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Year 9 NAPLAN – What Parents Need To Know

Wondering about Year 9 NAPLAN? This will help.

What is NAPLAN?

NAPLAN stands for the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy. NAPLAN is a series of tests that occur at Years 3, 5, 7 and 9, which tests a student’s understanding and achievement in numeracy, reading, writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar. It is an Australia wide assessment of students’ performance in these areas. The data provided by these tests inform schools about how their students are achieving and guides their pedagogical programs.

NAPLAN commenced in 2008 and was taken over by ACARA in 2010. Since 2014 whole cohorts have passed through the 4 years of Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 testing. This provides useful longitudinal data to government departments, teachers, schools and parents. Many schools will now be doing their testing online, which impacts the dates listed below.

When is NAPLAN?

The official test dates for 2023 are Wednesday 15 March – Monday 27 March 2023. Some schools will do online testing while some will still do the traditional paper tests. All eligible students at Year 9, whether in State, Catholic or Independent School Systems are required to sit the test unless they are exempt or withdrawn by parents/guardians.

Exemption is given based on:

  • English language proficiency e.g. If a student has arrived in the country with a language background other than English less than a year prior to the test or
  • students have a significant intellectual disability (after consultation between principal, student and relevant parent/carer that despite adjustments they are unable to sit the test).

Parents may also choose to withdraw their child from the test for religious beliefs or philosophical reasons.

If your child is ill or absent on one of the days of online testing they can make up the test on another day. Paper test make ups will have to be negotiated with the school.

Previously at Year 9 there were 5 tests: Language conventions, Writing, Reading, Numeracy-non-calculator and Numeracy-calculator allowed. However, now that NAPLAN has been brought in line with the Australian Curriculum in 2017 this changed to be only one Numeracy test which consists of both calculator and non-calculator questions.

YearDay 1 WednesdayDay 2 ThursdayDay 3 Friday
Year 3Language conventions: 45 minutes

Writing: 40 minutes
Reading: 45 minutesNumeracy: 45 minutes
Year 5Language conventions: 45 minutes

Writing: 40 minutes
Reading: 50 minutesNumeracy: 50 minutes
Year 7Language conventions: 45 minutes

Writing: 40 minutes
Reading: 65 minutesNumeracy: 65 minutes
Year 9Language conventions: 45 minutes

Writing: 40 minutes
Reading: 65 minutesNumeracy: 65 minutes

What does NAPLAN do?

NAPLAN is not a test which is a pass or fail. It provides a band scale and a point of comparison which highlights a student’s position. When the NAPLAN results are released, an individual report will measure a student’s performance against an assessment scale.

This scale is broken into ten Bands and caters for all year levels from Year 3 to 9; however, not all scales are shown for each of the years tested. For example, at Year 9 only Bands 5 to 10 are shown.  At each of the year levels tested, a national minimum standard is set and for Year 9 this is Band 6. Each higher band represents increasing difficulty and requires a more sophisticated demonstration of skills.

Your child’s school will send home their NAPLAN report and you can use the individual results to discuss progress with particular teachers. Current Year 9 parents should have previous reports for their children when they sat NAPLAN in Years 3, 5 and 7. Using the final report in conjunction with the other three collected over your child’s schooling will show snap shots over time and can identify trends and indicate value added.

It provides very useful information to schools as it can identify students’ strengths and highlight areas where additional support or work may be required. It can assist schools and teachers with their teaching strategies and planning.

How do I help my child prepare for Yer 9 NAPLAN?

At Year 9, students should be well versed at taking tests and working under time constraints. Preparation for Year 9 NAPLAN has been built into a school’s curriculum over a student’s education. Students should see this as part of the school program and approach it like any assessment where they do the best they can. An early night, a nutritious breakfast and a positive attitude is the best preparation a student can have in their approach to NAPLAN.

Find out more about NAPLAN

For further information please refer to the following websites:

NAPLAN website www.nap.edu.au, ACARA website www.acara.edu.au and the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority website www.qcaa.qld.edu.au.

This article was published in Issue 21 of our print magazine, April/May 2017.

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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