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 is a point-in-time assessment that 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 gradually transition NAPLAN online by 2022. NAPLAN online is a tailored test that adapts to student responses, providing better assessment and more precise results.
Read the NAPLAN information brochure for parents and carers (PDF 133 kb), also available in Simple English (PDF 1 mb).
To see the types of questions and functionalities in the online tests, visit the public demonstration site page.
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. The same report format is used for every student in Australia.
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 student test questions or responses are not available.
How is NAPLAN performance reported?
NAPLAN is designed to illustrate the range of student performance across the country.
Individual student performance is shown on a national achievement scale for each test. The performance of individual students can be compared to the average performance of all students in Australia.
Read more about individual student reports in the Individual student report – FAQs for parents/carers (PDF 395 kb).
Read more about the reporting of NAPLAN results in the 'Results and reports' section of this website.
Preparing for NAPLAN
NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills that students have already learnt through the school curriculum. Teachers will ensure that students are familiar with the test formats and will provide appropriate support and guidance. Excessive preparation is not useful and can lead to unnecessary anxiety. If you have any questions about your child's preparation for NAPLAN, please make a time to speak with your child's teacher.
NAPLAN tests are constructed to give students an opportunity to demonstrate skills they have learnt over time through the school curriculum, and NAPLAN test days should be treated as just another routine event on the school calendar. The best way you can help your child prepare for NAPLAN is to reassure them that NAPLAN tests are just one part of their school program, and to advise them to simply do the best they can on the day.
ACARA does 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 were endorsed by ACARA. The use of services by coaching providers is not recommended.
Participating in NAPLAN
All students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are expected to participate in NAPLAN tests, and schools should not exert influence on parents or carers to withdraw their child from the tests. NAPLAN tests give you information on how your child is progressing against national standards. This information can be used to identify areas in which your child may benefit from additional assistance. NAPLAN does not replace, but rather complements assessments run by your child's classroom teacher 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 also be eligible for exemption. Exemptions should be discussed with your child's school.
Parents or carers may withdraw their child from the tests to address issues such as religious beliefs and philosophical objections to testing. It is recommended that withdrawal be considered in consultation with your child's 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 in the 'Student participation section' of this website.
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 in NAPLAN tests for students with disability to support students’ 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. However, not all adjustments provided in a classroom setting are applicable for NAPLAN.
ACARA has developed a number of 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 disability access 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 National protocols for test administration.
Visit our 'Accessibility' page to read about adjustments available to students with disability and to watch our interviews with students with disability, their parents, carers and teachers.
For more information about NAPLAN: