NAPLAN tests will be held next week, from Tuesday 12 May – Thursday 14 May, for children in Years 3 and 5.

What is NAPLAN?

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual national assessment for all children in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. All children in these year levels are expected to participate in tests in reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. All government and non-government education authorities have contributed to the development of NAPLAN materials.

Why do children do NAPLAN tests?

NAPLAN is the measure through which governments, education authorities, schools, teachers and parents can determine whether or not young Australians are meeting important educational outcomes in literacy and numeracy. The tests provide parents and schools with an understanding of how individual children are performing at the time of the tests. They also provide schools, states and territories with information about how education programs are working and what areas need to be prioritised for improvement. NAPLAN tests are one aspect of a school’s assessment and reporting process; they do not replace the extensive ongoing assessments made by teachers about each child’s performance.

What will be tested and how?

NAPLAN tests the sorts of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life, such as reading, writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy. The content of each test is informed by the national Statements of Learning for English and mathematics, which underpin state and territory learning frameworks. Questions are multiple-choice or require a short written response. The writing task requires children to write a text in response to a prompt. To give you an idea of what the tests look like, sample questions and a sample writing task are available on the NAP website:

Who will run the tests?

NAPLAN tests are conducted at schools and administered by classroom teachers. Each state and territory is responsible for marking the tests in accordance with strict guidelines and processes.

How can I help my child prepare for the tests?

NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills that children have already been learning through the school curriculum. Teachers will ensure children are familiar with the test formats and will provide appropriate support and guidance. If you have any questions about your child’s preparation for NAPLAN, you should make a time to speak with the class teacher. The best way you can help prepare for NAPLAN is to reassure your child that NAPLAN tests are just one part of their school program and to urge them to simply do the best they can on the day. The use of services by coaching providers is not recommended.