NAPLAN Explained

by admin | 19th February 2024 | , ,

Dive into the world of NAPLAN (National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy) with our detailed exploration designed for parents, students, and educators alike. Whether you’re navigating NAPLAN Tutoring for the first time or seeking to deepen your knowledge, our blog serves as your ultimate resource. Here’s what you’ll find:

  • Background information about NAPLAN
  • The significance of NAPLAN
  • Topics and skills covered in NAPLAN
  • NAPLAN reporting.
  • What to do if …
  • Actions you can take

What is NAPLAN?

NAPLAN stands for National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy. It is a yearly assessment of literacy and numeracy skills for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 in Australia.

NAPLAN is developed by ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority) which is an independent statutory authority that is also responsible for forming the Australian curriculum. It was introduced in 2008 to replace the “Basic Skills” Test.

NAPLAN is designed to check how well students are learning the essential skills of reading, writing and numeracy, and to provide information about students’ progress against national standards.

It assesses the literacy and numeracy skills that students are learning through the school curriculum and allows teachers and parents/carers to see how students are progressing against national standards.

The results of the assessment can be compared to the national average of all students in the same year and against the average of the school.

In addition to other reporting measures aimed at ensuring schools and school systems are accountable to parents/caregivers and the wider community, the My School website offers information on all Australian schools, including school-level NAPLAN data that is updated annually.

My School supports national transparency and accountability of Australia’s school education system through publication of nationally consistent school-level data. In addition, the data on the My School website can be used to determine funding for schools. The website provides information on each school’s funding, including the amount of government funding and other sources of funding.

This website allows parents to compare schools and make the best decision for their children.

Is NAPLAN Significant?

NAPLAN is significant for parents as it provides a snapshot of their child’s performance in literacy and numeracy skills against national standards. It plays a crucial role in evaluating academic progress and identifying areas for improvement. Moreover, it provides educators with valuable insights into students’ strengths and weaknesses across various subjects and skill areas.

By analysing NAPLAN results, educators can tailor educational support programs to address specific areas where students may be struggling. This targeted approach allows for personalised tutoring and intervention strategies to help students improve their performance.

Furthermore, NAPLAN results provide a benchmark for measuring student progress over time. By comparing results from different years, educators can assess the effectiveness of teaching methods and identify any trends or patterns that may require further attention.

In addition to the valuable data it provides, NAPLAN also serves as a tool for parents to gain insights into their child’s academic abilities. With this information at hand, parents can seek professional help or expert guidance to support their child’s learning journey effectively.

Overall, NAPLAN acts as an essential tool in assessing student progress and identifying areas for improvement. Its results serve as a foundation for tailoring educational support programs and seeking additional assistance from tutors or professionals to ensure every student reaches their full potential.

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.

NAPLAN results are quite important for private school admission.

Private school admission criteria have always been a topic of interest for parents seeking the best education for their children. In recent years, the impact of NAPLAN results on private school admission has become a significant factor in the student selection process. NAPLAN scores in literacy and numeracy, are now being considered by many private schools as a crucial aspect of their competitive admissions process. These scores provide valuable insights into a student’s abilities and potential to succeed academically.

What is the format of the test?

The NAPLAN test is made up of four exams students complete in this order:

  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Conventions of language (spelling, grammar, and punctuation)
  • Numeracy

The test is held on school days for 2-3 days in a 9-day window starting on 13 March 2024. It involves 4-5 sets of tests depending on the grade.

The duration of each test varies depending on the domain and grade level. Check this website for more details.

The test in 2024 will be online except for the Writing exam for Year 3, which will be on paper.


Since 2023 ACARA has adopted the proficiency levels reporting system instead of the numerical bands reporting system.

The proficiency levels from 2023

The NAPLAN four levels of achievement are as follows:

  • Exceeding: The student’s result exceeds expectations
  • Strong: The student’s result meets challenging but reasonable expectations
  • Developing: The student’s result indicates that they are working towards expectations
  • Needs additional support: The student’s result indicates that they are not achieving the learning outcomes expected. They are likely to need additional support to progress satisfactorily.

Most teachers will say that being at a Strong or Developing Level is okay; they are referring to the average student or to the National Average, which is too low in comparison to other countries based on the results of international assessments. If your child is performing anywhere below exceeding, you should raise some questions.

What do I do if I see red flags?

It is important to take action if you find that your child is functioning at the lowest two proficiency levels rather than just the lowest level.

In this case, it is imperative to take action as soon as possible. Prevention is always better than treatment, whether that means creating a personalised study plan at home or contacting a reputable tutoring centre for assistance.

Establishing a solid foundation for your child’s academic success at an early age can be achieved by helping them develop their core skills in writing, math, and English.

Take charge of your child’s destiny and set them up for success throughout their life right away. Global Education Academy is here to support you every step of the way.

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