Tips for tackling NAPLAN

The NAPLAN tests are designed to measure students’ knowledge and skills across Australia. However, because of varying factors such as familiarity with the tests, levels of anxiety and teacher-student communication, a common concern is that children’s test results don’t always accurately reflect their ability. This can cause anxiety for child, parent and teacher.

As a tuition centre working closely with school communities in Perth, we are often asked to help alleviate this anxiety through assisting with preparation for the tests. The aim here is to familiarise students with the testing procedures and types of questions they may be asked, and to calm nerves before the big week, so that students have the best chance of showing what they can do.

Here are some of the tips we give to our students.

General tips

  • Take a watch. Keep track of how much time you have left in each section
  • Have a good breakfast and drink a glass of water before your test, to help you concentrate
  • Take deep, slow breaths if you’re feeling nervous

Multiple Choice

  • Use the images provided to draw on or label to help understand the problem
  • If a complex problem seems to be solved using a simple calculation – BEWARE! This is especially true if
    there are two answers close together

    • In this case look again at the question and diagram/picture it. Perhaps there is a twist which you
      missed the first time around
  • Don’t spend too long on a problem. If you’re still not sure, eliminate clearly wrong answers and guess from the
    remaining ones

    • Make a reminder to yourself –  somewhere – which answers are guesses and go back to it (if you have time)
    • Don’t just leave a blank. This increases chances of attaching the next question’s answer to the wrong
      number, costing you a lot of time once you eventually realise your mistake

Reading Comprehension

  • Have a quick read through the questions first. This will give you ideas about the passage before you
    even read it
  • Take note if the passage is a narrative (story) or an information text
    • If it’s a narrative, remind yourself to keep track of characters, setting and plot (as well as any other
      interesting features
    • If it’s an essay/information text be aware of the main topic for each paragraph. Take note of specific facts or opinions

Writing Section:

  • Give yourself 5 minutes at the start to plan your writing in point form
  • Think about the type of language that is used in this type of text
  • Leave at least 2 minutes at the end to check and edit your work for mistakes and improvements
  • Avoid asking too many questions of the reader. We want to hear what YOU think.
  • Keep in mind what is expected in each section of the essay: Introduction, Body Paragraphs and Conclusion

More information about tackling different text types on our blog and at our centre.

We are running our popular NAPLAN Preparation Workshops in the April school holidays.

 

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