In May each year, all students in schools and colleges across Australia in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sit for the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) test.
NAPLAN tests assess student knowledge and skill in numeracy, reading, writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar.
The results of the tests provide information for students, parents, teachers and principals about student achievement which can be used to inform teaching and learning programs.
The tests provide point-in-time information regarding student progress across Australia in literacy and numeracy and are intended to complement teacher judgement and the wide range of formal and informal testing programs that are already used in schools.
Test results are not intended to be used in isolation from other school-based assessment programs. Schools should ensure that, along with whole-school planning for delivery of the VELS curriculum, a variety of assessment tasks is used to assess student learning.
All students are encouraged to take part in the NAPLAN tests. Special provisions are available to meet the needs of individual students and children with special needs.
Parents or carers of students who sit for the NAPLAN tests will receive a written report of their child’s achievement in September.
The student report will show each child’s results in the key areas of reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy.
The report also shows the national average, the range of results for the middle 60 per cent of students nationally, and the particular school’s average for each test.
That means parents will be able to clearly see how their child compares with other students in the same year of schooling.
NAP sample assessments
NAP sample assessments occur annually on a rolling basis. In 2013, civics and citizenship was tested and in 2014, ICT literacy was tested. Science literacy was tested in 2015.
Only a small sample of randomly selected schools participate in the sample assessments, which provide a national snapshot of performance in these three agreed areas of learning.
The civics and citizenship test was delivered online for the first time in 2013.
International sample assessments
As part of the National Assessment Program, Australia participates in the following international sample assessments:
• Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
• Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)
• Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).