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. It is important to remember that NAPLAN tests are not pass/fail tests. NAPLAN tests provide very valuable information, but there are no consequences for individual students for poor or good performance. At the classroom level it is one of a number of important tools used by teachers to measure student progress. To provide an overview of the format of the tests, a full set of example tests is available.
In 2013, NAPLAN tests will be held on 14-16 May.
Information specifically for parents and carers can be found in the 2013 NAPLAN information brochure for parents and carers.
Participation 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 to withdraw their child from the tests. NAPLAN tests give you information on how your child is progressing against national standards. This information allows for additional intervention if necessary to ensure your child progresses at a rate where they can fully participate in all aspects of the curriculum. 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 as students without disability, and should be discussed with your child's school prior to the tests. ACARA has developed example scenarios to provide greater understanding of the appropriate adjustments for students with disability. Some students with significant intellectual disability and/or those with significant co-existing conditions which severely limit their capacity to participate in the tests may be exempted from sitting the tests.
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 testing week.
Detailed information about absences, exemptions and withdrawals from NAPLAN can be found in the Student Participation section.
Preparation for NAPLAN
NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills that students are already learning 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, you are encouraged to make a time to speak with their teacher.
NAPLAN tests are constructed to give students an opportunity to demonstrate skills they have learned 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 urge 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 are endorsed by ACARA. The use of services by coaching providers is not recommended.
A NAPLAN report will be issued by your child's 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 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 student's test papers are not available.
How is NAPLAN performance measured?
NAPLAN is not a pass or fail type test, and is designed to illustrate the range of student performance across the country. It is not expected that all students will be able to answer all questions correctly.
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.
Information on how to understand your child's individual student report is available in the 2012 Student Report - information for parents brochure.
ACARA has also developed a video (5 min 39 s) that explains how NAPLAN results are reported, including the individual Student Report.
More detailed information on the reporting of NAPLAN results is available in the Results and Reports section.
For more information about NAPLAN: