National Report on Schooling in Australia 2009

Student achievement

5.1 Measuring student achievement: NAPLAN

In 2009, the second year of national literacy and numeracy testing, all Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students in Australia were assessed on the same tests in 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 important 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.
In December 2009, Education Ministers released the 2009 National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy Achievement in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy report. The Summary Report was released in September, 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 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; and geolocation (metropolitan, provincial, remote and very remote) at each year level and for each domain of the test. For 2009, results by parental education and occupation are shown at the national level.
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 basic measures of literacy and numeracy achievement in Australian schooling. These are specified as Key Performance Measures (KPMs) in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia.
The proportion of students achieving at or above the national minimum standard and mean scale scores for Reading at the national level are reported in Table 5.1. Tables 5.2 and 5.3 report the proportion of students achieving at or above the national minimum standard and mean scale scores for Writing and Numeracy respectively.
Key Performance Measures 1 (a) and 1 (b)
   Table 5.1    Summary for Reading for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Australia (% at or above national minimum standards; mean scale scores), 2009
 
 
Year 3
Year 5
Year 7
Year 9
Percentage of students at or above national minimum standard
93.7
91.7
94.0
92.2
CI±
0.2
0.3
0.3
0.4
Mean scale score
(standard deviation)
410.8
(86.2)
493.9
(78.1)
541.1
(68.6)
580.5
(66.3)
           
 
Notes:
 
Exempt students were not assessed and are deemed not to have met the 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 2009 only.
 
Sources: MCEECDYA, National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy Achievement in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy 2009; ACARA (unpublished data)
 
Key Performance Measures 1 (c) and 1 (d)
   Table 5.2    Summary for Writing for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Australia (% at or above national minimum standards; mean scale scores), 2009
 
Year 3
Year 5
Year 7
Year 9
Percentage of students at or above national minimum standard
95.7
93.0
92.5
87.8
CI±
0.2
0.2
0.3
0.5
Mean scale score
(standard deviation)
414.5
(67.5)
484.7
(68.8)
532.4
(73.0)
568.9
(80.2)
 
Notes:
 
Exempt students were not assessed and are deemed not to have met the 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 2009 only.
 
Sources: MCEECDYA, National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy Achievement in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy 2009; ACARA (unpublished data)
 
 
Key Performance Measures 2 (a) and 2 (b)
   Table 5.3    Summary for Numeracy for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 for Australia (% at or above national minimum standards; mean scale scores), 2009
 
Year 3
Year 5
Year 7
Year 9
Percentage of students at or above national minimum standard
94.0
94.2
94.8
95.0
CI±
0.2
0.2
0.3
0.3
Mean scale score
(standard deviation)
393.9
(72.9)
486.8
(67.8)
543.6
(71.0)
589.1
(67.0)
Notes:
Exempt students were not assessed and are deemed not to have met the 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 2009 only.
Sources: MCEECDYA, National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy Achievement in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy 2009; ACARA (unpublished data)