THE annual NAPLAN tests kick off next week and students at Bulahdelah Central School will be amongst the first to take the test online.
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In preparation, a School Readiness Test was conducted in 2017 and students sat an online practice test earlier this year.
Year 7 student Mia McBride said she felt more engaged with the electronic test compared to previous pen-and-paper assessments.
“It is more fun using a computer and it keeps you focused on the questions,” she said.
The National Assessment Program tests students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 and tracks their achievements in literacy and numeracy throughout their schooling.
The move online is designed to provide schools with more detailed and precise results and a faster turnaround of information.
Relieving Deputy Principal Mr Warren Jones said other significant changes include the introduction of “tailored testing” where students will be presented with different questions based on the answers they provide.
“This will enable students at all levels of ability to access relevant content and questions,” he said.
All assessments will be completed at a computer, apart from Year 3 writing which will still be undertaken with pencil and paper.
“Students use headphones during the tests and can have questions read to them through audio,” Mr Jones said.
“This further engages the students by removing distracting noises occurring in or around the test room.”
Mr Jones said a stopwatch is displayed on the screen to help students keep track of time and numeracy tests have interactive features including a calculator and ruler.
Students at Tea Gardens Public School will sit the traditional pen and paper test next week.
Principal Mr Mark Clemson said the transition approach determined by the NSW Minister for Education allowed for a limit of 500 schools from across all NSW education sectors to move to online testing this year.
“Whilst our school expressed interest in transitioning to NAPLAN Online in 2018, we were not selected to participate,” he said.
“Our school will be moving to NAPLAN Online by 2020.”
By Daniel SAHYOUN