Marion Primary School year three students practising for the NAPLAN. 140 schools sat tests online for the first time. (AAP Image/ Brenton Edwards)
Marion Primary School year three students practising for the NAPLAN. 140 schools sat tests online for the first time. (AAP Image/ Brenton Edwards)

Can you pass this Year 9 exam?

While writing results from this year's NAPLAN test were at a lowest, numeracy results were above standard.

Take the quiz below

Today's results suggest some Australian schoolchildren are more proficient at typing than handwriting, with one in five students taking the test online.

There were no significant change in any areas compared with last year, but writing test results for students in years five, seven and nine were "well below" the 2011 standard.

Meanwhile numeracy results for students in years 5 and 9 were "significantly above" the average in 2008 when those skills began being subject to national testing.

Reading and spelling results for years 3 and 5, and grammar results for years 3 and 7 were also "significantly above" the NAPLAN 2008 average, AAP reported.

The ACT remains the highest performing state across all measures.

THE CRITICISM

The NAPLAN test has copped major criticism by academics for comparing the test results of students who completed the exam online to those who used pen and paper.

The 2018 scaled results showed little change from last year, except that this year was the first of a three-year online testing rollout, with one in five students in years three, five, seven and nine taking the tests online.

Despite some teachers expressing their concerns, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), which organises the NAPLAN tests, says online and paper results are comparable but noted that the method of testing can affect results.

"As this is the first year of online assessment, extra attention has been given to reviewing the data and ensuring it is comparable with previous years and between online and paper test modes," ACARA said in a statement.

 

Marion Primary School year three students practising for NAPLAN. 140 schools sat the NAPLAN tests online for the first time. Picture: AAP Image/Brenton Edwards
Marion Primary School year three students practising for NAPLAN. 140 schools sat the NAPLAN tests online for the first time. Picture: AAP Image/Brenton Edwards

ACARA'S DEFENCE - NAPLAN ORGANISERS

ACARA acknowledged that year 9 students who sat the writing test online performed better on average than those who completed the traditional pen-and-paper version.

After the heavy criticism on whether the two types of sets (online, and pen and paper) were comparable, it asked its own panel of experts to review the results, the ABC reported.

"The independent experts have confirmed the results are comparable, however, this difference [in the writing test] appears to be a result of the test mode," ACARA said in a statement.

"The difference may be due to students at this year level having greater confidence writing online than on paper, as well as students' ability to readily review and edit their work online in a way that is not possible with a pen-and-paper test."

According to the publication, ACARA insists the results are comparable because all students were marked against a common set of criteria.

However, two US experts still think this year's results "should be discarded", following a scathing review of the 2018 NAPLAN testing.

US EXPERTS SLAM RESULTS

Professors Les Perelman and Walt Haney, both global experts in school assessment, said studies had shown the impact of the mode of testing was in many cases "gigantic".

But, ACARA CEO Rob Randall told the ABC he rejected the comments, saying they're confident in the data.

"We wouldn't release this data if we weren't confident," Mr Stokes said.

"My assurance to mums and dads and others is the report you're getting is an indication of what your son or daughter was able to do on the day.

"We're keen to get the data out to mums and dads, we're keen to get it out to schools."

The two experts' review was released by the NSW Teachers Federation, whose president Maurie Mulheron said it wasn't fair that this year's test had manipulated the results of students doing online exams and those using pen and paper.

"The attempt to equate the two different modes of testing is unfair and invalid," Mr Mulheron said.

Students sitting for the NAPLAN test the pencil and paper way. Picture: Tasmanian Department of Education
Students sitting for the NAPLAN test the pencil and paper way. Picture: Tasmanian Department of Education

 

WHY NSW WANTED IT AXED

Back in May, NSW became the first state to call for the test to be dumped, with State Education Minister Rob Stokes saying it was being used to rate students, not track their progress.

He also labelled it as an industry that extorts money from desperate families.

In an ABC report, Mr Stokes said the test had been "used and abused" and was not useful as it did not take into account any differences between different schools and communities.

At the time, South Australian Education Minister John Gardner said he did not support Mr Stokes' position, but admitted improvements could be made.

"NAPLAN was designed to be a tool to assess an individual student's progress, first and foremost," Mr Gardner told the ABC.

"I think that we do possibly need to do something to get back to that primary purpose."

Victorian Education Minister James Merlino also agreed for a review, highlighting that NAPLAN was close to 10 years old.

"It's absolutely timely that we review it and not just in terms of reporting, but also the content as well," Mr Merlino said.

TAKE THE QUIZ BELOW - EXAMPLE QUESTIONS (2015)

 



HAVE YOU SEEN ME: Boy missing

HAVE YOU SEEN ME: Boy missing

He was last seen on Tuesday.

MISSING: Police need help to locate teenage girl

MISSING: Police need help to locate teenage girl

Anyone who may know her whereabouts is urged to contact police.

Parole gave thief free rein to offend

premium_icon Parole gave thief free rein to offend

"How did he get away with not having his parole cancelled"