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NAPLAN - what schools and teachers need to know

NAPLAN results provide information about student achievement, which can be used to inform teaching and learning programs.

NAPLAN tests provide information regarding student progress in literacy and numeracy and complement the wide range of formal and informal assessments already conducted in schools.

NAPLAN test results are not intended to be used in isolation from other school-based assessment programs.

Find out more:

Sitting NAPLAN tests

All eligible students in Years 3, 5, 7 or 9 enrolled at any school must sit for the tests unless they are exempt or withdrawn by parents/carers.

Most students sit NAPLAN tests in their own schools. Students who are travelling within Australia can sit for the tests at a school near their holiday location as a visiting student.

What NAPLAN assesses

During NAPLAN, the following areas of literacy are assessed:

In the language conventions, reading and numeracy tests, most questions will require either a multiple-choice response (shade a bubble to indicate the answer) or a constructed response (write the answer in a box or on a line).

For the writing test, students will be given a stimulus and be required to write up to three pages in response to the task.

Non-government schools and home schoolers

Find out more about NAPLAN in:

  • Independent schools contact Teresa Elliott, Senior Administrative Officer, NAPLAN on (02) 9367 8112.
  • Catholic Diocesan schools: contact Karen Ferrante, Catholic Education Commission on
    02) 9287 1575.
  • Home schooling: Teresa Elliott, Senior Administrative Officer, NAPLAN on (02) 9367 8112.

Participation and registration (PAR) website

School principals and NAPLAN co-ordinators must use the Student Participation and Registration (PAR) website to complete many NAPLAN administration tasks.

The tasks include:

  • completing the Statement of Compliance (including the NAPLAN Code of Conduct)
  • providing school contact details
  • confirming school and student details
  • adding newly enrolled students and deleting students who have left the school
  • ordering special print test material (large print, braille and electronic tests)
  • applying for scribe and computer use  
  • accessing parent/carer consent forms for exemption and withdrawal
  • recording student participation and disability adjustments during test week.

The PAR username and password are contained in a letter that is sent to schools with the  Handbook for Principals.

If you have lost the password, click the ‘Unable to Log In?’ button on the PAR login page. This will send an email to the school’s generic email address with the PAR password.

You will need to access the PAR website during the following NAPLAN phases.

  • Phase 1 – Term 1: Schools check and confirm student details within the allocated time frame.
  • Phase 2 – Term 2: Schools record details about student test participation and disability adjustments.
  • Phase 3 – Term 3: Schools check student participation details against report information.

NAPLAN test administration

The  Handbook for Principals ensures principals and teachers understand what is required to administer the NAPLAN tests. The Handbook for Principals is sent to schools in early March.

There are two parts to the handbook:

  • Part A contains relevant sections from the National Protocols for Test Administration, including the Code of Conduct. These protocols apply to all schools in Australia.
  • Part B contains the jurisdictional information that is relevant to administering NAPLAN in all NSW schools.

Schools must administer the tests in accordance with the nationally agreed test timetable.

Tests must NOT be conducted before the official test dates under any circumstances.

Test material security must be maintained until the test security period finishes.

Students who are absent during a test may undertake a catch-up test. Schools may schedule catch-up tests on a convenient day in the test week only, after the scheduled test. Students are not permitted to undertake catch-up tests in the week following the tests.

The Test Administration Handbook for Teachers provides test administrators with all the instructions needed to administer the tests. The Test Administration Handbook for Teachers is sent to schools with the test materials.

Test administrators must read and be familiar with all the information in the relevant sections of the handbook before administering each test. Test administrators must follow the student instructions and test administration script exactly as provided in the handbook. This means that all students across Australia will receive the same test instructions.

Marking NAPLAN

NAPLAN writing tests are marked by assessors who have received intensive training in the application of 10 ten writing criteria.

Further information about the NAPLAN writing test, including example prompts.

Download the Persuasive Writing Marking Guide and the Narrative Writing Marking Guide from ACARA.

Apply to mark NAPLAN tests

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