Interview for Student Reasoning

What is the Interview for Student Reasoning?

The Interview for Student Reasoning (IfSR) is a suite of teacher-led optional online numeracy assessments for K-10 students.

IfSR can supplement existing school practices to identify how students construct their mathematical understandings and to help teachers tailor their teaching more specifically to student needs.

Assessment items reflect the current research and evidence base. Items link to resources to support students’ progress in developing fundamental numeracy skills. The assessments are mapped to the NSW syllabus and National Numeracy Learning Progression.

The assessments have been modularised to give teachers flexibility in assessing sub-skills for targeted teaching.

Watch our short video for more information about the assessment.

About the Interview for Student Reasoning

The Interview for Student Reasoning - IfSR, is an online on-demand diagnostic numeracy assessment that is aligned to the NSW Mathematics K-10 Syllabus and the National Numeracy Learning Progression. Assessment feedback can be accessed in PLAN2.

The IfSR is a one-to-one interview that supports teachers to develop a deeper understanding of the way a student reasons and uses their mathematical knowledge.

It provides primary and secondary teachers with additional diagnostic information about a student's learning strengths and the conceptual knowledge a student needs.

Teachers can use the assessment at any time throughout the teaching and learning cycle to support decision making about next steps in numeracy learning for individual students.

The IfSR can be accessed via ALAN, (Assessing Literacy and Numeracy). Teachers record observations directly into the online tool.

For effective administration a teacher will require a laptop or device to record responses in the online tool, and will have prepared the associated resources and materials required for the tasks.

A student assessment analysis is available once the assessment is lodged.

Teachers can access feedback via PLAN2 where the results are mapped to the National Numeracy Learning Progression. PLAN2 can then be used for ongoing monitoring following the assessment.

For further information, visit the Literacy and numeracy professional learning website or contact Literacy and Numeracy.

About the assessment

The assessment enables teachers to hear and see how students are progressing in:

  • Number and place value
  • Additive thinking
  • Multiplicative thinking
  • Proportional thinking

This allows teachers to establish where students are in their learning so that teaching can be differentiated and learning progress can be monitored over time. The suite focuses on Kindergarten to Year 8, however, it can be used with students up to Year 10.

Student feedback and analysis

Student responses are mapped to indicators from the National Numeracy Learning Progression (V2) indicators with information automatically recorded in PLAN2. A Student Assessment Analysis will provide teachers with feedback to inform decisions about next steps in learning for that student. The analysis will be accessed from the assessment tool in the department's Assessing Literacy and Numeracy (ALAN) portal

Accessing the assessment

Teachers access the assessment tool at any time via ALAN.

Available now

  • Number and place value (IfSR-NP)
  • Additive thinking (IfSR-AT)
  • Multiplicative thinking (IfSR-MT) - added Week 3, Term 3, 2022

Proportional thinking will be released in 2023.


The IfSR resource web pages include materials to assist you to implement the assessments.

The Interview for Student Reasoning (IfSR) channel in the Numeracy NSW statewide staffroom provides teachers with resources and regular updates to support the implementation of the IfSR diagnostic assessments. It includes short instructional videos on administering the assessment and navigating the online tool (staff only).

Visit the Literacy and numeracy PL web page and Mathematics curriculum web page for more professional learning opportunities in the practical application of evidence-based teaching of numeracy.

Everyday maths hub

NESA - National Numeracy Learning Progression

Information events

Curriculum specialists in the Interview for Student Reasoning (IfSR) channel the Numeracy NSW statewide staffroom in Microsoft Teams providing expert advice, resources and professional learning.


New events will be added throughout the year

Recordings of previous sessions are available in the 'Past Staff meetings' section of the Numeracy NSW statewide staffroom' (staff only)

Recent recordings

  • Navigating classroom resources and professional learning for IfSR-MT (recorded Wednesday 24 August)
  • Using PLAN2 with IfSR-MT (recorded Wednesday 7 September)

More information

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