NAPLAN Grade 5 - Ultimate Test Prep Guide for Parents

Afraid Your Child’s High School Application will be Rejected? Grade 5 NAPLAN Matters!

Low NAPLAN Band Scores leads to Loss of Opportunities (and what’s NAPLAN Online Grade 5?)

NAPLAN Online Grade 5 will be the last NAPLAN test that your child will do before they go on to one of their biggest and nerve-wrecking school changes—high school. And… that’s why NAPLAN Grade 5 is one of the most important exams!

Hamish Taylor, a 9-year-old boy understands the importance of NAPLAN:

The teachers told me that if you don’t do well in NAPLAN you won’t get a good education… and then if you don’t get a good education you can’t get a good job (ABC).

NAPLAN Online Grade 5 is an online 4-part test (by the National Assessment Program) on numeracy and literacy. There are usually 124 questions to be answered within a total of around 3 hours spaced over a number days – see what it tests in detail and how your child can do well.

High NAPLAN scores create more opportunities for your child, while low NAPLAN scores can mean your child LOSES opportunities.

Just how important is NAPLAN in creating opportunities?

Super important! NAPLAN results factor into high school applications as one parent, Lily Taylor, found out:

“Every high school we have applied for has asked for the NAPLAN results as part of the application, so we can only assume that they're going to be looking at those NAPLAN results and using them to compare children,” Ms Taylor said (ABC).

NAPLAN results are so important that schools not only use them for high school selection but also for student opportunities like:

  • Scholarships
  • Academic awards
  • Placements in special, advancement and extension classes
  • Enrolments when your child changes school

If your child doesn’t do well in NAPLAN Grade 5, they may be overlooked for these opportunities or miss out altogether... Just from one test.

Afraid your child won’t be selected into the right high school? Or miss out on opportunities, just from one test?

What does NAPLAN Grade 5 Online test you on (test format, number of questions and time limit)?

NAPLAN Grade 5 is a 4-part test that is done online. It is based on the Australian curriculum and only examines literacy and numeracy – the essential skills your child will need to do things later in life – like write a resume and be able to get a job.

The 4 parts along with their description (including time limits and number of questions per test *) are shown below:


Number of questions: 37 questions
What’s the time limit*? 50 minutes
Time per question* ~ 81 seconds

Whether your child can read, understand what they read and think more deeply about a text. It’s not just simply answering the question by locating the exact passage in the text, but also, finding connections between the things that are not stated in the text. Texts vary from creative text, autobiographies, informative articles etc… and may include illustrations.


Number of questions: 1 writing prompt
What’s the time limit*? 40 minutes
Time per question* ~ 40 minutes

If your child can write clearly based on what the prompt requests them to do. They should be writing in paragraphs and ordering their piece. They should also write clearly (correct grammar) and edit (check) their work.

Language Convention

Number of questions: 50 questions
What’s the time limit*? 40 minutes
Time per question* ~ 48 seconds

Spelling, when to use certain punctuation like question marks, when to use certain words (fill in the blanks), word types e.g. verbs, adjectives etc…, sentence structure and ordering, plurals etc…


Number of questions: 36 questions
What’s the time limit*? 50 minutes
Time per question* ~ 83 seconds

Basic mathematics (like adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing), fractions, measurement etc… in worded format so you have to comprehend the question and then figure out how to answer it. It’s more about the application and problem solving using mathematics rather than completing simple equations.

﹡The number of questions have been taken from the 2017 report and the time limit based on NAPLAN 2017 schedule (link no longer available). Please note that the authoritative body can change the number of questions and time limits from year to year so please refer to their websites for the most up to date information. Time per question is calculated by taking the time limit divided by number of questions.

You’ll see that the time your child really has on average to complete each question over the 3 tests (excluding writing) is just 70 seconds per question! This is a time-driven exam that tests how well your child knows and uses literacy and numeracy.

How can your child do well in NAPLAN Online Grade 5?

NAPLAN scales your child’s results based on bands. The lowest band is 1 and the highest band is 10. For Grade 5, if your child’s results are in Band 4, they’re only meeting the minimum national standard (usually below “C” grade) while Bands 5 – 7 represent the average and what most students get (usually a “C” to “B” grade in schools) and Bands 8 and higher are above average (usually “A” grade).

There are 2 major things for your child to tick off in order to do well in NAPLAN Online Grade 5. They are:

  1. Become familiar with the online platform, and,
  2. Prepare for the test.

1. Become familiar with the online platform

The National Assessment Program has made the online platform available for public access through a demonstration site (you can access the NAPLAN Online demonstration site by clicking here).

Your child should go onto the site and navigate around as there are timers and different types of functionality (for example, drag and drop and interactive features and tabs) that would be useful in helping your child organise their work and of course, their time.

Managing time is a key aspect in doing well as your child should be completing each question in around 70 seconds (minus the writing test). Being familiar with the online platform means that your child doesn’t waste 10 minutes figuring out what to click and how to use the platform. It means they can jump right in to doing the questions. This is especially important, as it is a time-based test.

Your child’s success is driven by how many questions they can complete correctly in the short time frame.

2. Prepare for the test

There are ways your child can prepare for the test (for free) and the best way is to do practice papers.

The official NAPLAN paper papers are publicly available and you can download the 2008-2011 papers and 2012-2015 papers to practice on.

The only downside to this is that there are no solutions officially available. So… to get the most out of practice questions, your child should do them with a parent, teacher or tutor and pinpoint where their weaknesses are.

This is the most important part of learning from practice questions because finding out where your child needs help on (what are the missing areas of their knowledge?) means that they can take action to catch up on those areas. This means they’re acquiring the knowledge they need to apply it to other questions and do well.

It means they’re setting themselves up for future success.

Here's test preparation designed for your child's success

Test Banks

NAPLAN Grade 5 Online - Teaching Test Bank

Help your child get practice & learn with our NAPLAN Grade 5 Online teaching test bank. The teaching test bank combines online timed and untimed practice questions with a 'how-to' video to show your child how to answer the question in 5 steps or less.

Exam Success' teaching test bank will cover 600 multiple choice questions similar to NAPLAN Grade 5 and this is split up into:

  • Reading - 200 test questions.
  • Language convention - 200 test questions.
  • Numeracy - 200 test questions.

Available now for pre-ordering to access a special discount of 50% of full price off 1 month subscription.

Pre-ordering closes 31 January and Exam Success' teaching test bank for NAPLAN Grade 5 will be available 15 March 2019. Just in time for the May 2019 NAPLAN tests.

$AU48.00 + GST
One month access

Frequently Asked Questions

See answers to frequently asked questions by parents:

How close are your questions to the exam?

While no one can predict what will be in the exam, our questions have been reported by parents to be a similar standard, or harder. As such, your child will be getting test preparation that is similar to the exam so they will be thoroughly prepared.

When should my child start preparing for NAPLAN Grade 5?

We recommend at least 6 months beforehand so that preparation can be done in a way that is effective and doesn't place undue pressure.

How do I get access?

On purchase, you'll get access via your dashboard immediately. This is where you'll access all your test preparation material.

If I don't use everything in a month can I carry it over?

Access is time specific. There are no carry overs but what you can do is renew your subscription for the month.

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