The National Assessment Program is the measure through which governments, education authorities and schools can determine whether or not young Australians are meeting important educational outcomes.
The National Assessment Program is run at the direction of the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC). It includes:
- the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)
- three-yearly NAP Sample Assessments in Science Literacy, Civics and Citizenship, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy, and
- international sample assessments.
The NAP website, www.nap.edu.au, has been developed to provide more information about NAPLAN and NAP Sample Assessments.
Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)
Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sit for the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) test in May each year. The assessments are an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they have learned in class.
For students in Years 3 and 5, there are four tests covering numeracy, reading, writing and language conventions (spelling, punctuation and grammar). For students in Years 7 and 9, there are five tests including two tests in numeracy – a calculator allowed test and a non-calculator test.
The NAPLAN test results and the student reports are released in September.
The results provide information about student achievement that can be used to inform teaching and learning programs. NAPLAN tests provide point-in-time information regarding student progress in literacy and numeracy and are intended to complement the wide range of formal and informal assessments that are already conducted in schools. NAPLAN test results are not intended to be used in isolation from other school-based assessment programs.
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has responsibility for the central management of the NAPLAN. ACARA are also responsible for the national data collection and reporting program that supports NAPLAN. Specific information, including details about the tests, student participation, special provisions and reporting can be found on the NAPLAN website.
NAPLAN 2013 - 2020 Test Dates
Communication to parents has been achieved through a parent information brochure which can be found on the National Assessment Program (NAP) website. The website located at www.nap.edu.au also provides parents and schools with sample tests and answers to frequently asked questions.
All parents of students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will receive a parent brochure prior to testing each year.
Scientific Literacy (NAP-SL)
The NAP-SL program assesses and reports on the scientific literacy of year 6 students. NAP-SL tests students' grasp of basic concepts and scientific processes. It assesses practical problem-solving investigation as well as open-ended short-answer items and multiple choice items in a variety of themes: earth and beyond, energy and change, life and living and natural and processed materials.
Further information on the NAP-SL program can be found on the NAP website - NAP-Science Literacy
Civics and Citizenship (NAP-CC)
The NAP-CC program assesses and reports on student achievements in civics and citizenship through a representative national sample survey of year 6 and year 10 students. NAP-CC tests the knowledge a student has gained from their civics and citizenship education program, which looks at their rights and responsibilities as citizens and enables them to analyse our history.
Further information on the NAP-CC program can be found on the NAP website - NAP-Civics and Citizenship
Information and Communication Technology Literacy (ICT) Literacy
The NAP-ICT Literacy program assesses and reports on a range of student achievement in general information and communication technology (ICT) skills and knowledge in a cross curricular context (i.e. ICT literacy), rather than the more technical skills and knowledge developed through specialist ICT courses.
Further information on the NAP-ICT program can be found on the NAP website - NAP-ICT Literacy
Program for International Student Assessment (PISA)
The OECD PISA Project is a study targeting 15-year-old students, which compares student achievement in different countries. The project aims to assess the knowledge and skills that students possess which will enable them to participate fully in adult life, rather than to assess them on particular school curricula.
PISA assessments are conducted every three years. In Australia, PISA is included in the National Assessment Program. PISA provides data from internationally standardised tests that enables Australia to compare and monitor its performance with that of other countries.
The results from these international and national assessments monitor the progress towards the goals outlined in the Educational Goals for Young Australians, which aims to provide equality and high quality schooling in Australia and support young Australians to become successful learners who acquire the necessary knowledge, understanding, skills and values for a productive and rewarding life.
The next PISA assessment will occur in 2015.
More information can be found at the OECD PISA website.
Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)
TIMSS is an internationally conducted testing program, occurring every four years. It assesses the mathematical and scientific abilities of year 4 and year 8 students around the world. TIMSS was first conducted in the ACT in 1998. TIMSS provides valuable results, which inform policy makers and curriculum designers across the developed world. Schools in the ACT are randomly selected to take part in this study. For more information see the TIMSS website.
The next TIMSS assessment will occur in 2014. A sample of students in years 4 and 8 will participate