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The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It is commissioned by the Education Council, a council of ministers from all states and territories that works to ensure high‐quality schooling and early childhood development experiences for all young Australians.

The NAPLAN tests, coordinated by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), are administered simultaneously in all schools across Australia by the relevant state test administration authority. The Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) is the test administration authority for all schools in South Australia.

Online testing

The department is withdrawing South Australian public schools from online NAPLAN testing in 2017. All public schools will instead participate in NAPLAN using paper and pencil.

Testing of the Commonwealth’s NAPLAN online platform has confirmed there are still technical issues to be resolved.

The department will continue supporting schools in their preparations for NAPLAN testing in May and will work with the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions to address any issues, with a view to transitioning to online testing from 2018.

Paper-based testing

All schools in Australia undertook paper-based NAPLAN tests in 2017. The main changes for paper tests this year related to the numeracy tests. Numeracy tests were updated to further align to the Australian curriculum. The year 7 and 9 numeracy test also had fewer questions, and students only sat one test session. The new, single numeracy test was separated into two parts, part A (calculators allowed) and part B (calculators not allowed). There has also been a change in rules around the reading of numeracy test questions to students, outlined in section 6.2.3 of the test protocols and explained in the test administration handbooks for teachers. 

Information for parents/carers

Information for parents/carers can be found on the National Assessment Program website.

A NAPLAN factsheet for parents and a brochure explaining the student results report information to parents are available to download from the parent/carer support section of the National Assessment Program website.

Information for schools and principals

Reports were distributed to school principals in August 2017. Our key dates for school principals page has more information.

Handbooks and guides

Sample test materials

Previous test materials

Test materials from previous years can be accessed via the ACARA website.

Marking the NAPLAN writing task

Applications for 2018 NAPLAN marking will open towards the end of 2017.

If you would like to be added to the mailing list for 2018 NAPLAN marking please email decd.markingcentre [at] sa.gov.au.

Further information about NAPLAN marking is available on our marking the NAPLAN writing task page.


South Australian sector contacts

Department for Education and Child Development (DECD)

Brioney Hirst
Manager, Student Achievement Information
Phone: 8226 3269
Email: decd.sa.taa [at] sa.gov.au

Catholic Education South Australia (CESA)

Ray Moritz
Senior Education Adviser Educational Measurement
Phone: 8301 6136
Email: ray.moritz [at] cesa.catholic.edu.au

More information for Catholic schools can be found on the CESA website

Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA)

Rosemary Kadow
Educational consultant
Phone: 8179 1415
Email: kadowr [at] ais.sa.edu.au

More information for independent schools can be found on the AISSA website.