NAPLAN

NAPLAN, an assessment of literacy and numeracy, is undertaken annually by all Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 students throughout Australia. NAPLAN was first administered in 2008 as a paper test program.

Transition to the online NAPLAN assessment program commenced in 2018. The online tests use a tailored test design, where students answer an initial set of questions and are then directed to subsequent sets of questions, either more challenging or less challenging, based on the accuracy of their responses. The use of a computer-based environment enables a wider range of question types and potentially encourages broader levels of engagement.

In 2018, 273 Western Australian schools that were nominated by their system or sector successfully transitioned to online NAPLAN testing, while all other schools continued with paper-based NAPLAN.

Since 2019, the majority of Western Australian schools have participated in online NAPLAN assessments.

From 2022, all schools are expected to participate in the online NAPLAN assessments, except for a very small number of schools delivering an Authority-approved alternative curriculum. These schools will continue with alternative format (paper) testing.

Detailed information about the online NAPLAN assessment, including a public demonstration site, is available on the ACARA National Assessment Program website.

Detailed technical information about online NAPLAN is available at the Online National Assessment Platform website.

NAPLAN is made up of two assessment areas.

The literacy assessment comprises three tests:

The reading tests are designed to assess a wide range of abilities.

For the online test, students read a range of text types on a computer or device and answer questions about the texts on screen in a variety of online item formats.

For the alternative format (paper) test, students are provided with a colour magazine containing a range of text types. They are required to read each text then complete multiple-choice and short-answer questions in their test booklets.

No part of the reading assessment should be read to the students. Teachers must not read either the reading texts or questions to the students nor should they reword or explain questions. If students seek assistance, teachers may encourage them to read aloud any question or part of the text.

For further information about the reading tests, go to:

Online test public demonstration site

Paper test example questions

All students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are required to complete a writing task, using a prompt or stimulus topic. The genre of the task is not be disclosed prior to the test period. The writing test requires students to respond to either a persuasive or narrative writing prompt.

All Year 3 students complete their writing tests by handwriting into a test booklet. All Years 5, 7 and 9 students, except those at schools delivering Authority-approved alternative curricula, type their writing tests online.

Criterion-referenced marking rubrics are used to assess students’ writing. The same rubrics are applied to all responses, both handwritten and typed. This enables comparisons to be made across year groups and topics, and growth to be measured.

All Western Australian writing responses are marked in WA by specially-trained teachers recruited by the Authority. Suitably qualified applicants can apply for NAPLAN marking at NAPLAN writing marking

More information about the NAPLAN writing assessment, including the persuasive and narrative writing marking criteria and guides, and examples of prompts, are here:
The NAPLAN writing tasks

The Conventions of language test comprises spelling, and grammar and punctuation.

For the online test, students spell words in an audio dictation task, identify and correct spelling errors in a proofreading task, and answer grammar and punctuation questions in a range of online item formats.

For the alternative format (paper) test, students identify and correct spelling errors in a proofreading task, and answer multiple-choice grammar and punctuation questions in their test booklets.

For further information about the spelling, and grammar and punctuation tests, go to:

Online test public demonstration site

Paper test example questions

The numeracy assessment area includes:

  • Number and Algebra
  • Measurement and Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability.

For the online test, students in Years 3 and 5 do not use a calculator. The test for students in Years 7 and 9 has two sections. In the first section, calculators are not allowed. In the second section, students can access an online calculator, ruler and protractor. Students in all year groups can turn on an audio player to hear the questions read aloud, if they wish.

For the alternative format (paper) test, Years 3 and 5 students will complete only one test and will not use a calculator. Years 7 and 9 students will complete two tests and will require a calculator for one of the tests. Students will be permitted to bring into the test the calculator that they currently use at school or with which they are most familiar.

For further information about the numeracy tests, go to:

Online test public demonstration site

Paper test example questions

The online NAPLAN test window is nine days. The extended test window allows schools to take account of the availability of devices in the school when scheduling tests.

For online NAPLAN 2023, day 1 of testing is Wednesday, 15 March and day 9 is Monday, 27 March.

