An adult preparing for the NAPLAn Writing Test

Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students have begun the 2024 NAPLAN testing. This test assesses students’ writing skills and is essential to the national curriculum. There are four components: Writing, Reading, Language Conventions, and Numeracy. 

As a parent, you may wonder what the NAPLAN writing test is about and how you can help your child prepare for it. In this article, we will discuss the NAPLAN writing test, its sections, and seven ways to help your child succeed in NAPLAN writing.

The NAPLAN Writing Test

The NAPLAN writing test is a standardised test that assesses students’ writing skills. It measures their ability to generate ideas, organize information, develop coherent arguments, and demonstrate mastery of language conventions. The test consists of various writing genres, including narrative, persuasive, and informative/explanatory. Students are presented with a prompt or stimulus and are required to produce a written response within a specified time frame, which is different per grade. 

Key Differences Between Persuasive and Narrative Writing in NAPLAN Writing Test

Depending on which Year your child is in, they may have to complete a writing task that is either narrative or persuasive. In persuasive writing, students are required to present a point of view and persuade their readers to agree with their argument. In narrative writing, students are required to tell a story, usually from their own point of view. Both sections test students’ writing skills but require different writing techniques and approaches.

7 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in NAPLAN Writing

1. Familiarise your child with the test format: It is essential to familiarise your child with it. You can do this by accessing NAPLAN past tests, reviewing the test format, and discussing the requirements with your child.

2. Practice pre-writing strategies: Encourage your child to practice pre-writing strategies such as brainstorming ideas, outlining key points, and planning the structure of the response.

3. Structure responses: Teach your child how to structure their responses by focusing on the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. The introduction should grab the reader’s attention, the body paragraphs should organise ideas logically, and the conclusion should summarise the main points.

4. Focus on clarity and conciseness: It is important to teach your child to communicate their ideas clearly and concisely, avoiding complex sentences or vocabulary that may obscure their message.

5. Experiment with different sentence structures: Encourage your child to experiment with different sentence structures. They should use simple, compound, and complex sentences to create a rhythmic flow that engages readers.

6. Use show, don’t tell technique: Ask your child to use vocabulary that shows the reader rather than telling. They can use vivid imagery, descriptive language, and sensory details to bring writing to life.

7. Incorporate relevant examples: Encourage your child to incorporate personal anecdotes, statistical data and research, and literary or historical references. This can add authenticity, depth, and sophistication to their writing.

Preparing your child for the NAPLAN writing test can seem daunting, but your child can succeed with the right approach and support. By familiarising them with the test format, focusing on writing techniques, and incorporating relevant examples, your child can develop the skills they need to excel in the NAPLAN writing test.