In just over one month, millions of students throughout Australia will be completing the 2019 National Assessment Program-Literacy and Numeracy, assessments that are more commonly referred to as NAPLAN. Since its inception in 2008, NAPLAN, directed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has tested Australian year 3, year 5, year 7, and year 9 students in four primary areas.
Student achievement is measured against national outcome-based education standards in:
- Language Conventions
This year some schools may organise for their students to complete NAPLAN online, most students however, will complete the paper version of NAPLAN.
Whilst it is acknowledged that NAPLAN does not replace ongoing assessments and teacher monitoring of student progress, NAPLAN does provide schools, educational authorities and governments with a snapshot that shows whether Australian students are meeting expected educational standards in literacy and numeracy. Later in the year, schools give students their NAPLAN report to take home.
An example of a NAPLAN student report
Assessment scales are used to report individual student performance, and describe the development of student achievement along a ten-band scale (http://www.nap.edu.au/results-and-reports/how-to-interpret/scales).Each NAPLAN scale is divided into ten bands. Band 1 is the lowest band and band 10 is the highest band. A band contains a range of scores and is not a specific point. Each year level is reported against six of these bands. The performance of individual students can also be compared to the average performance of all students in Australia.
NAPLAN results can be useful to students, teachers and parents in a variety of ways, including:
- Students and parents may use individual results to measure their progress across the years. Test results can also provide a point of reference for parent teacher discussions.
- Test results can highlight those students who may require more academic support or extension.
- Educational authorities can use NAPLAN data to guide their decision making and funding choices.
Following the release of the annual NAPLAN results, relevant achievement data is posted on the Government’s MySchool website; myschool.edu.au, and can be viewed by the public.
Whilst NAPLAN is not a test that children can study specifically for, in the same way they might study for test on a topic, providing your child with the opportunity to complete practice assessments in the weeks leading up to NAPLAN can be beneficial. Sample NAPLAN assessments can be found and downloaded here https://www.nap.edu.au/naplan/the-tests
Completing sample assessments prior to the test day, will enable students to familiarise themselves with the testing materials and provide them with the opportunity to practise answering test questions in the required format. This process is also likely to assist some students to feel less stressed about participating in NAPLAN.
Optimise Learning Co-Founder