Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education

Prior to graduation, all Australian initial teacher education (ITE) students are expected to sit the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE; the test) to demonstrate that they have been assessed as being in the top 30 per cent of the adult population for personal literacy and numeracy. The test provides a nationally consistent way to assess aspects of an individual’s personal literacy and numeracy skills. From 2023, prospective ITE students can register to sit the test.

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National Teacher Workforce Action Plan - LANTITE trial

On 15 December 2022, Education Ministers agreed to the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan (the Action Plan). The Action Plan includes actions across five priority areas, including strengthening ITE. Within this priority area, Action 11 requires the LANTITE trial to:

  1. increase the number of permitted test attempts and,
  2. provide better feedback to test participants on areas they need to improve when they have failed to meet the standard.

The trial will commence from Test Window 4 (registration opens on 26 September) in all higher education providers in Australia.

For more information on the trial, please visit the LANTITE trial webpage.


Between 2016 and 2021, almost 118,000 individuals have attempted one or both components of the test. This figure comprises 115,039 individuals who sat both components of the test and 2816 individuals who sat either the literacy or numeracy component of the test.

The tables below show the number of unique candidates attempting each component of the test each year (one or more times) and the percentage of those who met the standard in that year.

Literacy component

Year of registration  Total first-time test candidates % met the standard
2016 13,083 95.2%
2017 23,387 92.0%
2018 22,061 90.5%
2019 20,670 91.7%
2020* 16,511 91.8%
2021 20,891 92.9%

Numeracy component

Year of registration  Total first-time test candidates % met the standard
2016 13,084 94.2%
2017 23,465 92.3%
2018 22,007 90.0%
2019 20,702 90.7%
2020* 16,313 91.9%
2021 20,720 93.0%

*Note: There were fewer test candidates in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on test operations. Many physical testing centres were closed, and the May 2020 test window was conducted completely online.

The test requirement

Ensuring the capability of teachers is vital to raising the overall quality of Australia’s school system and lifting student outcomes. Action to improve the quality of teachers in Australian schools must begin when teachers are first prepared for the profession.

For teachers, strong personal literacy and numeracy skills are an essential part of the attributes and skills needed to be effective in the classroom. They are also necessary to foster the development of these critical skills in students, providing the building blocks for future learning.

The requirement that all ITE students possess personal literacy and numeracy skills in the top 30 per cent of the adult population has been in place since 2011 when all Education Ministers agreed to the updated Accreditation of initial teacher education programs in Australia. In 2015, all Education Ministers agreed that from 1 July 2016 the test would be used as the means to demonstrate students have achieved this standard.

The test standard of literacy and numeracy achievement equivalent to the top 30 per cent of the Australian adult population was empirically validated in 2017 with reference to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. The test has been developed with reference to the Australian Core Skills Framework, the key measure for the Australian Government’s Skills for Education and Employment program. The test has been created in consultation with teacher educators from the higher education sector and represents literacy and numeracy tasks and contexts that can reasonably be expected to be within the professional experience of teachers.

Any ITE student undertaking a qualification that enables them to register to teach in a school setting is expected to meet the standard of the test prior to graduation. There are no exemptions or alternative assessments to the test requirement.

Sitting the test

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is the test administrator and is responsible for delivering the test in selected testing centres across Australia and through an invigilated online environment (remote proctoring). The test is held during set test windows throughout the year. Students seeking up-to-date information on the test, including test dates, locations, information about reasonable adjustments and registration procedures, should refer to ACER’s test website.

The test has two components: a literacy component and a numeracy component. Students are required to register for the test on the ACER test website and pay the test fee at the time of registration.

To assist candidates to prepare for the test, ACER offers a range of resources on ACER’s test website. This includes full size practice tests, as well as retired test items, practice questions and 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.

Enrolled students attending a higher education provider that is not participating in the LANTITE trial have up to three opportunities to demonstrate that they meet the standard in each test component. Enrolled ITE students who do not meet the standard after three attempts should discuss options with their higher education provider. Higher education providers can request up to two additional resit attempts for an individual student in special or extenuating circumstances.

For prospective and unenrolled students there is no limit on the number of test attempts. If they are attending a higher education provider that is not participating in the LANTITE trial and they enrol in a teaching degree without having passed the test, the three standard test attempt limit policy will apply from the time they enrol. Sitting the test as a prospective or unenrolled student is optional. Passing the test as a prospective or unenrolled student does not guarantee entry into an ITE degree.

Prospective students

Individuals who are planning to enrol in an ITE course can now sit the test before they commence their studies. This includes Year 11 and 12 students, recent school graduates, mature age or mid-career people and people enrolled in pathway courses. This will offer more certainty and fairness to students before they decide to invest time and resources in pursuing a teaching career. This will also give higher education providers the opportunity to provide targeted assistance to students who need additional support to meet the required standard. Sitting the test before enrolling in an ITE course is optional.

More information

For more information about the LANTITE trial, see the trial website or see the following Frequently Asked Questions documents: