NAPLAN is the test that is introduced to students from a very early period in their lives. From grade three, students are required to sit a diagnostic test. These tests are carried out into Grade 9, and students are tested on their mathematical, English and writing skills; but, why are students tested so late in their high school journey, and what happens if you don’t do so well?
So, what is NAPLAN?
NAPLAN (National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy) is a test used to determine if national standards are being achieved by students. It is used to inform government policy and curriculum planning.
What do the results show?
After the tests are completed, they will go through a software program that gives out individual results, school trends over the past several years, how the school performed compared to other schools and how much students have improved from Grade 3.
The tests are also an important indicator for parents of how their child is progressing throughout their schooling journey. From these results, students can target areas that they’d like to improve in, to bring themselves back to the state level.
Why do students still have to sit NAPLAN until year 9?
You may be wondering why students have to sit NAPLAN up until Year 9 – they are well beyond basic skill testing, right?
Well, the test is the final indicator of how a student is doing before they hit their senior years. It is an invaluable measure to ensure that they are on the right track and that all their skills are brushed up. If this isn’t the case, they have all of Grade 10 to improve these skills before work ramps up in Years 11 and 12.
Additionally, if a student can pass the Year 9 NAPLAN, then it is highly probable that they will be safe for the Year 10 Minimum Standard Literacy and Numeracy Test. Students must pass this test to graduate with the Higher School Certificate (HSC).
Why is NAPLAN important in high school?
NAPLAN is probably the most important in Year 5, as a lot of high schools will ask for a student’s NAPLAN results as part of the consideration process. But, after they are accepted into a school why should their NAPLAN results still matter?
Although it seems like a nuisance, honestly, the test is pretty important. It measures your reading, writing and maths skills, which are all super important for doing well in high school and beyond. The results of the test can help teachers and parents figure out where you might be struggling and how to help you improve. Plus, it’s a good way to see how you’re doing compared to other students across the country. Even though it might seem like another boring test, NAPLAN is a pretty big deal!
Should I be worried if I fail?
More often than not students become worried for the test, trying their best to cram in some practice questions and exercises the day before. But, no need to fear – if you fail the test, nothing inherently bad will happen!
NAPLAN is not a pass/fail type of test. Performance is measured in comparison to other students, using band measurements. The results are reported on a scale from Band 1 (the lowest) to Band 10 (the highest) and are used to identify areas where you are excelling or need extra help. NAPLAN is just one measure of your academic progress, and should not be used to judge your worth or potential as a student.
Your school will likely flag you as needing extra help in the areas that you haven’t done so well in and will adjust their teaching style towards you.
Also, the state will look at these scores, and if there is a common trend with students failing across areas, they will adjust the curriculum accordingly.
So, the moral of the story: if you fail NAPLAN, it’s not the end of the world. It’s a stepping stone for you to improve!
Tips to succeed
· Make sure to get a good sleep the night before – it’s important that you can work to your best ability!
· Get comfortable using technology, as NAPLAN is now fully online. There are practice tests you can do online if you feel that these are right for you.
· Listen in class! This is the easiest way to stay on top of the content you are learning and prevents you from having to cram in knowledge right before the test.
Can I fail NAPLAN?
Nope! There is no such thing as failing in NAPLAN; the tests are graded by comparing the results of other students across the nation.
Do I have to do NAPLAN?
Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 must do these tests. The only exemption is if parents or guardians decide to withdraw their child from the tests.
How are NAPLAN results used?
They are used in a variety of ways to help improve student learning outcomes. Teachers can use the results to identify areas where students are struggling and develop targeted tactics to help them improve. Schools may also use the results to track student progress and compare their performance to other schools.
Written by KIS Academics tutor Tiana Rukavina. Tiana currently offers tutoring for QCE English and Literature. Tiana is completing a Bachelor of Laws & Business. If you would like to request Tiana as a tutor, feel free to reach out through her profile by clicking here