Is your child getting ready to take the NAPLAN test?

This valuable test can tell teachers a lot about how your student is progressing and which areas need more attention. It can be nerve-wracking for students, though, primarily if they're not used to standardised tests or don't consider themselves to be good test takers.

The good news is that there are lots of things you can do to help your child feel confident when they take the test. It all starts with a proper preparation plan.

Read on to learn more about the NAPLAN test and what you can do with your child to help them prepare for it.

Preparing for the NAPLAN Test

The better prepared your child is, the better they'll do when test day arrives. Here are some things you can do as a parent to make sure they feel ready to tackle the annual NAPLAN test:

1. Talk About Time Management

One of the most common issues with which students struggle when taking the NAPLAN test is time management. They often feel rushed and overwhelmed, neither of which is excellent for helping them perform their best.

To help your child avoiding feeling this way, talk to them about time management.

Encourage them to skip and come back to questions that they're unsure of. That way, they won't waste time puzzling over one particular issue and have to rush to finish the rest of the test.

2. Talk About Test-Taking Strategies

Spend time working with your child, so they understand the right way to handle different questions, too.

For example, talk to them about re-reading questions to ensure they understand the instructions.

You should also teach them about strategies like the process of elimination and how they can use it to increase their chances of getting the right answer to a question.

3. Practice Brainstorming

The writing portion of the NAPLAN test can often be overwhelming to students, especially if they're not used to having to write essays in short periods of time.

To help your child feel more confident with this portion of the test, spend time working with them on brainstorming ideas.

You might want to have them write practices essays and get comfortable working within a certain period of time, too.

4. Focus on Progress and the Process

When you're working with your child and helping them to prepare for the NAPLAN test, it's important to emphasise the importance of progress and the study process rather than getting hung up on a specific outcome.

Talk to them about trying their best and address the progress they've made. Let them know that, as long as they're improving and learning, it doesn't matter what score they receive.

5. Have Them Take Practice Tests

Taking practice tests can really help students to feel more at ease and confident when they go to take the real NAPLAN test. Encourage them to sit down and do a practice test at least once per week.

This will help them get familiar with the types of questions they'll see on the test, and you'll be able to figure out which areas they need to focus on more during their study sessions.

Tips for Handling Test Anxiety

Making sure your child is prepared for the test will help them to feel less anxious about it. There are some other techniques you can use to minimise their anxiety on test day and the days leading up to it, including the following:

Talk to Them About the Test Structure

You can do a lot to assuage your child's test anxiety by talking to them about what to expect from the test. The following are some basic things your child ought to know about it:

Questions are multiple choice and short written answer

The language conventions tests assess your child's ability to spell and use Standard Australian English

The numeracy tests evaluate their ability to solve problems with and without a calculator (depending on their year)

The reading tests assess their ability to decode words and infer information from a test; it also tests their vocabulary

The writing test assesses your child's ability to appeal to an audience and use proper sentence structure, grammar, and spelling

During the writing portion of the test, your child will have 40 minutes to write a narrative or persuasive essay. For the other tests, they will have between 40 and 50 minutes, depending on their year.

Ensure They Get a Good Night's Sleep

It's also essential to ensure your child gets a good night's sleep the night before the test. Ensure they go to bed on time and eliminate screen usage before bed to help them rest well.

Stick to Their Normal Routine

It's best to stick to their regular routine the morning of your test. Encourage them to eat breakfast and do everything they'd typically do. This will help to put them at ease and keep them from getting worked up about the test.

Use Positive Language

When you talk about the best, always use positive language and make sure your tone is encouraging. Talk to your child about the importance of positive thinking and positive self-talk, too.

Teach Them Relaxation Exercises

It might also be helpful to teach your child some relaxation exercises that they can do before they take the test.

Simple things like taking a few deep breaths before the test begins can help them to relax and remember that they're capable of handling the questions they're about to be asked.

Get Your Child Prepared for the Test Today

As you can see, there are lots of things you can do to ensure your child is ready for the NAPLAN test.

Even if they're brand new to standardised testing and are anxious about the process, the guidelines will help them to stay calm and perform to the best of their abilities.

Do you want to do more to prepare your child for the test? Are you looking for more helpful test-taking resources? If so, we've got lots of practice tests available on our site.

Check them out today to help your child feel more confident when they sit down to take the actual NAPLAN test.