About one million Australian students are taking the NAPLAN test every year. Is your kid one of them? Here’s how to help them survive and thrive NAPLAN.
The national test NAPLAN makes stress levels increase in many schools and homes across Australia. Kids in years 3,5,7 and 9, and their parents, are starting to panic over the test and what it has to say about their reading, writing, language, and numeracy skills. In May every year, the pressure is felt by kids to excel at the test, by schools to out-perform each other and by parents to help their kids get the best results possible.
But, a lot of how a student performs in NAPLAN is based not only on their skills but also on their ability to perform in exam conditions. So, as a parent, it’s really important to help your kid learn how to stay calm and remain focused during a stressful exam.
Here are four tips to help your kids survive and thrive NAPLAN:
1. Talk to your child about NAPLAN
A good place to start is to talk to your child about how they feel about the NAPLAN testing. Maybe your child is anxious or nervous about the test, and they might need some support to get them through this stressing period.
If your child is feeling anxious about the NAPLAN test, or concerned about the results, talk to them about it and encourage them. Explain the importance of the test and how it helps them understand their skills better. Also, make sure you let your kid know that all answers, right or wrong, are important so that their school will help them learn better.
2. Help your child get familiar with NAPLAN’s test structure and layout
The unknown scares us all. So, if your child is anxious about the NAPLAN test, getting familiar with the test structure and layout might help them feel more relaxed and confident about their abilities to take the test.
Your kid doesn’t have to go through an entire test and answer all the questions. Only going through a few questions to understand the structure and the types of questions can help them get familiar with what to expect on the testing day.
3. Advise your child on how to tackle certain types of questions
Would your child panic if they didn’t know how to answer a certain question? If the answer is “yes,” you’d better prepare them for how to react if they are going to encounter such challenges.
Advise your child to re-read the question before panicking and trying to guess the answer. Also, for multiple-choice questions, tell them how they should re-read all answers and use a process of elimination to find the correct answer.
4. Practice brainstorming ideas for writing topics
The NAPLAN test has a writing component in which your kid will have to write a piece of writing, meaning that they’ll have to come up with ideas for this part of the exam.
For some kids, generating creative ideas may be easier than for others. Especially in exam conditions, your child may find it difficult to generate ideas. So, before the exam, practice some brainstorming strategies with your kid to help them be prepared for coming up with writing topics during the exam.