The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.

It is a nationwide measure through which parents/carers, teachers, schools, education authorities, governments and the broader community can determine whether or not young Australians are developing the literacy and numeracy skills that provide the critical foundation for other learning and for their productive and rewarding participation in the community.

NAPLAN results allow parents/carers and educators to see how students are progressing in literacy and numeracy over time – individually, as part of their school community, and against national standards.  

The tests support monitoring and evaluating of the performance of schools and school systems in these fundamental capabilities. They also provide schools, states and territories with information about how education approaches are working, areas to be prioritised for improvement, and those schools requiring support in the teaching and learning of literacy and numeracy.

The results can assist teachers by providing additional information to support their professional judgement about students’ levels of literacy and numeracy attainment and progress.

NAPLAN tests are one aspect of each school’s assessment and reporting process and do not replace the extensive, ongoing assessments made by teachers about each student’s performance. Each teacher will have the best insight into their students’ educational progress. Parents/carers can use NAPLAN reports, along with other school assessment reports, to discuss their child’s strengths and areas for improvement with their teacher. 

NAPLAN results do not measure overall school quality.

The assessments are undertaken nationwide, every year. From 2008 to 2022, NAPLAN tests were held in May. From 2023, education ministers agreed NAPLAN tests will be held in March. 

NAPLAN is made up of tests in the 4 areas (or ‘domains’) of:

  • reading

  • writing

  • conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation)

  • numeracy.

See the NAPLAN infographic (PDF 810 KB) for useful information on NAPLAN tests and benefits. 

To see the look and feel of the tests and types of questions, visit the online assessment Public demonstration site. Find past NAPLAN paper tests and answers on the ACARA website.