Australia’s annual NAPLAN tests for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are being held from 15 May.

In Queensland about 263,000 students will set the tests this year.

For the first time, some of these students will sit an online version of the test.

In Queensland, 83 of the state’s more than 1,700 state, Catholic and independent schools will take part in NAPLAN Online.

These schools have been undertaking a range of  school readiness testing and training in preparation for using the new online testing platform.

Keeping NAPLAN in Perspective

It’s important that families educate themselves about the purpose of the tests, what’s being assessed, the types of questions students can expect to face and how the results are used.

Firstly it’s useful to put the tests in perspective by looking at the time a child will spend on NAPLAN during their entire school life.

According to the national authority responsible for NAPLAN, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), students will spend less than 16 hours (4 tests x less than 4 hours each) of their 13-year school career sitting NAPLAN tests.

That’s a relatively small amount of time – less than 0.1 percent – of the 17,000 hours a child will spend in school (including lunch breaks) from Prep to Year 12.

The other key piece of information to remember about NAPLAN is that it tests what children have learned in the classroom through the Australian Curriculum.

Apart from familiarising children with the format of the tests, the content tested is what students are being taught every day in school.

The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA), which oversees the administration of NAPLAN in Queensland, says while it’s important students take NAPLAN seriously, they should not be “overwhelmed by the experience. Students should be familiar with the test format and response types, but excessive practice is not recommended”.

Parents can also be role models for their children by reassuring their children that NAPLAN isn’t anything to be feared. Teachers use the results, along with the range of other learning checks they do throughout the year, to support student learning.

Encourage your child to do their best and to approach the test days like they would any other school day.

ACARA CEO Robert Randall has penned an open letter to parents about NAPLAN 2018 | READ THE LETTER

NAPLAN Resources for Parents

Access the latest parent information from the ACARA website, including adjustments for students with disability | LEARN MORE

Pen and Paper NAPLAN

Brochure for parents on pen and paper NAPLAN | READ

Parents can get a feel for the types of questions students are asked in the pen and paper NAPLAN test with these sample questions | LEARN MORE


Brochure for parents about NAPLAN Online | READ

Parents whose children are sitting the online test can familiarise themselves with the new web-based test by visiting the demonstration website | LEARN MORE

Peak Parent Bodies Support NAPLAN

Australia’s three peak parent bodies – the Australian Parents Council, Australian Council of State School Organisations and the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association – recently issued a joint statement in support of the “useful role NAPLAN plays in the education of children”.

The parent groups said:

“NAPLAN is an objective tool for parents that provides a point-in-time assessment – a snapshot of a student’s literacy and numeracy achievement compared with class, school and national achievement.

“It is often reassuring for parents to be able to see how their children are going and that they are where they should be. NAPLAN allows parents to see which areas their children are stronger in, and where they may need help.

“Parents can then work with teachers to encourage and support their child to achieve their best in school.”

Read the full statement | READ