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NAPLAN information for parents, carers and the community

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It tests skills in writing, reading, spelling, grammar, punctuation and numeracy.

The NAPLAN tests are administered in schools across Australia in May every year. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) coordinates NAPLAN testing. The relevant state test administration authority (TAA) administers the tests. The Department for Education is the TAA for all schools in South Australia.

ACARA’s NAPLAN Online – information for parents and carers brochure (PDF 133KB) provides details about online testing.

In 2022 the majority of South Australian schools will conduct NAPLAN testing online.

Tailored testing

NAPLAN Online tests are tailored tests. This means students are presented with questions that are more or less difficult, based on how they are performing during the test.

Tailored testing means students are more likely to stay engaged as they receive questions better suited to their ability. This allows them to show what they can do, rather than just what they can't.

Students at each year level start with a similar set of initial questions. The second set of questions may be more or less difficult, depending on the number of questions answered correctly in the initial set. The same approach applies to any further sets of questions.

A student’s NAPLAN result is based on both the number and difficulty of questions the student answers correctly.

Several testing programs used by schools use a form of tailored testing. For example, the online Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) in reading and mathematics use tailored testing.

You can read more about tailored tests on the National Assessment Program website.

Public demonstration site

Schools will provide students with opportunities to become familiar with the online test format and devices used for testing. 

Parents, carers and students can use the public demonstration site to become familiar with the format of NAPLAN Online.  

The NAPLAN Online assessment platform uses a locked down browser (LDB) to help ensure security during testing. The LDB is not needed to access the demonstration tests.

Students with disability

The national assessment platform provides adjustments for students with disability to support them in accessing NAPLAN Online tests. Adjustments include alternative audio and visual questions, including colour themes and keyboard accessibility for all questions.

The public demonstration site provides examples of alternative test items that will be used in NAPLAN Online for students with disability. Students with disability are encouraged to try the demonstration tests at their school on a device with the LDB installed. This will check:

  • if the assistive technology is compatible with the platform
  • if any platform adjustments are needed to participate in NAPLAN.


All students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are expected to sit the NAPLAN tests unless they are:

  • withdrawn by their parents or carers
  • exempt based on specific criteria.


NAPLAN tests are a routine part of the school calendar. However, students may be withdrawn from the testing program by their parent or carer for reasons such as religious beliefs or philosophical objections to testing. This is a matter for consideration by individual parents or carers in consultation with their child’s school.

Please contact your school to discuss. You will need to complete the relevant NAPLAN withdrawal form.


Exemptions may be granted for students with a:

  • language background other than English
  • disability.

In both cases schools need to discuss the proposed exemption with the student's parent or carer, or both, and gain their permission before testing.

For more information refer to ACARA – student participation and withdrawals.  

ACARA parent and carer information

More information for parents and carers can be found at parent and carer support (National Assessment Program).

South Australian NAPLAN sector contacts

Department for Education

Test Administration Authority (TAA)
Phone: 1800 316 777
Email: education.assessmentsandcollections [at] sa.gov.au

Catholic Education South Australia (CESA)

Jarrod Carter
Senior Education Adviser Curriculum, Learning and Wellbeing
Phone: 8301 6191
Email: naplan [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)

Phone: 8179 1400
Email: naplan [at] ais.sa.edu.au

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