The four tests must be scheduled in the sequence prescribed by the National protocols for test administration, with the writing test prioritised. The sequence is:

Writing  >  Reading >  Conventions of language  >  Numeracy

For the writing test,

  • It is recommended Year 3 writing tests be completed by all classes at the same time in the morning of Day 1.
  • Years 5, 7 and 9 writing tests may be scheduled across Day 1, taking into account students’ access to a device.
  • Extension of the Years 5, 7 and 9 writing test into Day 2 may be possible where there are technical and/or logistical limitations.
  • All classes may sit additional tests on Day 1, as long as there is at least a 20-minute rest break provided for students between each test.
  • If adherence to the writing test schedule is not possible, for any reason, principals or NAPLAN coordinators must contact the NAPLAN helpdesk on 9442 9442 or email naplanonline@scsa.wa.edu.au for permission to re-schedule the writing test.

2023 online NAPLAN test timetable

Test

Scheduling requirements

Duration

Writing

Year 3 students must do a paper-based writing test on day 1 only

Years 5, 7 and 9 students must commence the writing test on day 1.

Permission to extend the writing test beyond day 1 must be sought from the TAA.

Year 3: 40 minutes
Year 5: 42 minutes
Year 7: 42 minutes
Year 9: 42 minutes

Reading

To be completed after the writing test

Year 3: 45 minutes
Year 5: 50 minutes
Year 7: 65 minutes
Year 9: 65 minutes

Conventions of language

To be completed after the reading test

Year 3: 45 minutes
Year 5: 45 minutes
Year 7: 45 minutes
Year 9: 45 minutes

Numeracy

To be completed after the conventions of language test

Year 3: 45 minutes
Year 5: 50 minutes
Year 7: 65 minutes
Year 9: 65 minutes

Catch-up tests

Principals are encouraged to facilitate all students’ participation in the tests by holding catch-up sessions for those who were identified as absent on the day they were scheduled to do the test and who return to school within the school’s planned test schedule.

Under no circumstances may individual students with planned absences be permitted to take the tests before their classes’ scheduled test sessions for any given test.

Test security period

Tests must not be conducted prior to the published test dates under any circumstances.

The test security period is the period during which NAPLAN tests remain secure.

For both online and alternative format (paper) tests, the test security period starts as soon as secure test materials are received by, or released to, a school and runs for four days following the official test window, until Friday, 31 March 2023.

Secure test materials include any user log-in details, including login cards, student session codes, test session codes and all versions of the test papers.

The 2023 NAPLAN alternative format (paper) tests are scheduled for the mornings of Wednesday, 15 March, Thursday, 16 March and Friday, 17 March.

Schools with approved alternative curriculums are expected to complete the tests on these days, following the timetable below.

Catch-up sessions may be conducted during the testing week at any time following the scheduled assessment time.

Students are not permitted to sit the alternative format (paper) tests after Monday, 20 March, 2023.

2023 NAPLAN paper test timetable


Wednesday
15 March

Thursday
16 March

Friday
17 March

Monday
20 March

Year 3

Language conventions
45 minutes


Writing
40 minutes

Reading
45 minutes

Numeracy
45 minutes

Catch-up tests for individual students who were absent can be offered any time after the scheduled test, up until the end of 20 March.

Year 5

Language conventions
45 minutes


Writing
40 minutes

Reading
50 minutes

Numeracy
50 minutes

Year 7

Language conventions
45 minutes


Writing
40 minutes

Reading
65 minutes

Numeracy
65 minutes


Part A:
Calculator Allowed
55 minutes


Part B:
Non-calculator
10 minutes

Year 9

Language conventions
45 minutes


Writing
40 minutes

Reading
65 minutes

Numeracy
65 minutes


Part A:
Calculator Allowed
55 minutes


Part B:
Non-calculator
10 minutes

Test security period

Tests must not be conducted prior to the published test dates under any circumstances.

The test security period is the period during which NAPLAN tests remain secure.

For both online and alternative format (paper) tests, the test security period starts as soon as secure test materials are received by, or released to, a school and runs for four days following the official test window, until Friday, 31 March 2023.

Secure test materials include all versions of test papers, and any user log-in details, including login cards, student session codes and test session codes.

