The National Assessment Program is run at the direction of the Education Council (previously known as SCSEEC). It includes the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), the three-yearly sample assessments in science literacy, civics and citizenship, and information and communication technology (ICT) literacy, and participation in international sample assessments.
NAPLAN is an annual assessment for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It tests the types of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. The tests cover skills in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy. The assessments are undertaken every year in the second full week in May.
NAP sample assessments
NAP sample assessments occur annually on a rolling basis. In 2016, civics and citizenship was tested and in 2017, ICT literacy was tested. Science literacy was tested in 2015.
Only a small sample of randomly selected schools participate in the sample assessments, which provide a national snapshot of performance in these three agreed areas of learning. The civics and citizenship test was delivered online for the first time in 2013.
International sample assessments
As part of the National Assessment Program, Australia participates in the following international sample assessments:
• Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
• Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)
• Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).
ACARA does not oversee the delivery of these assessments.