What do Australian parents think about NAPLAN and do they support its move online? Australia’s peak curriculum body commissioned research to find out.

Three out of five Australian parents believe NAPLAN is valuable and 1 in 2 support its move to an online test.

However, some families are not clear on what is tested and how teachers use the results.

Negative views also persist about the exclusion of some students from the test and the pressure it puts on children. Some parents also question whether the test results are even representative of a child’s performance.

These are among the findings from a national survey of 1,200 Australian parents and focus-group research commissioned by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), the administrator of the national literacy and numeracy testing program.

According to the findings, Queensland parents are more likely to question the value of NAPLAN, with 49 percent of Queensland families describing it as not valuable, compared to 41 percent of parents nationally.

When asked their views about NAPLAN’s move online, 49 percent of parents nationally said they supported the change to an online test – up from 39 percent in 2016.

Parents believe their children will find it easier and more engaging because they’re used to working online and results will also be available sooner “enabling earlier intervention if required”.

However parents were unsure about the concept of tailored testing, interpreting this as a move away from NAPLAN being a “standardised” test.

According to the survey one third of parents use the My School website, primarily “to see how their child’s school is performing and to help make informed decisions about their child’s education”.

ACARA has published the full survey findings | READ MORE

Parents have an important role to play in ensuring their children keep NAPLAN in perspective and treat it like any other school day.

Families can do this by educating themselves about the timing of the tests, their purpose,  the types of questions students can expect to face and how the results are used.

2019 NAPLAN key information

In Queensland, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) is responsible for overseeing NAPLAN testing of students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.

The QCAA has published test dates for 2019 and a range of other resources parents can access. This includes example questions in each of the four testing areas – reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy – that students and parents can familiarise themselves with.

Test dates

Paper-based NAPLAN tests will be conducted from 14-16 May with language conventions and writing on the first day, reading on the second and numeracy on the third | READ MORE

There is a wider test window for schools taking part in online tests to ensure schools which don’t have sufficient devices are not disadvantaged. NAPLAN online testing will occur between 14-24 May, with writing first, followed by reading, conventions of language and numeracy | READ MORE

Example test questions

Parents can familiarise themselves with examples of the type of questions their children will be asked to answer in the paper-based tests at all year levels and across all testing areas | READ MORE

Parents whose children are sitting NAPLAN online can get a feel for the new web-based testing environment by visiting the demonstration website | READ MORE

Parent brochures on NAPLAN

A wide range of information is available on NAPLAN and NAPLAN Online.

Brochure for parents whose children are sitting the pen and paper version of NAPLAN in 2019 | READ MORE

Brochure for parents whose children are taking NAPLAN online in 2019 | READ MORE

General information for parents on NAPLAN | READ MORE

Monthly parent e-newsletter

ACARA has recently launched a monthly e-newsletter for parents to update them on major education news | SUBSCRIBE

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