Best Start Year 7

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

What is Best Start Year 7?

Best Start Year 7 addresses a key element in the NSW Government's Literacy and Numeracy Strategy 2017 - 2020 and is mapped to the NSW Syllabuses and National Literacy and Numeracy Progressions.

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.

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

Best Start Year 7 will be available to NSW secondary schools in Term 1, 2020 with the intention that the assessments are completed in the first half of term (3 February to 6 March in 2020) by students in participating schools.

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.

Feedback from the Best Start Year 7 assessment will be available to teachers soon after a school's completion of the assessments.

How can schools opt in?

Opt in for 2020 has now closed.

Important dates

Date Activity
Term 1, Week 1

All staff supervising the assessment complete eLearning 1 – preparing for the assessment

Register for Term 1 face-to-face professional learning registration

28 January 2020 School username and assessment platform access details emailed to Best Start Year 7 contact
3 February 2020 Assessment window opens
Term 1, Weeks 4-8 Face-to-face professional learning for schools new to Best Start Year 7 - Access, Analyse, Action
Term 1, Week 7-9

Face-to-face professional learning for school continuing from 2019 - Strengthening practice in continuing schools

 Term 1, Week 8-10 Face-to-face professional learning for 2020 writing pilot schools Strengthening practice in writing
6 March 2020* Assessment window closes

*An extension of the assessment window is available to support school communities affected by the summer bushfires. The window will remain open for an additional two weeks, until the end of Week 8 (reading and numeracy assessment only).

Schools wishing to participate during the extended assessment window and/or needing additional support should email .

Professional Learning

Schools that choose to participate in Best Start Year 7 will have access to professional learning and support to help prepare and administer the assessments and access post assessment feedback.

Professional Learning New Schools Continuing Schools*3
eLearning 1 - preparing for the assessment
90 minutes, online from Term 4



eLearning 2 - accessing and analysing assessment feedback
90 minutes, online from Term 1


Access, Analyse, Action
Full-day, face-to face workshop across NSW in Term 1


Strengthening practice in continuing schools
Full-day, face-to face workshop across NSW in Term 1


Strengthening practice in writing
Full-day, face-to face workshop across NSW in Term 1
  2020 writing pilot schools only

*1 All staff involved in administering the assessment should complete eLearning
*2 Continuing schools may also wish to complete Preparation workshop, Access, Analyse, Action and eLearning 2 again - see professional learning pages for full details
*3 Up to 2 staff members per school - additional places subject to availability

All professional learning opportunities are also listed on the Literacy and Numeracy professional learning website.

Further information


Best Start Year 7 team:

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