AQL (Academic and Quantitative Literacy) Test Prep

Academic and Quantitative Literacy

The National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) help measure how well students can use academic and math skills. They were started in 2005 by Universities South Africa. The goal was to check if candidates are ready for university-level work. The NBTs look at how well students can read, learn, and do math. They make sure students are put in the right classes and help improve university programs.

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Key Takeaways

  • The NBTs measure a candidate’s proficiency in Academic Literacy, Quantitative Literacy, and Mathematics for tertiary education.
  • The tests help universities in student selection, placement, and curriculum development.
  • The AL and QL tests assess the application of knowledge and cognitive skills from secondary school.
  • Candidates are categorized into Basic, Intermediate, or Proficient levels based on their test performance.
  • Preparing for the AQL (Academic and Quantitative Literacy) tests is crucial for success in college entrance exams and university admissions.

Understanding the NBT Academic and Quantitative Literacy Tests

The National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) measure a candidate’s Academic Literacy and Quantitative Literacy. This helps see how ready they are for university studies. Results place candidates in Basic, Intermediate, or Proficient. These levels are set every three years to stay updated.

The Academic Literacy (AL) Test

The NBT AL test checks if you can find meaning in texts and understand how arguments work. It’s about pulling out the important parts, looking at photos and charts, and getting the point of what’s being said. It also checks if you get the subtler or figurative language and can tell what kind of text something is.

AL Subdomains

The AL test has multiple-choice questions about written and spoken text. They cover lots of areas like how information is connected, what’s really important, and how words work together. The test checks if you can really understand what’s written.

Exemplar AL Questions

The AL test shows university-level texts. After reading, you’ll face questions to see if you got the main ideas. It’s about picking out what an author meant, deciding what words mean, and understanding how texts are put together.

The Quantitative Literacy (QL) Test

The NBT QL test sees if you’re good with numbers and can understand information from graphs and stats. You need to manage and apply number skills in ways that university demands. The test looks at how well you’ve learned and can use numbers in an academic way.

QL Subdomains

The QL test has questions about numbers and ways to use them. These questions see if you’re good at working with numerical info, understand math relationships, and can use numbers to solve problems. It’s about math in practical situations.

Exemplar QL Questions

For QL, you’ll see questions that need you to read and understand graphs, tables, and such. They ask about the data shown to test your math and decision-making skills. It focuses on using math to solve real problems based on information given.

AQL (Academic and Quantitative Literacy) Test Preparation Strategies

To do well on the AQL (academic and quantitative literacy) tests, students need strong critical thinking. They should be able to look at info, make inferences, and solve problems. A good way to build this skill is by answering tough questions and seeing other points of view.

Developing Critical Thinking Skills

Having a solid vocabulary is key for the AQL (academic and quantitative literacy) tests. These tests check if you know and can use academic words. To get better, study common academic terms, learn word parts, and try using new words correctly.

Enhancing Vocabulary Knowledge

The AQL (academic and quantitative literacy) tests also use visuals and numbers. You need to read and understand graphs, charts, and tables. Learning to make sense of this data is very important for doing well on the tests.

Interpreting Visuals and Data

Understanding academic language is critical for the AQL (academic and quantitative literacy) tests. To improve, carefully read and analyze academic texts. Try to see how arguments are made and learn how to talk about academic topics well.


The AQL tests are key for getting into college. They show if a student is ready for college-level work. Knowing how the tests work and getting ready the right way help students do better. This raises their chances of doing well in college and getting into a university.

The AQL (academic and quantitative literacy) test focuses on critical thinking skillsdata interpretation, and readiness for college. Studying smartly increases a student’s test scores. This makes going from high school to college easier.

With more students going to higher education, AQL tests play a big role. They help find and support students who might not be fully ready for college. By using the advice from these standardized tests, students can get better at quantitative reasoning and academic skills. This helps them do well in college or their university program.


What are the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs)?

The National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) are exams that test how well students can read and work with numbers. They help to see if someone is ready for college by looking at how they read, write, and think.

What is the purpose of the NBT AL and QL tests?

The NBT AL and QL tests show how well a student can understand and use language and numbers. This helps colleges know where to place students and how to design their classes to help them succeed.

How are candidates categorized based on their NBT performance?

After taking the NBTs, students are put into three groups: Basic, Intermediate, or Proficient. This is done by checking how they did on the tests against certain standards. These standards are adjusted every three years to stay up-to-date.

What does the NBT AL test assess?

The NBT AL test checks if students can understand written material well. It also sees if they can find the main ideas, think critically, and understand different uses of language.

What are the subdomains assessed in the NBT AL test?

The AL test asks questions about many things. It looks at how well students can use language to give and understand information, how they can figure out more from what they read, and if they grasp how sentences and ideas fit together.

What does the NBT QL test assess?

The NBT QL test checks how well students can use numbers and understand graphs. It measures their math and problem-solving skills mainly for college studies.

What are the subdomains assessed in the NBT QL test?

The QL test quizzes students on different things with calculations and numbers. It includes looking at how you read and use math information, understand math terms, and solve math problems.

How can students prepare for the AQL tests?

To get ready for the AQL tests, students can study in a few ways. They should get better at thinking critically, learn more words, practice looking at and understanding pictures and numbers, and get used to reading and writing about academic topics.

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