Notice to Schools 8/2017 − 8 February 2017

NAPLAN 2017 updates

Principals/Directors, all F-10 NAPLAN schools and NAPLAN coordinators

Main Points

NAPLAN 2017 Handbook for Principals

All schools should have received the NAPLAN 2017 Handbook for Principals, which was sent early in Term 1. Included with the handbook was an important reminder sheet for NAPLAN 2017 and login details for the Test Administration website. If your school has not received these, please contact the NAPLAN Helpdesk.

NAPLAN Test Dates

Schools are reminded that NAPLAN testing will take place from Tuesday 9 May to Thursday 11 May 2017. The test timetable is located on the NAPLAN webpages, together with the NAPLAN test dates up to 2020. Schools should incorporate these dates into their forward planning for 2017 and beyond.

Year 7 and Year 9 Numeracy tests

Following a revision to the format of the NAPLAN Numeracy tests by ACARA, in 2017 the Year 7 and Year 9 NAPLAN Numeracy tests will each contain a total of only 48 questions. Students will be required, as in the past, to answer both calculator and non-calculator questions that allow them to apply a broad range of numeracy skills.

The Year 3 and Year 5 paper-based tests will be similar in style and content to previous years.

As the Year 7 and Year 9 Numeracy tests will have fewer questions, students will sit one Numeracy test session instead of two. This one test session will still be split into two sections: Part A, which requires calculators, and Part B, for which students are not permitted to have calculators.

Parts A and B of the new Numeracy test will continue to be presented in a flip test book.

  • Part A (40 questions) will have the calculator component. It will make up the majority of the test questions and will cover all curriculum areas. Students will have 50 minutes to complete Part A.
  • Part B (8 questions) will have the non-calculator component, and will primarily contain questions requiring number calculations. Students will have 10 minutes to complete Part B.

While the non-calculator section of the test will be shorter, the number of questions across the entire test that require mental calculation will not change. Detailed instructions on how to administer this test session will be printed in the NAPLAN 2017 Test Administration Handbook for Teachers.

As in previous years, calculators used for the calculator-allowed section of the Numeracy test must not be multifunction or internet-accessible devices.  ACARA has confirmed that tablets (including iPads) and similar devices fall into this category and their use therefore is not permitted.

Schools must ensure that all Year 7 and Year 9 students have access to, and are familiar with, a suitable calculator for the NAPLAN Numeracy tests in May 2017.

2017 Writing test information

ACARA and all NAPLAN Test Administration Authorities have agreed that, as in 2016, there will be two Writing test prompts: one prompt for Years 3 and 5, and a different prompt for Years 7 and 9. This will ensure continued maximum engagement and fairness for students nationally.

The genre for the NAPLAN 2017 Writing test will be either narrative or persuasive, and it will be the same genre for all year levels. Also, as in 2016, the genre for the Writing test will not be disclosed prior to the test day and students will not be able to choose the genre in which they write their response.

Further information on the Writing test is available on the NAPLAN webpages.

NAPLAN Test Administration website

In preparation for the tests, schools are required to complete a number of administration tasks via the NAPLAN Test Administration website  at the beginning of Term 1.

All schools must complete the following tasks via the website by Friday 24 February 2017.

  • Submit a Statement of Compliance.
  • Register authorised staff.
  • Review school contact and address details.
  • Order alternative format test formats (i.e. large print, black and white, braille and electronic). 

Please note that independent schools are also required to pre-enrol students by uploading data to the website. This must be completed by Friday 17 February 2017.


As part of the transition in Victoria, a group of schools are participating in a pilot and will administer NAPLAN as an online test in place of the pen-and-paper tests in 2017.

All other schools will receive advice early in Term 2 about the timing of their transition to NAPLAN online. Further details about associated activities will be provided at this time.

For general information about NAPLAN online, please see the NAPLAN webpages.

Action Required

Principals/Directors should:

  • forward this information to their school's NAPLAN coordinator and relevant staff.

Critical Dates

Friday 17 February 2017 − Independent schools must pre-enrol students on the NAPLAN Test Administration website

Friday 24 February 2017 − All schools complete all required administrative tasks on the NAPLAN Test Administration website

Additional Information

If you have any queries about any aspect of NAPLAN, please contact the VCAA NAPLAN Helpdesk: 1800 648 637 or .