For parents and carers

As children progress through their school years, it is very important that checks are made along the way to see how well they are learning the essential skills of reading, writing and mathematics – skills that will set them upon the path to success as adults.

NAPLAN allows parents and carers to see how their child is progressing in literacy and numeracy against the national standard and compared with their peers throughout Australia. At the classroom level, NAPLAN provides additional information to support teachers’ professional judgement about student progress.

Federal, state and territory education ministers agreed to transition NAPLAN to an online test by 2022. NAPLAN online is a tailored test that adapts to student responses, providing better assessment and more precise results.

Visit the Public demonstration site to see the type of questions in the tests.

Read the NAPLAN information brochure for parents and carers (PDF 133 KB). This information is also available in Simple English (PDF 1 MB) and the following languages: 

Translations reproduced with thanks to the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and the Western Australian School Curriculum and Standards Authority. 

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Preparing for NAPLAN

NAPLAN tests are constructed to give students an opportunity to demonstrate skills they have learnt over time through the school curriculum. Teachers will ensure that students are familiar with the test formats and will provide support and guidance. NAPLAN is not a test that students can prepare for in the same way they might prepare for a regular classroom test. Excessive preparation is not useful and can lead to unnecessary anxiety.

NAPLAN test days should be treated as just another event on the school calendar. The best way for children to prepare is to simply do their best on the day.

We do not recommend the use of commercial products, such as booklets and practice tests, to help your child prepare for NAPLAN tests. None of the commercial products currently on the market are endorsed by ACARA. The use of services by coaching providers is not recommended.

If you have any questions about preparation for NAPLAN, please make a time to speak with your child’s teacher.

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Participating in NAPLAN

All students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are expected to participate in NAPLAN tests. Schools should promote the benefits of NAPLAN and encourage parents and carers to support their child/children to participate in the tests. NAPLAN tests provide information on how a child is progressing against national standards. This information can be used to identify areas in which a child may benefit from additional assistance and highlight areas where they are doing well. NAPLAN does not replace, but rather complements assessments run by your child’s classroom teachers throughout the year.

Adjustments can be provided for students with disability to enable them to access the tests on an equivalent basis to students without disability. Read about the adjustments in the next section.

Some students who have been attending school in Australia for less than a year before the tests may be eligible for exemption. Exemptions should be discussed with your child’s school.

Parents or carers wishing to withdraw their child from the tests should discuss this with the school. States and territories have different ways of managing student withdrawals, but formal notification must be received by the school principal prior to testing.

Wherever possible, schools will organise for individual students who are absent at the time of testing to complete missed tests at another time during the test window.

Detailed information about exemptions, withdrawals and absences from NAPLAN can be found at Student participation.

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Adjustments for students with disability

ACARA encourages students to participate in NAPLAN tests based on their needs identified through the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on school students with disability (NCCD). Adjustments are available for students with disability to support their access to the tests.

Adjustments should reflect similar support and assistance provided in the classroom for assessment activities. An example might be a NAPLAN support person recording an answer at the direction of the student or a rest break for a snack. However, not all adjustments provided in a classroom setting are applicable for NAPLAN.

ACARA has developed a number of disability adjustment scenarios to explain some of the available adjustments for students with disability.

A student may be granted access to multiple adjustments based on their needs, and adjustments may be different for each NAPLAN test. For example, the adjustment(s) approved for the NAPLAN reading test may be different to the adjustment(s) approved for the NAPLAN writing test.

As the scenarios show, there are many adjustments available to students with disability, but not all students with disability are eligible for all, or even some, of the adjustments. Please note these scenarios are examples only.

Some students with significant intellectual disability and/or students with significant coexisting conditions, which severely limit their capacity to participate in the tests, may be exempted from sitting the tests.

Parents and carers of students with disability should meet with their child’s teacher and discuss the adjustments that may be suitable for their child.

The provision of adjustments must in all cases comply with the NAPLAN national protocols for test administration.

Visit the Accessibility section to read about adjustments available to students with disability and to watch our interviews with students with disability, their parents, carers and teachers. 

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How is NAPLAN performance reported?

NAPLAN is designed to show the range of student performance across the country.

Individual student performance is shown on a national achievement scale for each test that shows how the performance of individual students can be compared to the average performance of all students in Australia.

Read the Individual student report – FAQs for parents/carers (PDF 395 KB).

See Results and reports for more information on reporting.

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NAPLAN results 

Schools generally receive their students’ NAPLAN reports from mid-August to mid-September, depending on their state or territory test administration authority. The school will notify you when the reports are being sent to your home.  

Your child’s school is your first point of contact for any questions about their NAPLAN report, including:

  • if you do not receive a report

  • for replacement reports (please note: ACARA does not have access to individual student reports and cannot organise the reissue of lost student reports)

  • if you want further information about your child’s results. Copies of individual students test questions or responses are not available.

More information

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