for the narrative is to know what you are being assessed on. The following rubric the official NAPLAN assessment criteria. NAPLAN narrative assessment sheet