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General information

In 2017, all NSW schools will continue with paper-based delivery of the NAPLAN tests. Schools and parents will be advised next year when NSW schools will transition to NAPLAN Online.

This approach follows agreement by the Education Ministers for a three-year transition to NAPLAN Online from 2017.

The ACARA website has the key national information about NAPLAN Online, including frequently asked questions.

Research and development program

ACARA has led significant planning, research and development over several years for the transition from pencil-and–paper delivery to NAPLAN Online.

Technical requirements

ACARA has provided information on the technical requirements for schools to deliver the NAPLAN Online tests.

Test design

NAPLAN Online will use a 'tailored test' design that delivers different sets of questions in 'testlets' to students depending on their achievement on previous questions. This adaptive testing will match questions to an individual student's achievement level in a way that is not feasible for paper-based testing. This will lead to more precise measurements of student ability.

Test timetable

While NAPLAN Online will enable greater variation in the design of test items, the domains assessed in the online test will be the same as the paper-based test. The sequence for the online tests is as follows:

     1. Writing  > 2. Reading  > 3. Conventions of Language  > 4. Numeracy

ACARA has produced an infographic to explain the order of testing and the expanded test window for NAPLAN Online.

Test administration

The National Protocols for Test Administration (NPTA) which set out the standard conditions for administering the tests will remain largely unchanged in the transition online.

The supporting administrative system will change for schools undertaking the tests online. The NAPLAN Online system is intended to provide a single point of reference for all functions to support the administration and delivery of the tests.

Public demonstration site

From November 2016, a public demonstration site is available on the ACARA website for schools, students and the public to access. The site has:

  • information on technical requirements
  • a user guide
  • practice tests in each domain and for all NAPLAN year levels which feature the different types of test questions that may be in the NAPLAN Online tests.

More information

NAPLAN Online key messages


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