The National Assessment Program is run at the direction of the Education Ministers Meeting (previously known as the Education Council). It includes the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), the three-yearly sample assessments in science literacy, civics and citizenship, and information and communication technology (ICT) literacy, and participation in international sample assessments.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is the independent statutory authority responsible for the overall management of the Australian National Assessment Program, in collaboration with representatives from all states and territories and non-government school sectors.


NAPLAN is an annual assessment for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It tests the types of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. The tests cover skills in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy. The assessments are undertaken every year in the second full week in May.

NAP sample assessments

NAP sample assessments occur annually on a rolling basis. In 2021, ICT literacy was due to be assessed, having been deferred from 2020 due to COVID-19. However, the ICT literacy test has been deferred again, to 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, civics and citizenship was tested and in 2018, science literacy was tested.

Only a small number of schools participate in the sample assessments, which provide a national snapshot of performance in these three agreed areas of learning. The civics and citizenship test was delivered online for the first time in 2013.

International sample assessments

As part of the National Assessment Program, Australia participates in the following international sample assessments:

ACARA does not oversee the delivery of these assessments.