.The NAPLAN test and its significance have always been doubted, and its validity is often questioned. However, this exam has been a prominent part of the Australian education system since 2008. Though the test is controversial, many students and their parents applaud it. The test has been appreciated because it measures the students’ numeracy and grammatical skills. Also, most Australian schools consider it the benchmark to assess students’ performance and progress. The most interesting thing about this exam is that it is not only beneficial for students but also for teachers and policymakers.
By assessing the student’s performance, they can identify which education areas need improvement. It serves as a means to justify support for allocating financial assistance to schools that are lagging behind in terms of educational quality. It also helps teachers and faculty members to teach their students in a better manner. They can identify which subjects or topics should be given more priority and determine which students are finding it difficult to learn certain concepts.
Importance of NAPLAN tests:
So, if you’re thinking about the credibility of NAPLAN tests, we would say – you should appear for the exam because the outcome has far-reaching effects beyond your personal marks. It helps in your personal development and career as well. Though NAPLAN scores do not hamper your admission to schools or universities, low scores in certain disciplines will help you know where you stand in terms of academics. Plus, it would also mean that you will need a tutor to improve those areas.
Let’s check out some of the other benefits of NAPLAN tests.
- Helps identify achievement gaps of ethnic candidates – You must know that indigenous students do not receive the same education or learning facilities as their non-ethnic peers. At a national level, Year 9 ethnic candidates lag three years behind their non-ethnic candidates, especially in numeracy, 4.2 years behind in grammar, and 3.4 years behind in reading comprehension. These educational gaps are more in remote areas. Therefore, translating NAPLAN marks into equivalent year levels helps in comparing performance across student groups.
- Performance comparison across states – Most states and territories achieve different levels of educational achievement due to socioeconomic differences. The achievements vary among students based on where they live in Australia. For instance, NSW has the highest achievement levels for students whose parents have done graduation. But Victoria has the highest achievement levels for candidates whose parents didn’t even finish school. However, they are not stretching their advantaged students in the same manner.
- Determine high-growth schools – The NAPLAN exam is the ‘holy grail’ for many pioneers because the results help determine which educational institutions provide the best learning and growth opportunities. Of course, NAPLAN tests can’t tell why Australian schools and their standards vary. It can also be due to teaching quality and other factors. These tests can identify the exact reason for discrepancies in educational standards across states and territories.
So, now that you know why NAPLAN tests are important, you should prepare for the exam. Many NAPLAN test papers are available online, and you can practice them to understand the question pattern and types. The more you practice, the better. NAPLAN is like an imperfect navigation tool to assess the educational system and students’ progress. If you ask us, we would say – yes, NAPLAN is definitely important. It gives a snapshot of a child’s numeracy and literacy skills.