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Exam technique for NAPLAN online?

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#1 CallMeFeral

Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:25 PM

So I just realised that DD has NAPLAN next week and I'd like to tell her about exam technique, being someone who has frequently seen friends who were smarter than me get terrible results due to bad exam technique.

For written exams I know what I'd tell her - things like skip the questions that are too hard and mark the page to come back to them, plan how much time you have to spend on each question, etc.
But for online administration, I have so little idea how it works - I head something about a funnelling sort of system where not all students are presented all questions, you get presented with stuff based on what you answer correctly? Is this correct? So I don't know whether advising her to skip questions she doesn't know will be a bad idea because she won't get offered the harder questions, or whether she should still be following the same sort of ways that one would for a paper test. Does anybody know or is there a helpful resource somewhere?

#2 seayork2002

Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:27 PM

There might be a guide on the official website, with DS I am just thankful he knows which room to go to and remembers his name really.

#3 Riotproof

Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:35 PM

Hopefully a teacher can help you out.

Personally, I’m not saying anything about it to my ds. The only thing we’ve discussed is that’s a test to see what he knows and is able to do on that day. I’m leaving it up to the school to prepare him for what to expect, as I think they are most qualified to do so.

The most I might do is make sure he gets a favourite lunch on the days it’s happening.

#4 Renovators delight

Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:46 PM


Dad is involved with Naplan, I will ask him for you later!

#5 mayahlb

Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:50 PM

I don’t even know what day it’s happening here...

I just told my kids to do their best (oldest is only doing the numeracy test anyway). As long as they tried hard I don’t care about the results. School will show them how to answer the questions. I know ours had had kids doing something like preparing using the computers. I *think* because the English one is adaptable instead of multiple choice they can skip questions if they don’t know the answer and the next one will be a similar level or easier and then gets harder the more questions answered correctly.

#6 Natasha123

Posted 10 May 2019 - 02:26 PM

I invigilated NAPLAN online one year and there is a funnelling system which means they will get easier or harder questions based on the previous answers. They still get to use working out paper and pencils which is useful for a lot of students. I cannot remember if there is a ‘cut off’ point at which you can return to skipped questions. The one thing I remember during the writing/typing test is the noise level. If your student is bothered by key tap noise, I advise earplugs.

#7 Renovators delight

Posted 10 May 2019 - 04:21 PM

Dad says that in theory, yes, if you skip a question and get through all of them you could eventually go back and answer them all. He also says that generally they ramp up in difficulty, easier to harder, so it’s unlikely that anyone who ‘needed’ to skip earlier ones would need to go back and do them to effect the outcome.

#8 José

Posted 10 May 2019 - 05:19 PM

exam technique for NAPLAN!?!
id just say do your best. and be happy if i never heard another word about it.

#9 EsmeLennox

Posted 10 May 2019 - 06:10 PM

You’re over-thinking it. Give her a hug and tell her to do her best and forget about it.

Edited by EsmeLennox, 10 May 2019 - 06:10 PM.

#10 Dianalynch

Posted 10 May 2019 - 06:21 PM

I just asked DD who has naplan online this year, her teacher said they can go back and answer any questions, and they may like to do so at the end.

DD is only grade 3, I'm not a fan of high stakes testing for 8 year olds so I just tell her to do her best.

#11 onetrick

Posted 10 May 2019 - 07:19 PM

I usually just tell my students not to leave anything blank and do their best, whatever that looks like for them :) they are usually their own worst critics, so I work on building confidence, not exam technique as such.
It also sounds like the naplan online test is like the on demand online program (also through VCAA I think so no surprise..), where if you answer a few questions wrong in a row (3?), you go down a level to answer different questions instead. If this is the case, I would say keep an eye on the time and dont rush- better to answer a few questions right and go up levels than to rush and constantly get questions wrong.

#12 RuntotheRiver

Posted 19 May 2019 - 05:10 PM

One of the Language convention questions was about prepositions - for grade 3? My DD only knows this because she’s heard her older brother talk about it. I don’t think the test changers based on answers, does it?

#13 Expelliarmus

Posted 19 May 2019 - 05:45 PM

The online test is dynamic and does change based on answers.

This shouldn’t affect how kids sit it or ‘what you tell them’ though. They get a set of scripted instructions read to them in the test. It tells them to skip questions they don’t know and go back to them if they have time at the end of the test.

#14 ipsee

Posted 19 May 2019 - 06:04 PM

Is it easy to go back to questions you've done already? It seems like going back to check thru your answers is not a done thing in online testing.

