Parents and carers
Transitioning to NAPLAN Online
Parents and carers can download the NAPLAN Online fact sheet for parents and carers (PDF 112.88KB) for more information about their school’s transition to NAPLAN Online.
Public demonstration site
The ACARA public demonstration site gives students an opportunity to become more familiar with the NAPLAN Online platform and can be accessed at home or at school.
Parents wanting to familiarise themselves with the NAPLAN Online platform can visit ACARA’s public demonstration site, which includes online demonstration tests for each NAPLAN year:
NAPLAN Online privacy notice
This notice (PDF 430.41KB) outlines what students' and parents' data is collected as part of NAPLAN Online and readiness activities, and how it is used.
Frequently asked questions
What is NAPLAN?
The National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It is a point in time test that provides a snapshot of the literacy and numeracy skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life.
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is responsible for developing the NAPLAN assessment and the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) is responsible for administering NAPLAN tests in NSW.
Why does my child need to sit NAPLAN?
NAPLAN provides a snapshot of a student’s achievement in the fundamental skills of literacy and numeracy. The data provides schools, parents and education systems with information to help support students in their learning. Teachers can use NAPLAN to confirm their own assessments of students and to help identify what students can do and need to learn. NAPLAN results should always be considered together with other school-based assessments.
When is NAPLAN moving to an online format?
In 2018 schools across Australia started moving NAPLAN from paper to online testing, with all schools on track to participate in NAPLAN Online by 2020.
What are the benefits of NAPLAN Online?
NAPLAN Online uses tailored testing where the test automatically adapts to a student’s performance and asks questions that match their achievement level. This provides a greater opportunity for students to demonstrate what they know and results in more targeted, precise and detailed information for teachers and schools on students’ performance.
Online assessment reduces the time it takes to mark the tests and provide reports back to schools. This means that very soon after the tests are completed, teachers will get important and accurate information about what your child can do and still needs to learn, which enables them to plan their teaching more effectively.
By 2020, student results will be returned to parents and carers within weeks of the NAPLAN test, as opposed to months under the current timeline.
Students find the online format far more engaging than the paper tests, and have reported that they try harder and feel less anxious about the online tests.
What if my child doesn’t have good keyboard or computer skills?
NAPLAN Online is not a test of computer skills but students should be familiar with the device they will use to complete the test. Basic ICT skills are a requirement of the Australian curriculum and should be a part of everyday learning in each school.
The NAPLAN writing assessment is not about handwriting or keyboarding skills and students do not need to be able to touch type to successfully complete the test.
How successful was NAPLAN Online?
NAPLAN Online worked very well. For students who did the tests online, the information teachers have about what they can do and still need to learn is more accurate and detailed than before.
Feedback from schools show that most students found the online assessment more engaging when compared to pencil and paper.
Why did some schools complete NAPLAN online and others on paper this year?
The transition to NAPLAN Online is being managed over three years. In 2018, 550 schools in NSW moved online. All other schools sat the paper test. More than 1,000 schools in NSW will participate in NAPLAN Online in 2019, with all schools on track to participate online in 2020.
How do I understand my child’s individual student report?
Individual student reports will be sent to schools. The reports will indicate whether your child did NAPLAN online or on paper.
ACARA has published a guide on interpreting the information contained in the report - http://www.nap.edu.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/naplan-2018-student-report-information-for-parents-brochure.pdf?sfvrsn=2
Contact your child’s school if you have further questions about understanding the information in the report.
How can you compare NAPLAN results if some schools did NAPLAN Online and others on paper?
ACARA develops the NAPLAN tests and uses a process called ‘equating’ to make each test comparable from year to year. This year the equating process has been more complex than usual as some students did tests online and some on paper.
Care should be taken when comparing student results from previous years as there may be some variability in the results in some instances.
Schools and parents are reminded that a child’s NAPLAN results provide a snapshot and should always be considered together with other school-based assessments undertaken throughout the school year.
Is NAPLAN the only assessment schools use to measure students’ learning growth?
No. NAPLAN is only one source of information that our teachers use to inform the ways they try to meet the needs of students. Every day teachers in NSW public schools are looking at individual data and individual progress on a range of measures to decide on appropriate teaching strategies.
Were there any differences between the results for the writing test completed online and the writing test completed on paper?
According to ACARA, 2018 results for Year 9 students who completed the writing test online were, on average, higher than the results of students who completed the writing test on paper. The difference may be due to Year 9 students having greater confidence writing online than on paper. All Year 3 students completed writing on paper, including those schools who participated in NAPLAN Online.
Can I compare my child’s performance in the test this year if they did it online, with the test they did two years ago on paper?
The reports will give you accurate information about the literacy and numeracy skills your child did and did not demonstrate on these tests.
For 2018 and 2019, comparisons with previous paper test results may be less consistent and should be treated with care. As always, it’s a good idea to discuss results with your child’s teacher if you have concerns.
From 2020 when all students do NAPLAN in an online format, the comparability will be more precise.