HUNTER students who will move from paper testing to NAPLAN Online this year can expect to be asked questions better suited to their individual ability and to receive more precise results faster than ever before.
Schools started moving from paper to online tests last year and all are on track to participate online in 2020.
All of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle's schools - including St Bede's Catholic College at Chisholm - will sit the four tests in language conventions, writing, reading and numeracy via NAPLAN Online this May.
College assistant principal Brett Donohoe said his school's 116 year seven students sat a 45-minute practice test on Thursday to become familiar with the platform and the types of questions they will be asked.
All schools sitting NAPLAN Online this year will take the practice test between March 25 and April 5.
"It all worked really well," Mr Donohoe said. "There will be no results going back to students on this - the aim wasn't the content, it was more about them becoming familiar with the new process of being online."
Mr Donohoe said this involved students bringing in their own headphones; checking the volume on their Dell hybrid laptops; using a locked down browser that prevents them from accessing other software; and using the online ruler, protractor and calculator.
He said one of the main benefits of moving online was the test adapting to a student's ability. "When you get to a certain point in the test it will judge your performance and where you sit and tailor the questions to you," he said. "If you're an A grade student it won't give you C or D grade questions, it will up the ante. It becomes more engaging. Another one is results coming back to us so much quicker so we can analyse them sooner and make sure students' learning is personalised and differentiated." He said other benefits included teachers being able to pause the test; a range of question formats; interactive features; adjustments for students with a disability; a timer on the screen; a progress summary and zoom tool.
He said the students were digital natives and used to technology playing a major role in their schooling, regularly using programs Microsoft OneNote and Office 365; digital textbooks; and an information management system called Compass.
He said the school viewed NAPLAN as "a snapshot at one particular time" and providing "one piece of the puzzle" to measure student learning, alongside data collected from the Progressive Achievement Test, Cognitive Abilities Test and other assessments. Students at schools moving online in 2019 also sat a school readiness test last year.