Despite the furore about NAPLAN testing, the results of Year 9 NAPLAN testing have some serious implications for students and parents alike in Western Australia.
In order to attain the WACE (Western Australian Certificate of Education) certificate at the end of Year 12, all students in Western Australia need to achieve band 8 or more in the Year 9 NAPLAN for the Writing, Reading Comprehension and Numeracy tests. If a student fails to achieve at least a band 8 in the NAPLAN tests, and then he/she must take the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) test. The OLNA test is held in March and September and students get to take that twice a year in Year 10, 11 and 12 until they have met the benchmark.
What is OLNA?
The OLNA or Online Literacy and Numeracy test is a computer-based multiple-choice question test developed to assess the minimum standard of students required for advance education for Reading and Numeracy. The OLNA comprises three components namely Writing, Reading, and Numeracy. Students must attain the minimum standard in all these three tests, though not necessarily at the same time.
Students who have attained Band 8 or above in Year 9 NAPLAN need not sit for the OLNA. Students who fail to attain the minimum standard must keep taking the OLNA tests until they are able to satisfy the minimum required standard. A total number of 6 opportunities are given until Year 12.
Why is OLNA important?
It has been tied to graduation since its establishment in 2014. Students need to take the OLNA tests but those who do not pass it, do not receive the WACE Certificate but only the WA Statement of Student Achievement (WASSA).
Students can sit for the OLNA test at any time after Year 12. Currently, there is no such limit for the maximum number of attempts.
How to evade OLNA?
Preparing well for NAPLAN and scoring the required band will help you avoid OLNA. Parents must encourage their children to perform well in their literacy and numeracy tests to meet the national standards. Poor preparation certainly leads to nerves and stress for students. One way to overcome nerves and stress is more practice.
What can Practice Tests do?
Online practice tests offer students the chance to practise in simulated exam conditions, especially now that NAPLAN tests have gone online. Parents get a report of the performance of their child.Test Champs provide NAPLAN Online test papers for all the components. You can trial some questions for free.