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4 Interesting things to know about the NAPLAN writing test

1. The NAPLAN test is given to year 3, 5, 7 and 9. 

The writing assessment guide is the same for all levels to compare the student’s abilities nationally.  The areas marked include: engaging the reader, organizing the correct text structure into clear paragraphs, discussing a variety of ideas, using a range of vocabulary that needs to be spelt accurately and producing grammatically correct sentences with appropriate punctuation.

2. The students are given stimulus called ‘prompts’. 

Year 3 and 5 are given the same writing prompt.  However, year 7 and 9 are given different prompts. The stimulus is made up of pictures and written prompts, as the example shows below.

3. The writing tasks are based on 2 different writing text types – Persuasive and Narrative. 

The students and teachers do not know which text type they are given until the day!

a. Persuasive is sometimes seen as the more difficult to write. 

It requires the student to use a variety of persuasive devices to communicate their position and persuade the reader about a given topic.  The students are allowed to use any information he/she has on the topic, whether they have researched it before, read or learnt about it at school or just offer their own ideas.  Students must be careful to give accurate information and not just make it up! The Oreo cookie is what we teach some students at Inforum Academy, which is based on the PEEL paragraph.  We know that this is a great fun way to teach the students how to correctly structure each paragraph in their persuasive text.

b. Narrative is usually the easiest as students are used to reading and writing stories from a very young age. 

Students can therefore reflect on the huge range of stories they have read, heard and watched, whether dreamtime inspired or their own realistic recounts. The narrative writing encourages the students to push themselves out of just presenting a beginning, middle and end.  That’s why at The Academy of Excellence, we practice ‘Sizzling Start’, ‘Tightening Tension’, ‘Racey Resolution’ with some ‘Dynamic Dialogue’.

4. Students can prepare and practice for this test.

Here at Inforum Academy of Excellence, we offer a 3-day NAPLAN intensive course, during the holidays.  Each day we tackle one of the text types by guiding the students through various activities, which will help them complete each writing to the best of their ability.  We give them advice about how to do the test confidently, brainstorm the vital vocabulary and language to use and teach the students the 7 steps to writing success!

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