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things you should know about naplan

The National Assessment of Schooling is a test administered to children in grades 3, 5, 7, and 9. It measures their levels of literacy and numeracy. NAPLAN tests are administered by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

ACARA analyses NAPLAN results using a set of standards or guidelines, including Australian standards and international standards from the Council of Europe (CoE) and the OECD. These standards are used to compare NAPLAN results among schools. Each year, ACARA updates the set of standards to ensure that the lowest end of each set is met. For example, all NAPLAN tests will be measured against the new guidelines for literacy and numeracy in all Australian secondary schools. The results of these tests will be used to report student achievement in literacy and numeracy, as well as overall school results.

NAPLAN is one element of the National Assessment Program (NAP), a national effort by Australian governments and education stakeholders to improve the assessment of students’ levels across national exams such as NAP, SATs, and HSCs.

Why Should You Take NAPLAN?

The National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) helps schools, education authorities, and governments measure the progress of Australian students in reading and writing. By allowing teachers to monitor the progress of their students, it helps them identify areas for improvement and develop effective teaching programs.

The NAPLAN provides teachers with additional information to assess the progress of their students’ reading and writing. This allows them to make informed decisions regarding the development of their students’ skills. It also allows parents to monitor their children’s progress against national standards. As their education continues, it is important that students regularly check their progress in these subjects. These skills will allow them to succeed as adults.

Parents are extremely lucky to receive a report like this. The report demonstrates how much their child is progressing in comparison to where we can guess they might be. NAPLAN assesses young people’s literacy and numeracy accomplishments, paying particular attention to grammar and spelling, and compares those to national standards.

The most important thing for parents to understand about NAPLAN is that, while it is a test, it is not an exam with high stakes. They will benefit from knowing how the child is performing in comparison to the other students at their school.

For those of similar age and nationality, however, it is not the be-all and end-all. It’s a crucial exam. But not the most because there are other ways parents can determine how their child will behave.

In some aspects, the NAPLAN assessment will be similar to other assessments your child takes because they will show up to school with their peers and work with their instructor in the classroom. It is a common topic of conversation among parents, who frequently discuss how important and high-stakes NAPLAN is.

NAPLAN is only a snapshot of your children’s education. Rather than being treated as something of a high-end exam, it should be used as a springboard for discussion between parents and teachers.

However, the exam has undergone a number of revisions recently, and it will eventually be offered online to all schools by the end of the next year. This is especially important because many parents are still unsure of its necessity.

Background information about the history of the exam shows why it is so helpful in determining whether your child is performing at the level at which they should be performing.

For context, the exam first started at a meeting of MCEETYA, a national organisation that conducts numerous studies on how education should be delivered.

They understand that in order to adjust and cater to the current trends of today, they essentially need to determine whether students are actually performing at the national benchmark level or the national minimum standards across numeracy, literacy, reading comprehension, and writing. They do this by placing each student in a specific band.

This is why the exam is given: to see how students are doing. NAPLAN also aligns with the national schooling system here in Australia, which has recently become a local area. With an increase in students moving to Australia for higher education, it has to maintain the standard of being the best.

Exam Structure

Acara, the organisation that develops the NAPLAN exams, has also backed up and reinforced this statement, stating that the purpose of the assessments is to determine if children are proficient in literacy and numeracy.

Every test is actually administered in terms of bands, not levels or scores, and for the E3 exam, the bands range from 1 to 6; in years 5 and 7; from 3 to 8; and in years 7 and 9; from 4 to 10. As a result, only students in grades 3 through 5 and 9 actually take the exam every two years, and they do this because they discover that on the E3 exam, the bands range from 1 to 6; in years 5 and 7; from 3 to 8; and in years 7 and 9; from 4 to 5; respectively.

The reading exam on day one, the writing exam on day two, language conventions, and then the numeracy exam. This is the test order for students in years 7 and 9. An important insight is that all students will actually have to complete the reading exam before completing the writing exam.

The test will also be adaptive, with the exception of the writing portion, meaning that it will be based on the performance of the actual student as they move through the exam. This essentially means that the first few questions will always be the same for all students. If you answer those questions incorrectly, you will see the following questions.

When you answer the first few questions correctly and often, you’ll receive questions that are easier to represent your ability level. If, however, you get the first few questions right, you’ll receive questions that are harder to answer so that you can be tested and stimulated more.

Score Equivalence

Ten bands on each NAPLAN scale are used to report student development in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9. The lowest band is band 1, while the highest band is band 10. A band is not a single score; rather, it is a range of results. With regard to six of these bands, each year’s level is recorded.

The equivalence tables can be used to translate a student’s raw test score into the comparable NAPLAN scale score for each domain. The “raw score” is the number of points earned on a test.

Depending on the domain and year level, a test may have a maximum number of marks. Three different tables are offered for Year 7 and Year 9 numeracy up to and including 2016. The first is for a test of general numeracy, the second is for a form without a calculator, and the third is for a form with a calculator. Students who took just one of the tests will have their scores assigned in the second and third tables. The band assigned to the appropriate NAPLAN scale score is also shown in the tables. Since 2017, there has only been one math test for students in Years 7 and 9 (which will include both calculator and non-calculator items), so only one table will be available.

Due to the adaptive nature of the online examinations, the switch to online NAPLAN assessment has ramifications for the production of score equivalence tables. According to how well a student performs on the test, tailored testing adjusts to their responses in real time and shows them questions that are more or less challenging. Due to the adaptive nature of the online tests, students are more likely to remain interested in them because they are presented with questions that are more appropriate for their level of knowledge, allowing them to demonstrate their abilities rather than just their limitations. The number and level of questions that a student successfully answers determines their NAPLAN score.

The number and level of questions that a student successfully answers determines their NAPLAN score. A student is more likely to succeed when they complete a more difficult pathway.


To ensure that your child may achieve all that they are capable of without placing undue attention on or around NAPLAN, sit down and discuss how you can work together to support their learning and success. Taking a NAPLAN mock tests is one of the finest strategies to help children get ready for the exam. Additional support in the form of online tutoring can be a significant step toward assisting students in effectively approaching the exam. Theory, applied examples, and exam tactics are addressed in tutoring sessions, making sure that any comprehension shortcomings is the center of emphasis. This boosts students’ self-assurance and increases their familiarity with the NAPLAN examinations’ structure, layout, and terminology before they take them. It is only one tool among many that you should use and one information source among many that you should consult once you have a clear understanding of the situation, who and what your child is, and what they can do!

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