Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students

Before graduating, all initial teacher education students must sit the online Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students (the test) to show they are in the top 30 per cent of the adult population for personal literacy and numeracy.

The requirement that all initial teacher education students have personal literacy and numeracy skills in the top 30 per cent of the adult population has been in place since 2011, when the Accreditation of initial teacher education programs in Australia: Standards and procedures were established. In 2015, all education ministers agreed that from 1 July 2016 the test would be used to show students have achieved this standard.

Any initial teacher education student studying for a qualification to teach in a school must pass the test before graduating. In some states and territories, people can only be registered and work as a teacher if they have passed the test.

The test has a literacy component and a numeracy component. Each component consists of 65 questions. Students can take the test up to three times. Students should discuss options with their higher education provider if they do not meet the standard after three attempts.

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is the test administrator and delivers the test in selected testing centres and through a supervised online environment environment (remote proctoring). 

The test is available in set windows throughout the year. Key dates for the test windows and the locations in which the test is offered in each window are published on the ACER website. The 2018 dates are now available. Students must register to sit the test on the ACER website and pay the test fee at the time of registration. The fee for each component of the test is $92.50, or $185 for both components.

Want to know more?

More information about the test is available in questions and answers and on the ACER website. Practice questions are available on the ACER website, as well as a Described Proficiency Scale, which describes the skills assessed by the test and how candidates' achievement of the standard required by the test is determined.

After reading the questions and answers, if you have further queries, email ACER can be contacted at for test administration issues, including concerns about registration and sitting the test.