The main objective of the NAPLAN tests is to provide governments, education authorities, schools, teachers and parents with a standardised measure to assess the critical numeracy and literacy skills of young Australians. This helps identify national trends, highlight strengths and weaknesses in current education programs and identify areas to focus on in the future. NAPLAN is the only standardised test undertaken by young Australians and therefore is a useful measure for interested parties to gain a general sense of how the Australian education system is operating.
It is important for parents to remember that NAPLAN testing provides information at a specific point in time of a student’s progress in literacy and numeracy. While the tests are a national examination, they do not provide all information about your child’s numeracy and literacy skills. They are just one test your child will complete throughout their school life and are meant to complement other forms of school assessment.
Keeping this in mind, students should not be worried or anxious about sitting the NAPLAN tests, nor should they be disheartened or discouraged by their NAPLAN results. Instead students should think about NAPLAN primarily as a learning experience, and secondly as a way to gain hands-on experience in exam conditions – a crucial skill to take into their final exams in Year 12.