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The Future of kids And the Impact of NAPLAN

Nov 11, 2022

For students in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9, the National Assessment Program: Numeracy and Literacy (NAPLAN) test is needed. It takes place over the course of three school mornings during the second week in May.  

Recently, the test has become more divisive, with teachers, parents, and students alleging that it does not fairly reflect what the kids have learned. Teachers worry that studying for NAPLAN will take time away from other subjects. Parents are concerned that the assessment is too lengthy and demanding for primary school students. Students also think that the tests are useless since they don’t accurately reflect their level of education or aptitude for learning. 


Some of these issues have been addressed by changing the exam format and providing more details on how schools could use NAPLAN results to enhance their instructional strategies. However, NAPLAN’s effectiveness as a testing program for primary school students continues to be criticized.  

NAPLAN Curriculum for schools and results 

Across linguistic, mathematical, and reading norms, most of the test questions are based on skills, talents, and information acquired the previous year. This is done to make sure that the variety of items on the exam enables all students to demonstrate their abilities. The Australian Curriculum strongly influences the skills and knowledge assessed in NAPLAN and is provided to schools along with their students’ scores: Mathematics in the English and Australian curricula. 


NAPLAN results for schools’ test show how children are doing in reading and numeracy and help teaching and learning improvements.  

Owing to COVID-19, the test was cancelled in 2020. The NAPLAN results by the school from last year showed that lockdowns did not generally negatively impact the reading and numeracy skills of children in NSW and Victoria. 


Language test conventions 

How the information is delivered to students in the NAPLAN language test norms is like how it is taught in the Australian Curriculum. As a result, questions now contain a little more metalanguage than before the Australian Curriculum alignment. For example, in Years 3 and 5 of the NAPLAN exam use of a curriculum like “noun” and “naming word is being taught to students.  

 Tests of numeracy

  •  The percentage of strand content in the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics is reflected in the number of questions from each strand in the NAPLAN numeracy exams. Compared to prior exams, there are notably fewer space problems (such as characteristics of 2D shapes and 3D objects) and slightly more questions on numbers, statistics, and probability. The term “geometry items” is now used to describe space objects.
  • To be consistent with the Australian Curriculum and other NAPLAN subjects, the number of numeracy elements decreased in 2017. The Year 3 test now has 36 instead of 35 questions. The Year 5 test had 42 questions instead of the previous 40.
  • For Years 7 and 9, the numeracy test’s element count was reduced from 64 to 48. According to the ACARA study, the reliability and validity of the numeracy exam are not significantly impacted by this change. Students in Years 7 and 9 take a single math exam that is split into two sections: one that allows the use of calculators and the other that does not. The overall number of questions that require mental calculation remains constant even if the non-calculator portion of the test is shorter.

 Reading evaluations 

 The Australian Curriculum: English reading curriculum, with text complexity levels equivalent to pre-2016 NAPLAN readings, is the primary focus of the NAPLAN reading assessments.  


Developing tests  

The NAPLAN writing exams and grading instructions haven’t altered all that much. Like in previous years, students will be asked to respond to a writing prompt with a narrative or argumentative essay.  

The writing exam’s text type or genre will not be made known in advance of the test; there are various writing prompts for each year level. Students’ responses are graded using the narrative or persuasive marking criteria for the NAPLAN.  


The Australian National Assessment Program (NAPLAN) is a testing system used in Australian schools. It is intended to assess students’ reading, writing, spelling, and mathematical abilities in grades 3, 5, 7, and 9. It offers pupils a unique NAPLAN preparation year 3 and NAPLAN preparation year 5 tests. Students are assessed on these abilities because they are necessary for everyday life. 

While NAPLAN test preparation is intended to examine these skills, the findings aren’t just beneficial for instructors managing student growth in their classrooms. It also gives parents useful information on how their children compare to other children their age in reading, writing, spelling, and maths.  


Benefits of NAPLAN 

 Promoting advancements 

determines areas of strength and weakness that require emphasis (ACARA, 2011). 


Education ministers may keep an eye on the impact of their initiatives as well as identify areas that require more resources and financing (ACARA, 2011). 

Enables states to compare achievements with peers and identify systemic improvement areas (ACARA, 2011). 


The benefits of NAPLAN show that it is possible to hold the government, educational system, teaching staff, and curriculum boards accountable for ensuring that all Australian children receive a good education that will ensure positive results for them (ACARA, 2011). 

Rethinking education without NAPLAN  

 In 2020, there was a unique opportunity to rethink what schools can and should be. We should reconsider NAPLAN in its present form and put more emphasis on what matters if we want to advance toward a more effective and comprehensive post-COVID education in our nation. This comprises:  

Changing NAPLAN from evaluating whole student cohorts to a selection of students. The government assessment recommended this as a potential remedy to mitigate some of the negative effects of NAPLAN since it would allow for the monitoring of system trends over time. 

However, they should only be “used by schools and teachers as one piece of evidence contributing to reports to parents/caregivers, students, and local education authorities.” Sample assessments, such as NAPLAN, that monitor the educational system can be included. 

Belief in academic authorities and professors. NAPLAN and the related emphasis on specific measures of accomplishment have led to a decline in public confidence in the competence and calibre of our educators. The learning of all students would be improved in the best manner for them, not only for their test results, if teachers had confidence in their skills and relied on their knowledge of their pupils. 

Students should be heard. We need to devote more time and money to comprehend the experiences of children in our schools because student disengagement and mental illness are at alarmingly high levels.  

Without NAPLAN, school communities managed to exist in 2021. They provided instruction, evaluation, reporting, and — most significantly — support. We should adapt the testing regime in light of this lesson in order to assist the success of schools and students. 

Future of Kids and Impact of NAPLAN


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