National Report on Schooling in Australia 2011

Student achievement

5.1 Measuring student achievement: NAPLAN

In 2011, the fourth year of national literacy and numeracy testing, Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students in Australia were assessed on Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) and Numeracy. These tests, known as the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), were first conducted in May 2008.

NAPLAN tests provide rich, nationally comparable data on student performance across the range of student achievement, providing an indication of how students are performing. The same tests are used in each State and Territory.

Another key aspect of NAPLAN test design is the single scale of achievement across 10 bands from Years 3 to 9 in each domain. Each band for each domain has a summary of skills assessed at each year level. The introduction of the 10 achievement bands from Year 3 to Year 9 means that, as a student advances through schooling, it is possible to see how much progress has been made in each domain.

A change of genre was introduced in the Writing domain in 2011 in order to test students’ ability to write another form. In the first three years of testing (2008 to 2010), students responded to a narrative writing task. In 2011, a persuasive writing task was introduced. Results for the persuasive writing task were reported on a new Persuasive Writing scale.

In January 2012, Education Ministers released the 2011 National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy Achievement in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy report. The Summary Report was released in September 2011, around the same time that parents received an individual report on their child’s achievement in the NAPLAN tests. The student report shows student performance against the national average and relative to the achievement band scale.

The NAPLAN national report shows results at national and State and Territory levels by achievement levels and/or mean scores, as well as by sex; Indigenous status; language background other than English; geolocation (metropolitan, provincial, remote and very remote); parental education and parental occupation at each year level and for each domain of the test.

NAPLAN results are reported at the school level on the My School website.

Key performance measures

The mean scale scores and proportion of students achieving at or above the national minimum standard in each domain and year level are measures of literacy and numeracy achievement in Australian schooling. These are specified as performance indicators in the National Education Agreement and as key performance measures (KPMs) in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2010.

More information about the assessment scale can be found at www.nap.edu.au/Test_Results/How_to_interpret/Scales/index.html.

More information about national minimum standards can be found at www.nap.edu.au/Test_Results/How_to_interpret/Standards/index.html.

For 2011, the proportions of students achieving at or above the national minimum standard and mean scale scores at the national level are reported for Reading in Table 5.1, for Persuasive Writing in Table 5.2 and for Numeracy in Table 5.3.

The proportion of students participating in NAPLAN for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Reading, Writing and Numeracy is also a key performance measure. These proportions for 2011 are reported in Table 5.4.

Key Performance Measure 1(a)

Proportion of students achieving at or above the national minimum standard for Reading

Key Performance Measure 1(b)

NAPLAN mean scale scores for Reading

Table 5.1 Summary for Reading for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Australia (% at or above national minimum standards; mean scale
scores), 2011

Year 3

Year 5

Year 7

Year 9

Percentage of students at or above national minimum standard

93.8

91.5

94.7

92.4

CI±

0.2

0.3

0.3

0.3

Mean scale score

(standard deviation)

415.7

(87.5)

488.1

(76.3)

540.2

(67.5)

579.5

(66.2)

Notes:

Exempt students were not assessed and are deemed not to have met the national minimum standard.

CI = Confidence Interval

The percentages reported in this table include 95 per cent confidence intervals.

Confidence intervals should be used to compare data within 2011 only.

Sources: ACARA, National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy, Achievement in Reading, Persuasive Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy, National Report for 2011; ACARA (unpublished data)

Key Performance Measure 1(c)

Proportion of students achieving at or above the national minimum standard for Writing

Key Performance Measure 1(d)

NAPLAN mean scale scores for Writing

Table 5.2 Summary for Persuasive Writing for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Australia (% at or above national minimum standards; mean
scale scores), 2011

Year 3

Year 5

Year 7

Year 9

Percentage of students at or above national minimum standard

95.3

92.5

91.1

84.8

CI±

0.2

0.3

0.3

0.6

Mean scale score

(standard deviation)

415.9

(67.1)

482.6

(69.3)

529.1

(75.8)

565.9

(86.5)

Notes:

Exempt students were not assessed and are deemed not to have met the national minimum standard.

CI = Confidence Interval

The percentages reported in this table include 95 per cent confidence intervals.

Confidence intervals should be used to compare data within 2011 only.

Sources: ACARA, National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy, Achievement in Reading, Persuasive Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy, National Report for 2011; ACARA (unpublished data).

Key Performance Measure 2(a)

Proportion of students achieving at or above the national minimum standard for Numeracy

Key Performance Measure 2(b)

NAPLAN mean scale scores for Numeracy

Table 5.3 Summary for Numeracy for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Australia (% at or above national minimum standards; mean scale
scores), 2011

Year 3

Year 5

Year 7

Year 9

Percentage of students at or above national minimum standard

95.6

94.4

94.5

93.0

CI±

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.3

Mean scale score

(standard deviation)

398.1

(70.6)

487.8

(68.2)

544.6

(73.7)

583.4

(72.1)


Notes:

Exempt students were not assessed and are deemed not to have met the national minimum standard.

CI = Confidence Interval

The percentages reported in this table include 95 per cent confidence intervals.

Confidence intervals should be used to compare data within 2011 only.

Sources: ACARA, National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy, Achievement in Reading, Persuasive Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy, National Report for 2011; ACARA (unpublished data).

Key Performance Measure 7(i)

Proportion of students participating in NAPLAN for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Reading, Writing and Numeracy

Table 5.4 Proportion of students participating in NAPLAN for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Reading, Persuasive Writing and Numeracy,
2011 (per cent)

Year 3

Year 5

Year 7

Year 9

Proportion of students participating in Reading

95.7

96.2

96.0

92.9

Proportion of students participating in Persuasive Writing

95.6

96.2

96.2

93.3

Proportion of students participating in Numeracy

95.4

95.9

95.6

92.4


Notes:

Participation rates are calculated as all assessed and exempt students as a percentage of the total number of students in the year level, as reported by schools, which includes those absent and withdrawn.

Exempt students were not assessed and are deemed not to have met the national minimum standard.

Sources: ACARA, National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy, Achievement in Reading, Persuasive Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy, National Report for 2011