The National Sample Assessment in Science Literacy commenced in 2003, and is the only sample assessment that focuses entirely on Year 6 students. This is because the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) has agreed to use the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) as the measure of performance for science literacy among secondary students.
In 2012 approximately 13,000 Year 6 students participated in the NAP — Science Literacy assessment. This represented approximately 5% of the total Australian Year 6 student population. The participating students were from both government and non-government schools. The school reports for each school were released to schools on 7 December 2012.
The NAP — Science Literacy assessment measures scientific literacy. This is the application of broad conceptual understandings of science to make sense of the world, understanding natural phenomena and interpreting media reports about scientific issues. This assessment also includes asking investigable questions, conducting investigations, collecting and interpreting data and making decisions.