For parents and carers
The following information is available as a downloadable NAPLAN information for parents and carers brochure (PDF 108 KB) and a Simple English NAPLAN information brochure for parents and carers (PDF 1 MB).
Translated PDFs are available at the bottom of this page.
Why do students do NAPLAN?
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is a literacy and numeracy assessment that students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sit each year. It is the only national assessment all Australian students have the opportunity to undertake.
As students progress through their school years, it is important to check how well they are learning the essential skills of reading, writing and numeracy.
NAPLAN assesses the literacy and numeracy skills that students are learning through the school curriculum and allows parents/carers to see how their child is progressing against national standards.
NAPLAN is just one aspect of a school’s assessment and reporting process. It does not replace ongoing assessments made by teachers about student performance, but it can provide teachers with additional information about students’ educational progress.
NAPLAN also provides schools, education authorities and governments with information about how education programs are working and whether young Australians are achieving important educational outcomes in literacy and numeracy.
Your child will do the NAPLAN tests online
Online NAPLAN tests provide more precise results and are engaging for students. The tests are tailored (or adaptive), which means that each test presents questions that may be more or less difficult depending on a student’s responses. This helps students remain engaged with the assessment.
Tailored testing allows a wider range of student abilities to be assessed and measures student achievement more precisely. A student’s overall NAPLAN result is based on both the number and complexity of questions they answer correctly. Your child should not be concerned if they find questions challenging; they may be taking a more complex test pathway.
All Year 3 students will continue to complete the writing assessment on paper.
What does NAPLAN assess?
NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills that students are learning through their regular school curriculum.
Students sit assessments in writing, reading, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. The questions assess content linked to the Australian Curriculum: English and Mathematics.
All government and non-government education authorities contribute to the development of NAPLAN test materials.
Participation in NAPLAN
NAPLAN is for all Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students. ACARA supports inclusive testing, so all students have the opportunity to participate in the National Assessment Program.
Adjustments are available for students with disability who have diverse functional abilities and needs.
Schools should work with parents/carers and students to identify, on a case-by-case basis, reasonable adjustments required for individual students with disability to access NAPLAN. Adjustments should reflect the support normally provided for classroom assessments.
To help inform these decisions, you may consult the NAPLAN public demonstration site, the Guide for schools to assist students with disability to access NAPLAN (PDF 96 KB), and our series of videos where parents/carers, teachers and students share their experiences in using NAPLAN adjustments.
In exceptional circumstances, a student with a disability that severely limits their capacity to participate in the assessment, or a student who has recently arrived in Australia and has a non-English speaking background, may be granted a formal exemption.
Your school principal and your local test administration authority can give you more information on adjustments for students with disability or the process required to gain a formal exemption.
What can I do to support my child?
Students are not expected to study for NAPLAN. You can support your child by reassuring them that NAPLAN is a part of their school program and reminding them to simply do their best. Some explanation of NAPLAN is useful to help students understand and be comfortable with the format of the tests; however, it is not necessary for parents/carers to do this. Teachers will ensure students are familiar with the types of questions in the tests and will provide appropriate support and guidance.
ACARA does not recommend excessive preparation for NAPLAN or the use of services by coaching providers.
See the types of questions and tools available in the online NAPLAN assessments at the public demonstration site.
How is my child’s performance reported?
From 2023, NAPLAN results are reported against proficiency standards. There is a standard for each assessment area at each year level. Proficiency standards provide clear information on student achievement. They are set at a challenging but reasonable level expected for the student at the time of NAPLAN testing, based mainly on what has been taught in previous years of schooling. Student achievement is shown against 4 levels of proficiency: Exceeding, Strong, Developing and Needs additional support.
A NAPLAN individual student report will be provided by your child’s school later in the year. If you do not receive a report, you should contact your child’s school.
What if my child is absent from school on NAPLAN test days?
Where possible, schools may arrange for individual students who are absent at the time of testing to complete missed tests at another time during the school’s test schedule.
How are NAPLAN results used?
- Students and parents/carers use individual results to discuss progress with teachers.
- Teachers use results to help identify students who need greater challenges or extra support.
- Schools use results to identify strengths and areas of need to improve teaching programs, and to set goals in literacy and numeracy.
- School systems use results to review the effectiveness of programs and support offered to schools.
- The community can see information about the performance of schools over time at My School.
The NAPLAN test window is 9 days. This is to accommodate schools that may not have the capacity to complete the tests in a shorter time frame.
Schools will schedule the tests as soon as possible within the testing window, prioritising the first week.
See Key dates or NAPLAN test window for more information.
Translations copyright the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and reproduced with thanks.
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