NAPLAN is an examination that helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of students. It’s an exam for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Right around the time when NAPLAN is around the corner, stress levels in schools and homes around Australia rise sharply.
NAPLAN is considered one of the more challenging exams because it’s not part of the curriculum, leaving students little time to study. But you can still help your children prepare for the exam by using several tips to ensure they are ready for the exam.
Start by talking with your child about how they feel about NAPLAN. It will give you a good understanding of what you need to do to support your child through the NAPLAN testing.
Try to find out if the child is feeling anxious about the exam or if they are concerned about the test. It will help you identify how you can best support the student as they revise throughout the test week.
Get familiar with the NAPLAN test
Taking time to understand the structure and layout of the NAPLAN test can help reduce anxiety and also point out areas of revision and preparation that the student should work on. There are NAPLAN practice tests available online that can help.
The student doesn’t need to do all the tests. Just look at the types of questions and style of the paper. Knowing what to expect can boost confidence, which can help them feel more familiar with the exam’s structure, layout, and wording, so they don’t miss anything.
Work on completing NAPLAN online
Suppose your child will be sitting for the online version of NAPLAN. In that case, it’s imperative to take time before the test to complete some practise questions online to get comfortable using the technology and submitting the answers successfully.
Online NAPLAN simulators can help the students prepare for the online version of the exams and help them familiarise themselves with the platform.
Emphasise the importance of reading
Reading is crucial to the student’s success in NAPLAN exams. The student has to read, understand and interpret exam-style questions. Reading practice should be a significant part of your revision and preparation process. Take time to see how the child comprehends what they read. If your child is good at reading and understanding comprehension, they have better chances of excelling in their NAPLAN and other exams.
Work on your time management
Time management is a big struggle for many students, not only in NAPLAN but in any test. It’s common to see students run out of time before completing the test. It is often a result of not having a plan to use their time.
If your child has a similar problem, there are simple exercises you can do with them to improve time management skills. Go through the test components and look at how much time they need for each section.
Have a discussion with them about what that means and how long they should spend on each question. Also, help them figure out what to do when they get stuck on a specific question.
Help them with a question approach
Suppose a student doesn’t understand a question, what should they do? Sometimes, it’s a matter of missing the details. So the first step is to re-read the question slowly and try to understand it from every angle.
In multiple-choice questions, you can have an elimination process to give yourself the best chances of getting the answer correct.
Try brainstorming ideas for writing topics
One of the aspects of the NAPLAN exams is writing an informative, narrative or persuasive piece of writing. The student has to come up with ideas for this in the exam.
Some students will have the ideas flow naturally, while others will struggle to come up with any good ideas, especially in exam conditions. Try spending time with the student brainstorming ideas in response to a practice question to prepare and equip them with the skills to come up with good ideas on short notice.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough rest is a tip that is often overlooked. Getting enough rest before the exam helps short and long-term memory performance. It also makes it easier for the student to concentrate, make better decisions, and improve cognitive speed and math processing. All these factors will make a big difference in the exams.
Maintain your normal morning routine
The NAPLAN is a big deal to many students. But you need to stay as calm as possible. Sticking to our morning routine is an excellent place to start. It will normalise the day for you and reduce the chances of feeling stressed or anxious.
Focus on the process, not the results
When sitting for the exam, it’s easy to focus on the results, while instead, you should be focusing on the process. NAPLAN is an excellent opportunity for you to get better at taking tests and overcome test anxiety. Concentrating on the process helps the student develop a reliable mechanism that they can use for all exams, not just the NAPLAN. This mechanism proves vital in managing anxiety and time.