NAPLAN information for parents and carers

Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 students in Australian schools sit the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN).

NAPLAN is held in May and involves 4 different tests:

  • language conventions (spelling, punctuation and grammar)
  • writing
  • reading
  • numeracy.

They are neither English nor maths tests, rather NAPLAN assesses students’ general literacy and numeracy skills, which are required in all subject areas. Texts used in NAPLAN come from a variety of key learning areas (KLAs).

Students with disability may qualify for some adjustments. Contact your school to discuss further.

The tests

NAPLAN tests are formal, timed tests. Students must follow the instructions of the test administrator at all times. Some things to remind your child include:

  • they can’t start until they have been given permission to do so
  • specific test books are used for each element of the test and must be completed as instructed
  • tests are held in silence, students can’t talk to others – they must raise their hand if they have a question for the teacher administering the test
  • instructions are read during the test to students, but teachers can’t help by explaining or rewording questions, giving any hints or examples
  • NAPLAN tests are timed – when told to stop writing, students must stop straight away, teachers can’t give any extra time
  • students can’t leave until the test has finished – if they finish early, they should check their work and make sure they have attempted all questions to the best of their ability
  • only water bottles without labels are allowed in the test room
  • some schools may do the NAPLAN tests online.

Past test papers

For sample past NAPLAN tests, see NAPLAN 2012–2016 test papers.


Our schools prepare students by explaining the test format, what types of questions to expect and how the test room will be set up. They will also be given information about what they can and can’t take into the test room. Students will be acquainted with the technology and programs required if your school is doing NAPLAN online.

You can also help at home by being positive about NAPLAN and encouraging your child to do their best – there is no need for extra study or cramming, the purpose of NAPLAN is to assess progress. Teachers analyse the data gathered from the NAPLAN tests to develop teaching strategies to improve literacy and numeracy skills in all subject areas.

More information

Return to top of page Back to top