Next phase of NAPLAN improvements in place from 2023

On 16 March 2022, Australian Education Ministers announced changes to NAPLAN from 2023. Primarily, this means moving forward the administration of NAPLAN from Term 2 to Term 1. This means, schools and parents will receive results earlier in the year.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) presented to Ministers the recommendation for the best approach for moving NAPLAN forward after close consultation with education jurisdictions.

ACARA is now tasked with providing support and developing information resources to assist Test Administration Authorities and schools with the scheduling change.

In Western Australia, the School Curriculum and Standards Authority is the Test Administration Authority and will work closely with the school systems and sectors and consult with stakeholders about the changes to provide the best support to schools. This will include Webex meetings and NAPLAN updates.

Questions and answers will be updated regularly as ACARA provides further advice and stakeholder consultation in relation to implementation in Western Australian schools occurs.

What are the new dates for NAPLAN in 2023?

The dates for the 2023 NAPLAN tests are from Wednesday 15 to Monday 27 March. The dates for 2024 to 2027 are available on the ACARA website.

When will results arrive in schools?

Schools will receive the Student and School Summary Reports (SSSRs) for non-Writing tests in the beginning of May 2023. Writing results will be returned later as additional time is required to mark the Writing test.

School systems and sectors will provide full analysed results after the Writing results, at a date to be advised.

When will parents receive their child’s results?

Parents will receive one report after the Writing results are made available to schools.

Swimming lessons, school camps and school sports carnivals always take place in Term 1, will they be affected?

Schools will need to work with providers to schedule these activities around the test times.

As NAPLAN will now occur earlier, won’t this affect student achievement?

This is to be expected as students will have had less teaching time by the time of the tests.

ACARA is predicting a one-off downward adjustment due to the tests being earlier in the year and will ensure 2023 NAPLAN results clearly communicate that this is expected. Parents should not be concerned by this. This is outweighed by the benefits of receiving the results earlier.

Students won’t have time to settle in to school after a long school holiday break before being required to sit these tests.

Any impact of decline in student performance over the long summer break will be captured in the one-off downward adjustment.

When will schools be able to schedule NAPLAN familiarisation activities?

National testing protocols require that students are familiar with the functionality of the NAPLAN platform and the range of test items they will encounter. Schools are best placed to decide when this will take place. The NAPLAN Online public demonstration site, which can be used for these activities, is available all year round. ACARA will also provide a practice environment that will be available to schools in the weeks prior to the testing dates.

Will schools have to upload student registrations in SIRS earlier in the year?

No. Schools are already aware of the process for student registrations and prioritising that for NAPLAN year levels which will not change. As long as schools meet the scheduled timelines, there should be no impact.

How will schools ensure they have trained staff to conduct NAPLAN activities when there are usually a lot of staff changes at the beginning of the year?

The Authority will ensure online staff training materials are available from the start of Term 1.

Will there be any staffing support for schools to accommodate the changes?

This is a question for school systems and sectors. Enquiries should be directed to the relevant contact listed below.

When will practice tests be scheduled?

There will be no Coordinated Practice Test in the test environment. Practice tests can be undertaken in a separate environment and will be available to schools from the commencement of the school year in 2023.

When will School Readiness Testing (SRT) take place for 2023?

SRT was a transition to NAPLAN Online activity. ACARA has advised no SRT will be required as all schools will be online.

What about the OLNA, won’t the timelines clash?

There is an overlap in the scheduling of NAPLAN in 2023 and the OLNA. Further consultation will take place over the coming months to address how this will be managed.

Our school bandwidth will not cope with NAPLAN and OLNA happening at the same time.

This will be considered during consultation that will take place over the coming months.

Our school does not have enough devices to run NAPLAN and OLNA at the same time.

This will be considered during consultation that will take place over the coming months.

How will the move of the 2023 NAP Sample testing for Years 6 and 10 from Term 4 to Term 2 be managed?

ACARA will work with education jurisdictions to finalise the dates and details for this change. Further information will be available over the coming months.

What are the NAP Sample opt-in tests and how can schools participate?

Opt-in tests will not commence until 2024. More information will be available closer to the time.

School Curriculum and Standards Authority contact:

NAPLANonline@scsa.wa.edu.au

Helpdesk phone: 9442 9442

Special NAPLAN updates will be provided to schools as information becomes available.