2017 information for parents and carers What is NAPLAN?

2017 information for parents and carers What is NAPLAN?

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual national assessment for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. All students in these year levels are expected to participate in tests in reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. All government and non-government education authorities have contributed to the development of NAPLAN materials.

Why do students do NAPLAN tests?

NAPLAN is the measure through which governments, education authorities, schools, teachers and parents can determine whether or not young Australians are meeting important educational outcomes in literacy and numeracy. The tests provide parents and schools with an understanding of how individual students are performing at the time of the tests. They also provide schools, states and territories with information about how education programs are working and what areas need to be improved. NAPLAN tests are one aspect of a school’s assessment and reporting process; they do not replace the extensive ongoing assessments made by teachers about each student’s performance.

What will be tested and how?

NAPLAN tests the sorts of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life, such as reading, writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy. NAPLAN content is aligned with the Australian Curriculum. For more information on this, please see the NAP website:

Questions are multiple-choice or require a short written response. The writing task requires students to write a text in response to a prompt. To give you an idea of what the tests look like, sample questions and a sample writing task are available on the NAP website.

Who will run the tests?

NAPLAN tests are conducted at schools and administered by classroom teachers, school deputies or principals. Each state and territory is responsible for marking the tests in accordance with strict guidelines and processes.

How can I help my child prepare for the tests?

NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills that students have already been learning through the school curriculum. Teachers will ensure students are familiar with the test formats and will provide appropriate support and guidance. Help your child prepare for NAPLAN by reassuring them that NAPLAN tests are just one part of their school program, and reminding them on the day to simply try their best. The use of services by coaching providers is not recommended. If you have any questions about your child’s preparation for NAPLAN, you should make a time to speak with their teacher.

What additional support can schools provide for students with special needs?

All students are encouraged to participate in NAPLAN tests. Students with disability may qualify for adjustments that reflect the support normally provided in the classroom. Students who have a temporary injury may also be reasonably accommodated. A formal exemption may be granted for a student with significant intellectual disability and/or significant coexisting conditions, or for a student who has recently arrived in Australia and has a non-English speaking background. Your school principal and your state testing authority can give you more information on special provisions or the process required to gain a formal exemption.

How is NAPLAN performance measured?

NAPLAN is not a pass-or-fail type test. Individual student performance is shown on a national achievement 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. One of these bands represents the national minimum standard for students at each 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.

What happens if my child is absent from school on test days?

Where possible, schools will organise for individual students who are absent at the time of testing to complete missed tests at another time during the testing week. Individual students are not permitted to sit tests after Friday 12 May 2017.

Will I receive a report on my child’s performance?

A NAPLAN report will be issued by your school later in the year. The same report format is used for every student in Australia. The school will notify you when the reports are being sent to you. If you do not receive a report, you should contact the school. Individual student results are strictly confidential.

How are NAPLAN test results used?

  • Schools use results to identify strengths and weaknesses in teaching programs and to set goals in literacy and numeracy.
  • School systems use results to review programs and support offered to schools.
  • Students and parents may use individual results to discuss progress with teachers.
  • Teachers use results to help them better identify students who require greater challenges or additional support.
  • The community can see average school NAPLAN results on the My School website:

Where can I get more information?

For more information about NAPLAN:


Tuesday 9 May

Wednesday 10 May

Thursday 11 May

Year 3 language conventions 40 minutes writing 40 minutes reading 45 minutes numeracy 45 minutes Year 5 language conventions 40 minutes writing 40 minutes reading 50 minutes numeracy 50 minutes Year 7 language conventions 45 minutes writing 40 minutes reading 65 minutes numeracy 60 minutes Year 9 language conventions 45 minutes writing 40 minutes reading 65 minutes numeracy 60 minutes

  • Language conventions test includes spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Numeracy test includes number and algebra; measurement and geometry; and statistics and probability.
  • Calculators are not permitted in the numeracy test in Years 3 and 5. In Years 7 and 9, each student will sit one numeracy test.

This test will have two parts: one where calculator use is permitted and one where it is not. © Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority 2017