Go to top of page

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 provides details about online testing. The brochure is available in 15 languages other than English.

ACARA’s NAPLAN on paper – information for parents and carers brochure provides details about paper testing. The brochure is available in 15 languages other than English.

Moving to online testing

NAPLAN is transitioning from paper-based tests to computer-based assessments. The move to online testing started in 2018. The aim is for schools to transition to online testing by 2020.

Online testing will provide better assessment, more precise results and faster turnaround of information, through the use of tailored testing. This will help schools tailor teaching and learning to student needs.

The NAPLAN team supports schools to participate in readiness activities in the year prior to each school’s transition. These readiness activities help prepare students and staff for the move to online testing.

2019 reports

Schools are responsible for distributing individual student reports (ISRs) to parents and carers. 

ACARA’s individual student report – FAQs for parents (PDF 278KB) provides information on how to understand your child’s individual student report.

More information about NAPLAN tests, results and reports is on the National Assessment Program parent/carer support page.

2020 testing dates

We anticipate that all South Australian schools will conduct NAPLAN testing online in 2020.



NAPLAN online 12 to 22 May 2020*
NAPLAN paper 12 to 14 May 2020

* NAPLAN online test window runs for 9 days. This allows schools flexibility in scheduling test sessions.

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.

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 assistive technology is compatible with the platform.

ACARA parent and carer information

More information for parents and carers can be found on the National Assessment Program website parent/carer support page.


South Australian sector contacts

Department for Education

Test Administration Authority
Phone: 1800 316 777
Email: education.sa.taa [at] sa.gov.au
Email: education.naplanonline [at] sa.gov.au (NAPLAN Online schools)

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)

Schools conducting NAPLAN paper testing

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

Schools conducting NAPLAN Online

Lynda Secombe
Senior Educational Consultant
Phone: 8179 1400
Email: secombel [at] ais.sa.edu.au

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