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NAPLAN is a testing system that governments, schools and educational institutions use to determine whether children in Australia meet the necessary standard in numbers and literacy. In May every year since 2008, many young Australians undergo NAPLAN tutoring to write the test during their 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th years of school. Over one million students take part in the NAPLAN Tests every year throughout the country.
NAPLAN gives an overview of how students perform in writing, spelling, reading, numeracy, grammar, and punctuations so that it compliments to a degree the other standards of assessment and practices.
Being a standardised test, all students answer questions that are similar to each other and then are compared to each. The main intention of the test is to dig out a child’s weakness and their strengths. As a nationwide exam, the time of starting is the same, making no room for cheating and malpractice. The test is also designed to highlight areas where the schools and the classes can focus on and improve. An extra day is given for students who missed an opportunity.
The test is targeted at different skills students are expected to have considering the age or the year. Once the results are out, the students are grouped and placed against the results of the students in the country.
What Each Paper Focuses On:
- Writing:Students can write a persuasive text or even an imaginary one, enabling them to think outside the box. General aspects such as punctuation, grammar, the structure of sentence and spelling are taken into consideration. Students who succeed in this category are usually the ones who take up reading. Reading gives them a broader understanding of language and helps them apply proper vocabulary to sentences.
- Language Convention:A student’s spelling, punctuation, and grammar are the two aspects in focus. Multiples choices and responses that need to be written prompts students to find faults within sentence structures and correct them. The test also encourages students to derive whether the sentence has different meanings and constantly tests their writing etiquette. Students who succeed in this category are the ones who actively participate in conversations.
- Reading:One of the most daunting categories that students face, reading uses different types and genres of texts to prompt students to deduce and analyse the intent of the sentence. The questions or passage can be in the form of advertisements, interviews, poems, stories and news articles. Students are encouraged not to spend too much time on a single question as it is easier to lose track of time in this paper.
- Numeracy:As the name indicates, this paper focuses solely on mathematics and arithmetics. Questions related to geometry, problem-solving, probability and algebra are prevalent in this paper. Most of the options are always mixed or multiple-choice, with lower years having non-calculator papers. Students in high school have two numeracy sections, with the second being longer and needing a calculator.
The Importance of NAPLAN:
One often hears about parents signing their children up for NAPLAN tutoring, with year 5 considered the most important. Many schools take NAPLAN results for admission and consideration for students. Year 3 results are considered if year 5 is not present, although year 7 and year 9 don’t have much importance unless they transfer schools. Students are required to pass the year 9 tests as this is mandatory for a high school certificate.