Study Methods to Help Kids Develop NAPLAN Skills

It’s almost that time of year again when students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will be sitting for the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). Exams will be held over three weekday mornings between the 10th – 20th May 2022.

The aim of NAPLAN is to chart each students’ progress in comparison to a national standard. The results are used to help educators identify areas for improvement and provide data for recommended changes. 

NAPLAN covers reading, writing, grammar, punctuation and numeracy. Tests are based on content from the learning areas of English and Mathematics in the Australian Curriculum. 

Many parents are unsure of how to help kids prepare for NAPLAN. Below are some tips to help your student hone their skills over the next few weeks.

View Demonstration Tests 

For the first time this year, NAPLAN will be online for all schools. Practice tests were available until 8th April to help students and schools become accustomed to the format. Public demonstration tests are still available to allow students to familiarise themselves with the range of questions and online functionalities.

Encourage your child to view the tests for their year so they are confident about the types of questions they may be asked and the interactive navigation. Online tools include audio questions, a timer, calculator, ruler and protractor.

Although answers are not available for these tests, they’re designed to help students feel more comfortable. Online tests allow for tailored questions, which means the level of difficulty is determined by how students answered previous questions. Performance is based on how many questions they answer and how difficult they are.

Practice Rapid Writing 

One of the areas many students struggle with in NAPLAN is the writing task. For this section, students are given a writing prompt and they are required to compose a narrative or persuasive piece of writing. 

Having to produce this piece within a set time can be quite stressful. To help prepare your student, use some prompts from previous years’ tests and get them to practice writing with a timer next to them. 

This is a good opportunity to talk about the features of narrative and persuasive writing. Ask your child how these texts differ from each other and read through some examples together.

Read Together Regularly 

Comprehension is not a skill which can be taught quickly. The best way to prepare your child for this section is to read with them regularly. 

As you’re reading, ask questions to gauge their understanding and help them recognise what information is important. The more reading they do, the more confident they’ll be, so try to expose them to a wide variety of texts.

You can also assist students with punctuation by drawing attention to it while you’re reading. Ask them the purpose of different punctuation marks and devices. 

Complete Maths Problems

NAPLAN is designed to test practical skills. The best way to prepare for the numeracy section of the test is by practicing solving different types of problems. 

You can use questions from previous tests as well as from your student’s classwork and textbooks. This practice should just be a revision of what they’ve already learnt. 

Try to make this fun by using puzzles and playing maths games.

Avoid Excessive Cramming 

In contrast to content-based tests, NAPLAN seeks to test skills that are developed over time. For this reason, educators recommend against excessive preparation. 

The best way to prepare students is to check with teachers that they are keeping up in class and developing the required skills for their year level.

 A tutor can help identify any problem areas and ensure your student is achieving to the best of their ability.

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