NAPLAN – participation

What happens if my child is sick on one of the test days?

Schools can organise for individual students who are absent at the time of testing to complete missed tests at another time during testing week.


Are any students exempt from NAPLAN tests?

Yes. Students can be exempted from one or more NAPLAN tests if they have significant or complex disability, or if they are from a non-English-speaking background and arrived in Australia less than one year before the tests. However, exemption is not automatic and parents may choose for their child to participate. Support can be provided for students with disability to participate in the NAPLAN tests. 

Signed parent/carer consent forms are required for students to be exempted from the tests. All Australian governments have committed to promoting maximum participation of students in the national assessment process.  For more information, see Student participation.


What additional support can schools provide for students with disability?

All students are encouraged to participate in NAPLAN tests. Students with disability may qualify for adjustments which reflect the support normally provided in the classroom. Students who have a temporary injury may also be reasonably accommodated. Additional information about these adjustments, including examples illustrating the application of adjustments permitted for students with disability, can be viewed in the Adjustments for students with disability section.

A formal exemption may be granted for students who have severe or complex disabilities.


Where can I get more information about adjustments for students with disability and exemptions?

Your school principal and your state test administration authority  can provide you with more information on adjustments for students with disability or the process required to gain a formal exemption.


Can I withdraw my child from the tests?

While participation by all students is expected, students may be withdrawn from the testing program by their parent/carer. This is a matter for consideration by individual parents/carers. Withdrawals are intended to address issues such as religious beliefs and philosophical objections to testing. A formal application in the manner specified for each state or territory must be received by the principal prior to the testing. Your principal can provide further information about the withdrawal process. For more information, see Student participation.


What do I do if my child’s school suggests not participating in testing?

Students who are in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are expected to participate in the testing. A decision to withdraw a student from the NAPLAN tests is the responsibility of the student’s parent/carer, and not the school. We recommend that you discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher or school principal in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with your school’s response, you can contact the test administration authority in your state or territory. Test administration authorities are responsible for the administration of the NAPLAN tests, including withdrawals. Relevant contact details are available under the Test administration authorities contacts section.


Can students sit the tests overseas?

No, NAPLAN tests can only be sat within Australia.


Why do all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 do NAPLAN tests instead of just a small sample of students?

Literacy and numeracy are critical elements of learning and it is important to understand how each student is progressing in establishing these foundations. The NAPLAN tests provide valuable information to all schools about the performance of their students, and support the ability of schools to focus teaching on areas of need. The tests also help parents see how their child is progressing against national standards.