NAPLAN is used by governments, education authorities and schools to determine whether young Australians are meeting important goals in literacy and numeracy.
All students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are expected to sit the NAPLAN tests, which are held in Term 1 each year.
NAPLAN gives a snapshot of how children are performing in reading, writing, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and numeracy. It complements other effective classroom assessment and reporting practices.
The role of ACARA and the QCAA
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) develops the tests and marking standards. The QCAA coordinates the administration, marking, and reporting of NAPLAN tests in Queensland.
The QCAA works with Queensland schools and schooling sectors to ensure the smooth delivery and collection of the tests, focusing on the importance of compliance with the administration protocols.
Changes to NAPLAN
In 2023, there were changes to NAPLAN:
- The NAPLAN tests are now in Term 1.
- The first day of testing is now a Wednesday.
- Individual student reports issued to parents/carers will now report student results using the new proficiency standards.
The NAPLAN tests are conducted online.
Benefits of online testing include:
- 'tailored testing', which gives students questions better suited to their ability, resulting in more precise results
- improving student engagement through computer-based tests.
2024 Test dates
NAPLAN testing windowWednesday 13 – Monday 25 March 2024.
Catch-up tests for Year 3 Writing must be completed by Monday 18 March 2024. Catch-ups for other test domains and year levels may be conducted until the closure of the test window.
For information regarding the NAPLAN testing timetable, contact your child’s school or visit ACARA’s NAPLAN test window page.
Future NAPLAN testing windows are published on the National Assessment Program website.
Test times and materials
This document summarises the session time of each test and lists the materials allowed:
Tests must be scheduled in the following order for all year levels: writing > reading > conventions of language > numeracy.
View the ACARA NAPLAN test window infographic (PDF, 622 KB) for more information in the order and duration of the NAPLAN tests in 2024.
Format of the tests
For all eligible year levels (Years 3, 5, 7 and 9), there are 4 test domains: writing, reading, conventions of language and numeracy. Below is a summary of the format for each test.
Students are given a stimulus and asked to construct a response to the task. Their response will be based on a particular text type (narrative or persuasive). Students in Years 3 and 5 will receive different writing stimuli to students in Years 7 and 9, both of the same genre. All Year 3 students sit the writing test on paper.
Students are given a range of texts to read. They respond to the test items using a range of response types such as multiple choice, hotspot and drag and drop items.
Conventions of language
Students respond to spelling as well as grammar and punctuation items. The response formats are multiple choice, short response and other interactive response types such as hotspot and drag and drop items.
Students respond to numeracy items. The response formats are multiple choice, short response and other interactive response types such as hotspot and drag and drop items.
Students also have access to online numeracy tools (ruler, protractor or calculator), depending on their year level. For Years 7 and 9, the numeracy test includes a non-calculator section and a calculator-allowed section.
All students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are expected to sit the NAPLAN tests unless they are withdrawn by their parents/carers or exempt.
Parents can withdraw their child from the tests by notifying the school in writing before testing. Withdrawal is intended as an option to acknowledge religious beliefs and philosophical objections to testing.
Students may be exempt from one or more of the tests if they meet one of the following criteria:
- students with a significant intellectual disability and/or significant co-existing conditions that severely limit their capacity to participate in the test
- students with a language background other than English, who arrived from overseas and have been attending school in Australia for less than a year.
Exemptions for students with physical and/or intellectual disabilities are determined through consultation between the principal, student, and parents/carers.
Information for parents and carers
Visit ACARA’s For parents and carers webpage for information and brochures for parents and carers. Translated PDFs of the Information for parents and carers brochure are also available.
For more information about NAPLAN: