NAPLAN Reading Test: What is it & How to Prepare Your Child 

Going through school is never easy, and it can feel even more daunting when students feel unprepared or nervous for upcoming assessments such as NAPLAN. Incorporating these tips and tricks will assist your child going into the NAPLAN Reading Test and ensure they achieve the best results. 

What is the NAPLAN Reading test?

NAPLAN assesses the literacy and numeracy skills of all Australian school students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. According to the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) the tests provide parents and schools with a better understanding of how students are performing. They are also able to provide schools, states, and territories with information regarding which areas across education need to be prioritised for improvement. 

This is NOT a high stakes test, but the data gathered is valuable in assisting the development of Australian children and their education. For more information, check out the other NAPLAN myths our tutors have busted! 

The NAPLAN Reading Comprehension section varies across primary and high school. Students are given a reading booklet containing short pieces of text. Then with multiple choice and short answer questions, their knowledge, and interpretation of language conventions in context are tested. Students in Year 3 and 5 will be given 45-50 minutes, and students in Year 7 and 9 will be given 65 minutes to complete the NAPLAN reading comprehension section. 

6 Ways to Help Your Child Prepare for the NAPLAN Reading Test

Do not worry! A Team has some tips and tricks on how to support your child for NAPLAN. 

1. Encourage Your Child to Read Regularly

Students with a regular reading schedule will find the NAPLAN reading testing much easier, this is because they have become accustomed to encountering new words and phrases, building up their vocabulary. One great technique is to set up a time or day for family reading! Encourage everyone to bring a book and read together, normalising casual reading for your child can make the task feel less daunting for them!

2. Recommend Books Your Child Will Love

If you find your child is struggling to find books they enjoy, try finding books that correspond to their personal interests or hobbies. For example, if your child loves the fantastical worlds of Harry Potter, try recommending another series like Percy Jackson. 

Another fun strategy is to set up a bookstore shopping day! Allow your child to wander around and find a book that captures their interest and imagination. Make sure that your child knows that reading CAN be fun, that is a way for us to explore new worlds and go on exciting adventures! 

3. Help Your Child Improve Their Vocabulary

When your child is reading, they may encounter language that is new to them, a way of keeping track of this would be to keep track of words they are unsure about as they read. This can be a great way to build up their vocabulary skills and develop their comprehension skills. Building on this skill can also greatly benefit them in their future studies. For high school students who may be struggling to achieve that illustrious A grade, check out “How to Get an A in English”. 

4. Ask Your Child Questions About What Their Reading 

Once your child has found a book they enjoy, ask them questions about it to assist them in broadening their understanding. This can help them comprehend the stories meaning, themes or purpose, which may be asked of them during the NAPLAN reading comprehension test. 

5. Encourage Your Child to Write a Summary About What They’re Reading

Another skill that will be assessed during the NAPLAN reading comprehension test is how well your child can summarise the important parts of a text. This can include major characters, themes, or narratives. To practise this and prepare for the NAPLAN reading section, they can write a summary about each book they read in a journal! Having a fun journal and pen can also help encourage them to do this. 

6. Hire a Tutor

If you need extra assistance, having an English tutor to assist with NAPLAN preparation can be very beneficial. We here at A Team Tuition understand that time does not always allow us to be as involved, that’s why we are here to help and find a tutor that is a good fit for your child! The benefits of tutoring include consistent practice for your child, fun and engaging ways of learning, the comfort of knowing your child will have all the support they need in boosting their confidence or building on any skills that may be lacking as result of COVID-19 school lockdowns, online learning, or busy classrooms.    

NAPLAN Reading Comprehension Example Questions 

An example of the Grade 3 NAPLAN reading comprehension:

Sara’s Early Morning

On Saturday morning, Sara got up early to play football. 

She put on her football shirt and black shorts. Then, she pulled on some long socks. Next, she carried her football boots to the door and put them on. 

‘I thought you played football on Sunday, not Saturday!’ said Sara’s dad. 

‘Oh, yeah!’ said Sara, and she went back to bed. 


  • What did Sara plan to do on Saturday morning? 
      1. homework 
      2. play football 
      3. go horse-riding 
      4. make breakfast 
  • According to the text, what was Sara’s mistake? 

For other examples and past test papers, check out the ACARA website. 

Need a Helping Hand Preparing Your Child for the NAPLAN Reading Test?

Consistency is important when assisting your child, this can involve checking in with teachers, forming a study group or working with a private tutor. At A Team Tuition, we acknowledge that results cannot be expected overnight, but small, incremental changes are valuable to building a strong work ethic and meeting your child’s goals. 

If your child has a disability, there are programs and systems in place to assist them during the NAPLAN testing. These include – but are not limited to – alternative formatting, assistive technology, and extra time. 

Looking to help your child with their NAPLAN reading test? A Team Tuition is here to help. With our tried and true tutoring methods, we can help your child succeed in their NAPLAN tests with our at-home and online tutoring. Find a tutor near you today!