Best Start Year 7

Best Start Year 7 is an online literacy and numeracy assessment package available to secondary schools.

Best Start Year 7 helps with identifying students who may require additional support in the development of key literacy and numeracy skills that are fundamental to their success in all subjects in secondary school. Feedback from the assessment also provides secondary teachers with information to support targeted teaching strategies that meet the learning needs of their students.

About the assessment

The Best Start Year 7 assessment includes two online assessments:

  • literacy assessment

  • numeracy assessment

Each assessment is designed to be quick to administer, consisting of 30 multiple choice questions.

Student assessment feedback is available to teachers through Scout shortly after each assessment is submitted.

Schools may choose to use the Best Start Year 7 online assessment to supplement existing Year 6 to 7 transition practices.

Assessment window

Best Start Year 7 will be available to NSW secondary schools in Term 1 with the intention that the assessments are completed in the first half of term by students in participating schools.

2022 assessment window is:

  • 2 February to 4 March 2022 (Eastern Division Schools)

  • 9 February to 11 March 2022 (Western Division Schools).

Schools have the flexibility to schedule and complete each assessment anytime during the assessment window to suit school and timetabling needs. The scheduling of assessments may be staggered and students do not need to sit all the assessments at the same time

Professional learning and support

Best Start Year 7 is supported with resources and professional learning to assist schools to administer the assessment, analyse assessment feedback and plan for teaching. This will include:

  • a range of professional learning, available Week 9, Term 4 and throughout the assessment

  • a user-guide for school Best Start Year 7 coordinators and supervisors, containing information and instructions on how to prepare for and administer the assessment

  • real time support via MS Teams

  • strategies to identify areas to focus attention

  • teaching strategies to address these areas.

Vision impaired student materials requests

Large print and Braille versions of the assessment are available for students who already access Braille and Large Print Services and who are supported by an Itinerant Support Teacher Vision.

You should assess the visual suitability of the online assessment using the Best Start Year 7 demonstration site prior to requesting alternate materials. This includes checking the inbuilt magnification software and the interaction with additional assistive software.

Full details, including how to access the demonstration site are included in the Best Start Year 7 request for large print and braille materials form (PDF 201 KB) (staff only).

How do schools participate?

Opt in for 2022 is now closed.

For late opt-in, email

Technical requirements

The Best Start Year 7 assessment can be administered on the following devices; laptop, desktop PC, Chromebook, Android tablet and iPad (not iPad mini).

Headphones or earphones are required as audio files are available for various aspects of the assessments.

No locked down browser is required to administer the assessment.


The Best Start Year 7 - Information for schools fact sheet (PDF 168KB) (staff only) outlines the Best Start Year 7 Assessment and answers frequently asked questions.


Best Start Year 7 team:

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