National Report on Schooling in Australia 2013

Student achievement – National Assessment Program

5.1 NAP – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)


In 2013, the sixth year of national literacy and numeracy testing, Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students in Australia were assessed on reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. These tests, known as the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), were first conducted in 2008.

NAPLAN tests the sorts of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. The same tests are used in each state and territory, and the results provide nationally comparable data on student performance in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy.

The test results provide schools, and states and territories with information about how education programs are working and which areas need to be prioritised for improvement. They also give parents and schools an understanding of how individual students are performing at the time of the tests.

A key aspect of NAPLAN test design is the single scale of achievement across 10 bands for Years 3, 5, 7 and–9 in each assessment domain. Each band for each domain has a summary of skills assessed at each year level. The 10 achievement bands for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 mean that, as a student advances through schooling, it is possible to see how much progress has been made in each domain.

In the first three years of testing (2008–2010), writing was assessed by testing students’ ability to respond to a narrative writing task. In 2011, a change of genre was introduced, and the narrative task was replaced with a persuasive writing task. Results for the persuasive writing task are reported on a separate persuasive writing scale that is not comparable with the narrative writing scale. As a consequence, student performances in writing 2011–-2013 cannot be compared with those from 2008–2010.

Key performance measures


NAPLAN participation rates, mean scale scores and proportions of students achieving at or above the national minimum standard in reading, writing and numeracy at each year level are specified as performance indicators in the National Education Agreement and as key performance measures (KPMs) in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2012.

Information about how to interpret scales and standards is available on the NAP website.

For 2013, 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.

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

Table 5.1 Summary for reading for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Australia (per cent at or above national minimum standards; mean scale scores), 2013

Table 5.1 Summary for reading for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Australia (per cent at or above national minimum standards; mean scale scores), 2013

Notes:

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

CI = Confidence interval. Confidence intervals reflect the level of uncertainty associated with the measurement of achievement. They define a range of values within which the true level of achievement is likely to lie. This table shows 95 per cent confidence intervals for percentages of students at or above the national minimum standard. This means, for example, that where the percentage shown is 90% ± 0.5 it can be said with 95 per cent confidence the true value lies between 89.5% and 90.5%.

Confidence intervals cited should be used to compare data within 2013 only.

Sources: ACARA, National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy, Achievement in Reading, Persuasive Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy, National Report for 2013; ACARA (unpublished data)

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

Table 5.2 Summary for persuasive writing for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Australia (per cent at or above national minimum standards; mean scale scores), 2013

Table 5.2 Summary for persuasive writing for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Australia (per cent at or above national minimum standards; mean scale scores), 2013


Notes:

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

CI = Confidence interval. Confidence intervals reflect the level of uncertainty associated with the measurement of achievement. They define a range of values within which the true level of achievement is likely to lie. This table shows 95 per cent confidence intervals for percentages of students at or above the national minimum standard. This means, for example, that where the percentage shown is 90% ± 0.5, it can be said with 95 per cent confidence the true value lies between 89.5% and 90.5%.

Confidence intervals cited should be used to compare data within 2013 only.

Results for the persuasive writing task are reported on a separate persuasive writing scale that is not comparable with the narrative writing scale. Student performances in writing 2011–-2013 should not be compared with those from 2008–2010.

Sources: ACARA, National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy, Achievement in Reading, Persuasive Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy, National Report for 2013; ACARA (unpublished data)

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

Table 5.3 Summary for numeracy for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Australia (per cent at or above national minimum standards; mean scale scores), 2013

Table 5.3 Summary for numeracy for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Australia (per cent at or above national minimum standards; mean scale scores), 2013


Notes:

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

CI = Confidence interval. Confidence intervals reflect the level of uncertainty associated with the measurement of achievement. They define a range of values within which the true level of achievement is likely to lie. This table shows 95 per cent confidence intervals for percentages of students at or above the national minimum standard. This means, for example, that where the percentage shown is 90% ± 0.5 it can be said with 95 per cent confidence the true value lies between 89.5% and 90.5%.

Confidence intervals cited should be used to compare data within 2013 only.

Sources: ACARA, National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy, Achievement in Reading, Persuasive Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy, National Report for 2013; ACARA (unpublished data)


The proportion of students participating in NAPLAN in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for reading, writing and numeracy in 2013 are reported in table 5.4.

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, 2013 (percent)

Table 5.4 Proportion of students participating in NAPLAN for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for reading, persuasive writing and numeracy, 2013 (per cent)


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 2013


Detailed information on NAPLAN results for 2013 is contained in NAPLAN Achievement in Reading, Persuasive Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy: National Report for 2013 (the 2013 NAPLAN national report). The results contained in this report (and previous reports) are also available in interactive form on the results page of the NAP website.

The national NAPLAN results are reported as mean scale scores and by performance in bands, may be viewed by gender, Indigenous status, language background other than English status, geolocation (metropolitan, provincial, remote and very remote), parental occupation and parental education at each year level and for each domain of the test. Other data available include participation rates, the performance of each state and territory relative to other states and territories, and to Australia; time series; and cohort gain across year levels.

NAPLAN results are reported at the school level on the My School website and parents receive an individual report on their child’s achievement in the NAPLAN tests. A student report shows student performance against the national average and relative to the achievement band scale.

Back to top