Proficiency levels – civics and citizenship

For the NAP – civics and citizenship assessments, proficiency scores are grouped into 6 proficiency levels ranging from below 1 (containing the least difficult items) to 5 (containing the most difficult items) each representing an equal range of student ability/item difficulty on the scale.

The full civics and citizenship proficiency scale and descriptions are shown below:

Level scale range Proficiency level description i

Level 5

Students working at Level 5 demonstrate precise knowledge and understanding of the Australian democracy and the contexts in which it has developed. They evaluate civic actions and recognise the potential for ambiguity in contested civic and citizenship concepts.

Level 4

Students working at Level 4 recognise the interaction between the policies and processes and actions of civil and civic institutions and the broader community. They explain the benefits, motivations and outcomes of institutional policies and citizens’ actions. They demonstrate familiarity with the precise discipline-specific vocabulary associated with civics and citizenship content and concepts both through interpreting text and in written responses.

Level 3

Students working at Level 3 demonstrate knowledge of specific details of the Australian democracy. They make connections between the processes and outcomes of civil and civic institutions and demonstrate awareness of the common good as a potential motivation for civic action. Students working at Level 3 demonstrate awareness that civic processes can be explained and justified in relation to their broader purposes.

Level 2

Students working at Level 2 demonstrate knowledge of core aspects of the Australian democracy. They demonstrate awareness of the connection between fundamental principles (such as fairness), and their manifestation in rules and laws. They demonstrate awareness of citizenship rights and responsibilities as being collective as well as individual and make simple evaluations of given mechanisms of civic action.

Level 1

Students working at Level 1 demonstrate knowledge of broad features of the Australian democracy. They recognise the cultural significance of the land to Indigenous Australians and that cultural attitudes and values can change over time. They demonstrate familiarity with simple mechanisms of community engagement and civic actions to inform and influence change.

Below level 1

Students working at below Level 1 demonstrate knowledge of the notion of fairness and recognise some basic human rights. They demonstrate familiarity with basic aspects of democratic processes and legal systems and some familiarity with generalised characteristics of Australian identity.

iFor selected item response descriptors that illustrate the nature of the civics and citizenship content and cognitive processes, which students can make use of when answering questions at the level, please refer to table 3.1 of the 2019 NAP – civics and citizenship Years 6 & 10 report (PDF 12.4 MB).

In addition to developing the civics and citizenship literacy proficiency scale, proficient standards were established for both Year 6 and Year 10. For the NAP sample assessments, proficient standards represent points on the proficiency scale that represent a challenging but reasonable expectation for typical Year 6 and 10 students to have reached by the end of each of those years of study. Students need to demonstrate more than minimal or elementary skills to be regarded as having reached the standard appropriate to their year level.

The Year 6 and Year 10 civics and citizenship proficient standards were set in 2004. The proficient standard for Year 6 was set at level 2 on the civics and citizenship proficiency scale. The proficiency standard for Year 10 was set at level 3 on the civics and citizenship proficiency scale.