#15 Expelliarmus

Posted 19 May 2019 - 07:28 PM

While I don’t recall clearly the online Naplan it’s perfectly possible to go back in a PAT test. My understanding and recollection is that it is similar.

#16 missjones

Posted 19 May 2019 - 07:29 PM

The online testing has a 'flag' function.

If there is a question you are unsure of you can press 'flag' and move on to the next question.

When you have completed all questions a screen appears listing all question numbers.

Any questions marked 'flag' can simply be clicked on and attempted again.

Any questions that were unanswered appear in a different colour.

If you attempt to 'finish' the test ahead of time - a prompt will let you know that you have unanswered or flagged questions.

It's actually easier than a paper test in this regard. In a paper test it was easy to look over a page and not see a missed question. The online version will remind you.

You can go back and check/change any answers at the end of the test.

All of these instructions are clearly explained to the children before they start the test.

Earphones are also allowed: to muffle noise, during the language conventions test there is a listening component and in maths i believe they can click the sound icon beside the question to have the question read to them (after all it's a maths test not a reading test!)

#17 RuntotheRiver

Posted 19 May 2019 - 08:46 PM

Yes agree you can flag them and go back to check/complete.

I found it interesting the language conventions test  contained questions, regarding grammar,  which has not been taught in DD’s class as yet.

#18 Expelliarmus

Posted 19 May 2019 - 09:02 PM

Grammar is evident in the curriculum from FYOS. What makes you think it has not been taught?

Edited by Expelliarmus, 19 May 2019 - 09:02 PM.

#19 robhat

Posted 19 May 2019 - 09:13 PM

If your child hasn't been taught grammar yet, their school isn't teaching them properly. My 7 year old has been taught so much grammar, I can't understand his homework!

#20 ipsee

Posted 19 May 2019 - 09:46 PM

I don't think my kids understood about flagging questions - I will check with them. One of mine finished super early on one naplan and dozed on his desk for half an hour...I just thought if it was a paper version you would flick back through to any of the harder questions and have another look.

#21 Expelliarmus

Posted 19 May 2019 - 09:52 PM

You'd be surprised at how many students don't flick back. An online environment does prompt them to go back to unanswered questions before they hit finish.

Without the prompt they don't go back - even when they have been explicitly taught to do so. The paper version allows for the facilitator to prompt the student but you'd probably be surprised how many of them skip questions and fail to notice they have some left to answer.

#22 tenar

Posted 19 May 2019 - 09:54 PM

NAPLAN results are meaningful for schools when they look at how the entire cohort did.

For individual students they don't mean much at all: a chance to practise sitting tests, if you think that's important, and a reflect of what that kid did on that day.  Certainly not something to make a fuss or worry over.

Since they are held early in the year, there will always be some content that hasn't been covered yet.  I'm a maths teacher.  Our year 9s have covered about 1/3 of the year 9 content so far.  Different schools will have covered different parts (courses are run in different orders).  It's normal to have some testing at that level on things your child hasn't done yet: unavoidable part of the deal when testing is run partway through the year.

#23 Expelliarmus

Posted 19 May 2019 - 10:02 PM

My understanding has always been that they are not a test for *that* year level but a test of cumulative skills and understandings. The Year 3 Naplan isn't 'testing Year 3 content' - it is a range of questions from the beginning of their schooling to beyond their year level because you need to have a test where the student is less likely to hit the ceiling of the test.

#24 Mae55

Posted 19 May 2019 - 10:21 PM

View PostExpelliarmus, on 19 May 2019 - 09:02 PM, said:

Grammar is evident in the curriculum from FYOS. What makes you think it has not been taught?

I assume she meant a specific part of grammar. There was one question in the year 5 naplan tha we hadn’t explicitly taught.
ETA - I see the poster meant prepositions. We teach that in year one and two, but I hadn’t reviewed the term with my year fives and lots of them had forgotten the term.

Edited by Mae55, 19 May 2019 - 10:23 PM.

#25 CallMeFeral

Posted 19 May 2019 - 10:38 PM

View Posttenar, on 19 May 2019 - 09:54 PM, said:

For individual students they don't mean much at all: a chance to practise sitting tests, if you think that's important, and a reflect of what that kid did on that day.  Certainly not something to make a fuss or worry over.

This is a nice thought and I'm sure in line with the original intents of NAPLAN - however the fact is that private secondary schools are now asking for kids Naplan reports as part of entry assessment, so it's starting to mean more than it was originally intended.
I often think it's a bit like the Heisenberg stuff - it's one of those things that you can't measure without changing the thing you are measuring.

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