How to read and decipher your child’s NAPLAN results

As a parent, receiving your child’s NAPLAN results can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure about how to interpret the data. Here’s a brief overview of how the results are collated and how to use them to help your child improve their core literacy and numeracy skills.

Understanding the purpose of NAPLAN

NAPLAN stands for National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy, and it’s an annual test administered in Australian schools to students in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9. NAPLAN is a significant part of the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), and it’s designed to assess student performance and provide a detailed report on their achievements in literacy and numeracy in comparison to national averages. It’s important to note that NAPLAN is not a pass/fail test, but rather a tool for evaluating student performance in reading, writing, language conventions, and numeracy.

Understanding your child’s NAPLAN results

Your child’s results will be shown on achievement scales for each assessment area, with a number of ‘bands’ shown on the scale. The expected band level for your child’s year group will be clearly marked, alongside the average score for their year group nationwide and also for their school.

Your child’s personal score will be shown against this scale, so you can see whether they are working at a below average, average or higher than average level for their year group. You can also see how their school performed as a whole compared with other schools.

For NAPLAN results, the national minimum average band level will be shown on the scale. These are:

  • Band 2 for Year 3
  • Band 4 for Year 5
  • Band 5 for Year 7
  • Band 6 for Year 9

These results also represent a score, with the national average score for each year level typically around 500 for each subject. The higher the score, the better your child performed.

What to do if the results show knowledge gaps or learning issues

If you discover that your child has gaps in literacy and numeracy, there is no need to panic. There are plenty of ways to help your child address these areas of need. Education Perfect is an excellent resource for students who want to improve their core literacy and numeracy skills. It offers a variety of interactive lessons and quizzes that are aligned with the Australian Curriculum and can help your child improve their understanding of specific subject areas.

Additionally, encouraging your child to read and practice maths problems regularly can also help them improve their performance, as can regularly reading for enjoyment and comprehension.

Where to go for help

If you’re concerned about your child’s NAPLAN results, it’s essential to speak with their teacher. The teacher can provide more detailed information about your child’s performance and may suggest additional resources that can help. You can also contact the Assessment and Reporting Authority in your state or territory for more information about the NAP sample assessments and socio-educational data that are used to evaluate student performance.

Deciphering your child’s NAPLAN results can be confusing, but with a little understanding of the test’s purpose and how to interpret the results, you can use them to help your child see what they can do. 

Remember that NAPLAN is not the only measure of your child’s achievement, and there are many resources available to support your child’s learning and growth. By working with your child’s teacher and encouraging them to practise regularly, you can help them improve their performance and feel more confident in their abilities.