4 tips to help your kids survive and thrive in NAPLAN

Approximately one million Australian students take the NAPLAN test each year. Is your child one of them? Here’s how you can survive and thrive on NAPLAN.

The NAPLAN national test increases stress levels in many schools and homes across Australia. Children age 3, 5, 7, and 9 and their parents panic about the test and what it has to say about their reading, writing, language and numeracy skills. In May each year, the pressure is on children to excel on the test, schools to outperform each other, and parents to help their children get the best possible results.

However, much of a student’s performance in NAPLAN is based not only on their skills, but also on their ability to perform under exam conditions. As a parent, it is very important that your child learn to stay calm and focused during a stressful exam.

Here are four tips to help your kids survive and thrive in NAPLAN:

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  1. Talk to your child about NAPLAN

A good place to start is to talk to your child about how they are feeling about the NAPLAN tests. Your child may be worried or nervous about the test and may need support to get through this stressful period.

If your child is afraid of the NAPLAN test or worried about the results, talk to them about it and encourage them. Explain how important the test is and how it helps them better understand their skills. Also, make sure to tell your child that any right or wrong answers are important so that school will help them learn better.

  1. Help your child become familiar with the test structure and layout of NAPLAN

The unknown scares us all. So if your child is scared of the NAPLAN test, they can help you become comfortable with the test structure and layout as they feel more relaxed and confident about the ability to take the test.

Your child doesn’t have to go through an entire test and answer all the questions. Just going through a few questions to understand the structure and nature of the questions can help you familiarize yourself with the test day’s expectations.

  1. Advise your child on how to answer certain types of questions

Would your child panic if they didn’t know how to answer a certain question? If the answer is yes, it would be better to prepare them how to respond when they encounter such challenges.

Advise your child to reread the question before panicking and trying to guess the answer. For multiple choice questions, also tell them how to reread all of the answers and use an elimination process to find the correct answer.

  1. Practice brainstorming ideas on writing topics

The NAPLAN test contains a writing component in which your child has to write a script, which means that they have to develop ideas for this part of the test.

Some children may find it easier to come up with creative ideas than others. It can be difficult for your child to generate ideas, especially under exam conditions. So, before the exam, practice some brainstorming strategies with your child to prepare them to write topics during the exam.