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Learn about Numeracy, Language Conventions, Reading, & Writing

If it's your first time taking the test, we have a detailed guide to get ahead in your preparation. If you've done the NAPLAN before, this guide also enhances your ability to approach questions with ease and accuracy.

NAPLAN tests have been a part of our discussion in the past. If you search, you will be able to find our posts on NAPLAN practice Language Convention tests. The tests itself need no introduction. The National Assessment Program conducts these tests every year. Many students ask why these tests are necessary?

Well, the answer is simple; they check whether a student is learning basic skills at school.

If you have given a NAPLAN test, you will know that there are no standard questions in it. Most of them are multiple choice questions based and test your literacy and numeracy skills.

The design of these exams makes sure that you are not only learning the concepts at school but understanding them as well.

NSW Year 9 test policy

Before we begin, there is news we would like to share with all Year, 9 students. In February this year, NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes made an announcement. He said that the state was getting rid of a plan which would link Year 9 results to the HSC qualification.

Although you still have to take the Year 9 test, there is no added stress to perform well for two qualifications. Moreover, that too, all at once! This news has been a sigh of relief for many parents and students.

Parts of the test

Now, returning to our discussion about the Year 9 tests. The sections of the test are similar in every term. It is the difficulty of the questions that change. From Year 3 all the way to Year 9, the level of the exam increases.

The sections of the test are as follows:



Conventions of Language which include spelling, grammar and punctuations,


Preparations for the test

You are a Year 9 NAPLAN candidate. Having made it through 3 sessions of NAPLAN test earlier, you are aware of the type of questions. We are pretty sure that you also understand the basic idea of the tests. They are different from the regular school exams. It is because school tests check what they have learnt. NAPLAN tests evaluate if you have understood what you have learnt.

It is why preparation for a NAPLAN test should begin right after you have assessed in Year 7. Here are a few tips to help you prepare:

In Mathematics, try to understand how a solution is obtained. If you don't understand it at first, ask the teacher. If there is still confusion, ask your parents to help.

For reading, writing and language conventions, the best thing is to practice reading. Find books that interest you. Get a hold of newspaper articles or any other posts that you find interesting. Build your vocabulary. Then practice writing some pieces about random topics. Ask your teachers to rate your work.

Practice is the key. For both Mathematics and English. The more you practice, the higher are your chances of understanding the concepts.

A few hints of what to expect

At this point, it would be a good idea to give you a few examples of Year 9 NAPLAN questions. You can join the NotesEdu NAPLAN FREE Trial subscription that consists of questions similar to the examination. The purpose of this trial tests is to make you aware of the type of questions to prepare for. Let us begin with numeracy:


A chemical compound contains carbon and oxygen atoms in the ratio 5:2. If there are 1500 atoms of carbon, how many atoms of oxygen are there in the chemical compound?

Answer Options






Question type explanation

This question tests the concept of ratios and proportion. This question asks to find the missing quantity in a proportion.



The comparison between two quantities of the same kind by division is called a ratio.

The symbol ‘:’ is used to express a ratio, which is read as ‘is to’.

For example, consider that Sarah’s height is 140 cm and Emma’s height is 136 cm.

We can say that Sarah’s height is times Emma’s height.

Also in terms of ratio, we write it as,

Sarah’s height: Emma’s height = 35:34.



When two ratios are equal, they are said to be in proportion. The symbol ‘::’ is used to show two equal proportions.

For example, since the ratios are equal, we write it as 140: 136:: 35:34.



Consider the proportion 3:4::6:x. To find the missing quantity, we solve

3/4 = 6/x

3x = 24 or x=8

Answer Explanation

Here, the ratios of the number atoms of carbon and oxygen are in proportion.

Let the number of oxygen atoms be x.

5:2 :: 1500:x

5/2 = 1500/x or 5x = 3000



Language Conventions:

GRAMMAR: Which sentence is correct?

(A)  Much dignitaries graced the royal wedding and gave their heartiest wishes to the couple.

(B)  Many dignitaries graced the royal wedding and gave their heartiest wishes to the couple.

(C)  Many dignitaries graced the royal wedding, gave there heartiest wishes to the couple.

(D)  Many dignitaries graced the royal wedding and gave they’re heartiest wishes to the couple.



Question type explanation: From the given options, choose the sentence that used the words and the punctuations correctly.

Tips: To answer this question, take a look at the options and whether the words have been used appropriately and the text has been properly punctuated.

Answer Explanation: The correct answer is option ‘B’. “Many” are used to refer to the quantity or number of people.

Note that “their” shows a possession while “they’re” is an abbreviation of “they are”.

SPELLING: Exccesive addiction to social networking has adverse effects on today’s youth.

(A)  Excesive

(B)  Excessive

(C)  Exsecive

(D)  Exccessive



Question type explanation: The spelling of the underlined word is wrong. Find the right spelling of the word from the provided options.

Tips: To answer this question, think about what could be the correct spelling and then look at the options to search for it. If you look at the options first, that might confuse you.

Answer Explanation: The correct answer is option ‘B’.

Note that in this spelling “s” is double and not “c”.


Punctuation: Which sentence has the correct punctuation?

(A)  I have known Mr Nelson for four years. Theres no reason to doubt the integrity of the man

(B)  I have known Mr nelson for four years. There’s no reason to doubt the integrity of the man.

(C)  I have known Mr Nelson for four years. There’s no reason to doubt the integrity of the man.

(D)  I have known mr Nelson for four years. There’s no reason to doubt the integrity of the man.


Question type explanation: From the given options, choose the sentence which has made the right use of punctuations.

Tips: To answer this question, take a look at the given sentence and think of how it should be punctuated. Consider the breaks in the sentence. From the given options, choose the one which uses the punctuations most appropriately.

Answer Explanation: The correct answer is option ‘C’. Use capital letters to begin proper nouns and titles. Use a full stop to end the sentence. “There’s” is an abbreviation of “there is”.

Reading and Writing:

In the reading section, certain passages are given for reading. A few multiple choice questions follow. Similarly, in the writing section, you have to express your views on a particular topic.

For example, in one paper the topic was; 'It is cruel to keep animals in cages.' Your goal was to agree or disagree. You had the choice to support both sides. This freedom exists because the test is judging your ability to structure the text.

No matter which side you support, your ideas should be convincing to the reader. You have to try and make them agree to your points. At the same time, there is no compromise on spellings and punctuations. Grammar is also of importance to the reader. Now, you might understand why practice plays a considerable role. More critical than practice is that you get feedback on it. It helps you know your weaknesses. It also helps your teacher know that you wish to ace the test.


You have to do it for yourself. It is your future. Think of the test not as an exam that you have to take. It is a learning opportunity for the future. Clear concepts will remain in your mind much longer as compared to learnt knowledge. We hope this article motivates you to achieve more.

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