A cheat sheet on how to ace the NAPLAN writing test is going viral right now. So should you give it to your kids?
The official name of the cheat sheet is “Dr Perelman’s guide to a top-scoring NAPLAN essay”.
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Dr Perelman calls it “the worst” of the 10 or 12 international tests that he’s studied in depth.
“It’s measuring all the wrong things,” he told the ABC. “It doesn’t reward spelling correctly. It rewards using big words.”
Dr Perelman’s guide advises that students should memorise the list of difficult and challenging words put together by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). The challenging words range from “definite” and “brilliance” to “haemoglobin” and “quiescent”. He says students should sprinkle words from this list throughout the paper.
“Feel free to repeat them, and do not worry very much about the meaning,” he adds.
The full list of words can be found in the appendices to Dr Perelman’s report, beginning from page 73.
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Dr Perelman suggests starting sentences with connective words, such as “moreover” and “however”, and using the passive voice frequently. He also suggests lifting story lines from TV shows and movies for narrative essays.
“Markers are explicitly instructed to ignore if they recognise any stories or plots and mark the script on its own merits as if it was original,” he explains.
Dr Perelman’s NAPLAN review was commissioned by the NSW Teachers Federation. A spokesperson for the federation, Denis Fitzgerald, says Dr Perelman’s guide is “both tongue-in-cheek and serious”.