National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy

Every year, all Australian students in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9 sit the National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), which is an ongoing part of Australia's National Assessment Program (NAP).

What is NAPLAN?

NAPLAN is a national assessment that tests students' ability in three areas of literacy—reading, writing and language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation)—and in numeracy. Schools in all states and territories have administered NAPLAN in May every year since 2008.

Why do Australian schools participate in NAPLAN?

NAPLAN is part of the NAP, which is used to monitor and report on student achievement in a comparable and consistent way.

As the only full cohort national test undertaken by students, NAPLAN is the only test that can provide nationally comparable data about literacy and numeracy achievement across the country.

Australian students' results in NAPLAN are important measure of our education system because they tell us, at both the national and the state and territory level, how well we are equipping young Australians with critical literacy and numeracy skills.

  • NAPLAN, and testing generally, provide information about how children are progressing in school and how they compare to their peers across the country.
  • For governments, NAPLAN data can inform priority areas for resourcing, so that funds can be directed to where they are needed most.
  • For teachers, NAPLAN gives access to student results for each question, which teachers can use to develop appropriate intervention strategies to improve outcomes.
  • For parents, NAPLAN provides information on how their child is performing against national standards, not just against other children in a class.
  • For students, NAPLAN provides an opportunity for them to demonstrate what they have learned.

Where are NAPLAN results reported?

The national report and associated data are available on the National Assessment Program website hosted by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

School level results from NAPLAN are published on the My School website the year after the test was administered.

How are results from NAPLAN reported?

Each year, ACARA releases preliminary data from NAPLAN in August and a detailed national report in December.

The national report includes a comparison of results for each state and territory, and a breakdown of the national results that shows how students in different demographic groups are achieving.

For each literacy and numeracy area tested, the NAPLAN national report shows the results for students who are Indigenous or who come from a culturally and linguistically diverse background. It also compares the performance of students by gender, where their school is located (major cities, regional, remote, very remote), and according to their parents' occupation and educational background.

What are the next steps for NAPLAN?

The first NAPLAN online tests were successfully delivered in schools in May 2018. The remaining schools will transition to NAPLAN online, on an opt-in basis, by 2020.

More information about NAPLAN online is available on the Online Assessments page.