The National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is rolling out in schools this week – an annual exam for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.
Some students are set to become the most tested generation yet with pressure to meet new benchmarks in reading, writing and maths.
However, Australia’s most famous maths teacher, Eddie Woo, says it’s not a time to get anxious.
Eddie Woo is a maths teacher by day and internet hit by night (post continues below):
“This is not something anyone needs to be stressed about,” says Woo.
“No one is going to get a job because they have amazing NAPLAN results and no one is going to be held back from a job because they got less than stellar NAPLAN results,” he added.
“A lot of people stress about it because it’s an exam and you’re being put under time pressure and not being able to choose the way that you want to express your understanding – that’s stressful for anyone.”Advertisement
The internet-smash maths teacher says his own daughter, who is taking her first NAPLAN this week, has also been convinced of the negative attitudes toward exams.
"She absorbs this attitude from around her, from friends, adults and sometimes even teachers and the broader culture of society that's like - 'hey this is a test - i t really matters, you're going to be measured and your value is going to be attached to your score on a test' and that's not what it is about at all," says Woo.
The head of mathematics at Cherrybrook Technology High School says the test is a "useful tool" for teachers and parents to understand where kids are at.
"I view NAPLAN as an opportunity to help us understand our students better, identify any students that are struggling and make sure we're moving every student forward in their journey," he says.
Podcast on life in year 12: “It was the worst year of my life.” (Post continues below).
"A lot of people make a big deal about ranking students," he adds.
He says people "are in a flap" about the minimum standard for numeracy that was introduced at the end of last year.
"They don't realise that you get many many chances to qualify for it in the years to come. It's not as though there's a big stress if you don't make it this time around."