One point one million students across the nation today sat the first instalment of the controversial NAPLAN tests.

Proceedings went by the book but critics say the marking process will leave much room for misinterpretation.

Siobhan Hegarty reports.

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For these students at St Peter’s Lutheran College NAPLAN was more than an average exam.

Vox one: “It’s always um you know do I know this, and um have I learnt this? And sometimes you haven’t.”

Vox two: “I thought it was going to be very hard but I got in and I realised it wasn’t as hard as I thought, but it was still quite a challenge.”

Vox three: “I usually get lots of spelling wrong and stuff from the past NAPLANs I’ve done.”

Students in years three, five, seven and nine were today quizzed on language conventions with reading and numeracy to be tested next.

The results of every academic institution in the country will posted on the Government’s ‘My School’ website.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the scores will compare schools with similar student populations.

Julia Gillard, Deputy Prime Minister: “It’s really important for teachers because teachers rely on this diagnostic test to help them work out how to best teach kids next.”

The Queensland Teachers’ Union vice-president disagrees.

Julie Brown, Queensland Teachers’ Union vice-president: “Classroom teachers know more about the kids learning than a NAPLAN test will ever show you.”

She says the tests can pressure teachers to over-prepare students.

Julie Brown, Queensland Teachers’ Union vice-president: “The problem is always that these tests are being misused to rate schools and that’s not what they were designed for.”

Critics say under performing students were asked to stay away from school.

Some schools say they wouldn’t urge students to stay at home because they want an accurate reflection of their literacy and numeracy levels.

Stephen Rudolph, Head of College St Peter’s Lutheran College: “I would expect that schools would be doing their best, they would be allowing all of their students to sit the NAPLAN tests.”

Student attendance for NAPLAN will be monitored and posted on the My School website.

Siobhan Hegarty, QUT News