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NAPLAN- friend or foe?

The annual NAPLAN tests remain a hot-topic in education; so what exactly is NAPLAN, and should we see these tests as ‘friend’ or ‘foe’?

NAPLAN in a nutshell

NAPLAN are a set of tests that students sit in years 3, 5, 7 & 9.

These tests are known as ‘standardised’ as every student sits the same exam.

The tests run over three days and test students’ ability in reading, writing, language conventions (e.g. spelling) and numeracy.

The tests will be run this year from 15th-17th May.

Controversy surrounding NAPLAN
NAPLAN tests are a one-size-fits-all approach to assessing student learning. In general, schools are moving away from this as educators better understand that students learn at different rates, have different abilities, and express their understanding of learning in different ways. For example, Albert Einstein famously did poorly at school and university examinations – often busy doing experiments and talking about his theories!

Why is NAPLAN beneficial then?
The bottom line is that NAPLAN results are valuable. They provide teachers, schools, education authorities and the government an understanding of how well students are meeting educational outcomes. This means that teachers can identify students who are struggling with particular concepts and provide them with better support, just like schools may apply for funding from the government if it appears that their math department requires more resources.

Changes to NAPLAN
These tests continue to change annually, so what are the big changes at the moment?

There is no longer a minimum achievement level that Year 9 students must reach to progress to their Year 12 certificate
Some schools are transitioning to online tests, with all NAPLAN tests to be online within 3 years

Parents and students should not be scared of the NAPLAN tests – all students sit the tests and the results are used to improve the education system. That can only be a good thing, right?

Don’t be worried about NAPLAN results – each student learns differently and expresses their learning differently. A low score in one section may be a result of unfamiliarity with exam conditions, or indicate only one skill that needs some confidence-building.

We can help you!
Student Tutors have loads of experience helping students prepare for the NAPLAN tests – whether that be assisting students become used to exam conditions, practicing NAPLAN-style questions, or just helping students and parents better-understand these tests.

Contact us on 0431 438 914 or at