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About NAPLAN

What is NAPLAN

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy is a national test conducted in March each year. Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 complete individual tests in four areas (or ‘domains’):

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

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has responsibility for the central management of the NAPLAN and a Test Administration Authority (TAA) in each state or territory is responsible for the implementation of the tests.

The VCAA is the NAPLAN TAA for all Victorian school sectors and acts on behalf of ACARA in ensuring the successful development and delivery of the tests across the state. The VCAA is also responsible for the marking of the tests in Victoria and the reporting of the NAPLAN results to parents /carers and schools.

The VCAA ensures that Victorian schools are supported and kept up to date with NAPLAN related matters through its NAPLAN Helpdesk and communications such as School Notices, VCAA Bulletins and direct emails to schools.

NAPLAN Online

The NAPLAN program reached a major milestone in 2022, with the transition from paper-based testing to the online format concluding in May. From 2023 onwards, NAPLAN tests will be administered in schools via a national online assessment platform, except for Year 3 students, who will continue to sit the Year 3 writing test on paper.

The NAPLAN online tests deliver numerous benefits including:

  • reduced time between testing and reporting, increasing the ability of teachers to use the results to inform teaching practice
  • the innovative use of technology and a wide range of interactive question types to enhance student engagement with the tests
  • a ‘tailored test’ and design that adapts to correct and incorrect student responses to provide a more precise understanding of student ability
  • an extended and more flexible test window to enable schools to schedule tests at a time that suits them and increases student participation

NAPLAN results

The results of the tests provide information for students, parents, teachers and principals about student achievement, which can be used to inform teaching and learning programs.

NAPLAN tests provide point-in-time information regarding student progress in literacy and numeracy and are intended to complement teacher judgement and the wide range of formal and informal testing programs that are already used in schools.

As with all single assessments, NAPLAN test results are not intended to be used in isolation from other school-based assessment programs.

More information and support

Additional information and resources regarding NAPLAN (including test design and sample assessments) is available on the ACARA NAPLAN website.

Details about the NAPLAN online tests (including technology requirements) can be found on the National Assessment Platform website.

A public demonstration site is available for schools, teachers, parents, carers and students to familiarise themselves with the online tests. 

A sample letter for principals explaining the NAPLAN tests to parents and carers is available below.

Sample letter update mid-November

Community enquiries regarding NAPLAN should be directed to your local school.

Parents and carers can also find more information on the the Information for parents page.

Schools requiring support can contact the VCAA NAPLAN Helpdesk during business hours on 1800 648 637 and via email to VCAA NAPLAN Help.