NAPLAN: results, reports, performance

ACARA does not have access to individual student reports and cannot arrange for replacement reports to be issued.

To obtain a copy of your child’s NAPLAN report, you should contact the school where he or she sat the test. If the school does not have a copy of the report on hand, the school may request one from the test administration authority for their state or territory. 

Please note: requests to the test administration authorities for replacement reports should not be made directly by parents.

NAPLAN results will be provided to schools from mid-August to mid-September, depending on your state or territory test administration authority.

The same report format is used for every student in Australia. The school will notify you when the reports are being sent home. If your child sits the tests and you do not receive a report, you should contact the school. Individual student results are strictly confidential.

For more information, see Student reports.

ACARA does not have access to copies of student test papers. ACARA encourages parents wanting further information about their child's results to contact their child's school to arrange a time for a discussion.

ACARA does not currently publish answers to recent NAPLAN test questions. If you have queries about particular questions following the test, you may like to discuss them with your child’s teacher or principal. To see test papers and answers from 2008 to 2016, visit the ‘NAPLAN’ section of the ACARA website.

NAPLAN is not a pass or fail type test. Individual student performance is shown on a national assessment scale for each test. Each test scale has 10 bands and all year levels are reported on the same scale. Six bands are reported for each year level for each test. The single scale allows students, teachers and parents to monitor progress across the years and compare results to those in previous years as students advance through school.

The second lowest band at each year level represents the national minimum standard for students for that year level. A result at the national minimum standard indicates that the student demonstrated the basic literacy and numeracy skills needed to participate fully in that year level. The performance of individual students can be compared to the average performance of all students in Australia.

While the scale for each domain appears to be similar the results cannot be directly compared across domains. For example, a score of 650 on a reading test denotes a different achievement than a score of 650 on a numeracy test.

For detailed information on the assessment scale used for NAPLAN reporting, see How to interpret.

Students and parents may use individual results to discuss achievements and progress with teachers.

Teachers use results to help them identify students who require greater challenges or additional support.

Schools use results to identify strengths and weaknesses in teaching programs and to set goals in literacy and numeracy.

School systems and governments use results to review programs and support offered to schools.

Yes. A rigorous equating process is undertaken each year to ensure that results can be compared. As a result, change in performance of schools and school systems over time can be identified.

The report of the national analysis of NAPLAN results is released to the public in two stages.

The first stage summary (preliminary) information is released in August prior to the distribution of reports to parents. This report showspreliminary results at each year level and domain by state and territory and nationally.

The second stage is the full national report that includes final results by gender, Indigenous status, language background other than English status, parental occupation, parental education, and location (metropolitan, provincial, remote and very remote) at each year level and for each domain of the test. This report, which relies on more detailed analysis, is published at a later date.

Once the national report is released, it supersedes the summary (preliminary) information.

The NAPLAN summary (preliminary) information is released in August. The national report is scheduled for release some months later, generally in December.

Both reports are available on the NAP website and can be  downloaded from the National reports page. Once the national report is released, it supersedes the summary (preliminary) information for that year and the summary information is taken down from the website.

All published NAPLAN results are also available in a searchable format in the NAPLAN results section.

No. The national report does not include school level information – this is available on My School. The national report contains results by each year level and domain by state and territory and nationally. The report also contains results by gender, Indigenous status, language background other than English status, parental occupation, parental education, and location (metropolitan, provincial, remote and very remote).

Individual school results are usually made available early in the year after the test took place.They are published on My School. This timeline is due to logistical and technical processes involved in analysing data from almost 10,000 schools and providing this information in the comprehensive format found on the My School website. Individual school results are not available on the NAP website.

The NAPLAN average score for a school is a good indication of school performance based on the students who were tested in the school. The greater the proportion of students tested, the greater the accuracy. The My School website gives indicative confidence intervals for schools with different numbers of students. Confidence intervals reflect the accuracy of the estimates and the degree of confidence one can have in them.

NAPLAN scores provide an indication of students' achievements, but they provide only one snapshot of selected aspects of what students know and can do. In interpreting a school's results, there are three important considerations:

  • No test is able to perfectly measure a student's level of achievement and all tests are subject to a certain amount of measurement error. This means that there will always be a margin of error surrounding a school's average score. In general, the smaller the number of students tested, the larger the margin of error.
  • NAPLAN tests sample only a part of what students learn during the year. For this reason, it is important to find out more about the whole curriculum of the school and the school's performance across a range of areas. Start by visiting the school's website or contact school leaders and teachers.
  • In comparing the performance of schools, it is important to take into account differences in their student intakes. The My School website uses Australian Bureau of Statistics data to compare the performance of each school to other schools that are statistically similar in terms of student backgrounds. Comparisons of schools that are not statistically similar can lead to misleading conclusions.

The My School website enables parents, educators and members of the community to track school performance over time. This information is available on the student gain page of the website. My School also provides a detailed explanation of how to interpret student gain data.

The NAPLAN scores for any given school on My School are the average of the results of all students in each test in each year level (e.g. Year 5 reading). The higher the number, the higher the achievement of the students in that year level.

Australian and international measurement advisory experts have confirmed students were tested on the same literacy and numeracy content, and results from both online and paper assessments can be reported on the same NAPLAN assessment scale. Find out more about the Measurement Advisory Group.

NAPLAN assessments are just one measure of a child's achievement at a point in time, and NAPLAN results should be considered together with school-based assessments and reports.

The results for both assessments, paper and online, accurately reflect each student's performance and assess similar content. While the results for both modes are comparable, individual student experiences for any single test may differ due to a range of factors, including the mode of delivery. As has always been the case, NAPLAN provides a snapshot of a child’s assessment at a point in time and results should be considered together with school-based assessments.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s NAPLAN results, you should discuss these with your child’s teacher, who will have the best insight into your child’s educational progress.

As always, NAPLAN only gives an indication of a student’s performance on the day of testing, and the results should be interpreted with care. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s NAPLAN results, discuss them with your child’s teacher who has the best insight on your child’s educational progress.

NAPLAN results for online and paper tests are reported on a common NAPLAN scale. Independent experts have confirmed that both NAPLAN online and NAPLAN paper tests assessed the same content and can be reported on the same scale. Parents, teachers and schools can rely on the information and be confident it is comparable.

No two tests can have exactly the same level of difficulty, so results are equated each year to adjust the difficulty of different tests and standardise them. This allows NAPLAN tests in different years to be reported on the same assessment scale.

Equating is a well-known statistical method that is widely used in other national and international large-scale educational testing programs.