​​​Why do students do NAPLAN?

NAPLAN is a national literacy and numeracy assessment that students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sit each year. It is the only national assessment all Australian students have the opportunity to undertake.

As students progress through their school years, it’s important to check how well they are learning the essential skills of reading, writing and numeracy.

NAPLAN assesses the literacy and numeracy skills that students are learning through the school curriculum and allows parents/carers to see how their child is progressing against national standards and over time.

NAPLAN is just one aspect of a school’s assessment and reporting process. It doesn’t replace ongoing assessments made by teachers about student performance, but it can provide teachers with additional information about students’ educational progress.

NAPLAN also provides schools, education authorities and governments with information about how education programs are working and whether young Australians are achieving important educational outcomes in literacy and numeracy.

Your student will do the NAPLAN tests online

Schools have transitioned from paper-based to computer-based assessments. All Year 3 students will continue to complete the writing assessment on paper.

Online NAPLAN tests provide more precise results and are more engaging for students. One of the main benefits is tailored (or adaptive) testing, where the test presents questions which may be more or less difficult depending on a student's responses.

Tailored testing allows a wider range of student abilities to be assessed and measures student achievement more precisely. A student's overall NAPLAN result is based on both the number and complexity of questions they answer correctly. Your student should not be concerned if they find questions challenging; they may be taking a more complex test pathway.​

What does NAPLAN assess?

NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills that students are learning through their regular school curriculum.

Students sit assessments in writing, reading, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. The questions assess content linked to the Australian Curriculum: English and Mathematics.

All government and non-government education authorities contribute to the development of NAPLAN test materials.

To find out more about NAPLAN, visit

Participation in NAPLAN

NAPLAN is for everyone. ACARA supports inclusive testing so all students have the opportunity to participate in the national assessment program.

Adjustments are available for students with disability who have diverse functional abilities and needs.

Schools should work with parents/carers and students to identify, on a case-by-case basis, reasonable adjustments required for individual students with disability to access NAPLAN. Adjustments should reflect the support normally provided for classroom assessments.

To help inform these decisions, you may consult the NAPLAN public demonstration site, the Guide for schools to assist students with disability to access NAPLAN, or our series of videos where parents/carers, teachers and students share their experiences in using NAPLAN adjustments.

In exceptional circumstances, a student with a disability that severely limits their capacity to participate in the assessment, or a student who has recently arrived in Australia and has a non-English speaking background, may be granted a formal exemption.

​​What if my student is absent from school on NAPLAN days?

Where possible, schools may arrange for individual students who are absent at the time of testing to complete missed tests at another time during the school’s test schedule.

​What can I do to support my student?

Students are not expected to study for NAPLAN. You can support your child by reassuring them that NAPLAN is a part of their school program and reminding them to simply do their best. Some familiarisation and explanation of NAPLAN is useful to help students understand and be comfortable with the format of the tests. Teachers will ensure students are familiar with the types of questions in the tests and will provide appropriate support and guidance.

​ACARA does not recommend excessive preparation for NAPLAN or the use of services by coaching providers.

See the types of questions and tools available in the online NAPLAN assessments at assessment/public-demonstration-site.​

​Where can I get more i​​nformation?

For more information about NAPLAN:

To learn how ACARA handles personal information for NAPLAN, visit ​​

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Last reviewed 06 March 2023
Last updated 06 March 2023