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 is not about passing or failing, but about assessing learning progress. At the classroom level it is one of a number of important tools used by teachers to measure student progress.
In 2018, for the first time, children in some schools across Australia took NAPLAN in an online format.
NAPLAN paper tests
Read the 2019 NAPLAN on paper information brochure for parents and carers (PDF 457 kb).
To provide an overview of the format of the tests, a full set of example tests is available.
NAPLAN online tests
Read the 2019 NAPLAN Online information brochure for parents and carers (PDF 507 kb).
To get an idea of what the tests look like, visit the public demonstration site and read more about NAPLAN Online.
Schools will receive NAPLAN reports for their students from mid-August to mid-September, depending on their state or territory test administration authority. The school will notify you when the reports are being sent home. The same report format is used for every student in Australia.
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 test papers are not available.
How is NAPLAN performance measured?
NAPLAN is designed to illustrate the range of student performance across the country.
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.
Read more about individual student reports in the Student report - information for parents brochure (PDF 317kb).
Read more about the reporting of NAPLAN results in the Results and reports section.
Preparing 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.
Participating 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.
Adjustments for students with disability
Adjustments are available in NAPLAN tests for students with disability to support students’ access to the tests.
ACARA has developed a number of scenarios to explain some of the available adjustments for students with disability.
A student may be granted access to multiple adjustments, and adjustments may be different for each NAPLAN test. For example, the adjustment(s) approved for the NAPLAN reading test may be different to the adjustment(s) approved for the NAPLAN writing test.
As the scenarios show, there are many adjustments available to students with disability, but not all students with disability are eligible for all, or even some of the adjustments. Please note these scenarios are examples only.
In most cases, adjustments should reflect similar support and assistance provided in the classroom for assessment activities. An example might be a NAPLAN support person filling in bubbles at the direction of the student. However, not all adjustments provided in a classroom setting are applicable for NAPLAN.
Parents of students with disability should meet with their child’s teacher and discuss the adjustments that may be suitable for their child.
The provision of adjustments must in all cases comply with the National protocols for test administration.
For more information about NAPLAN:
Last updated: 28 August 2018