Preparing for NAPLAN Testing

Each year, a significant proportion of classroom time is devoted to preparing students for NAPLAN, the National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy. The test is administered to students in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9 throughout Australia, however, it is not connected to the Australian curriculum. The purpose of the exam is not to assess how well a child can repeat or rehearse class material but rather to provide a snapshot of both your child’s individual progress, and the school’s, in meeting basic numeracy and literacy benchmarks compared to the national average. For parents undergoing NAPLAN testing for the first time in Year 3 or again in Year 5, it can raise many questions, anxieties, or concerns:

Will my child need to prepare?

While the natural instinct for most parents is to help their child “prepare” for NAPLAN, this may do more harm than good, as there is no way to prepare to ‘pass’ the assessment. NAPLAN tests are designed to assess a child’s basic literacy and numeracy skills as they progress throughout school. Preparing, or cramming, for a NAPLAN test may only increase your child’s anxiety regarding academic performance.

Positive steps you can take to support your child for NAPLAN include:

  1. Providing your child with a safe, calm, and encouraging environment at home throughout the year, so that they can focus on schoolwork.
  2. Increasing your child’s basic numeracy and literacy skills throughout the year by consistently completing homework, and where the child may be struggling with key concepts, seek maths or English tuition services, starting with a free assessment with Kip McGrath.
  3. Find opportunities to increase your child’s numeracy and literacy skills within the home, such as reading books together before bed or using pocket money to practice mathematics.
  4. Avoid focusing on the NAPLAN test as the only benchmark of his or her academic abilities. Many children excel in other areas such as science or the creative arts.

What exam questions are in the NAPLAN test?

Parents who wish to reduce their child’s anxiety about exams, can familiarise the child with the range of test questions below:

●     Language Conventions

●     Sample Writing Prompt

●     Reading Magazine

●     Example Reading Test

●     Example Numeracy Test

Again, the goal of preparing for the exam with practice tests, should only be to put your child’s mind at ease.

What does a pass or fail mean for her?

NAPLAN is not a pass or fail exam. It provides a benchmark of where your child sits against the national average. The results are presented in bands ranging from 1-10. For NAPLAN first-timers, these Bands range from Band 1 to Band 6, with Band 2 representing the national minimum standard. NAPLAN results should always be interpreted with care. Your child’s teacher can provide the best insight and assessment of your child’s current progress.

If you are concerned about your child’s NAPLAN results or your child’s current progress in class, trust your instincts. Early intervention is critical to catching up and keeping up in class, contact your local Kip McGrath Education Centres for a free assessment today.

SOURCE: NAP nap.edu.au

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Published in Primary