A school's NAPLAN results


There is much more to a school than just its NAPLAN results, but they do help us see how a school is doing compared to similar schools in the important areas of literacy and numeracy.

Each school’s page carries its NAPLAN results and information about how the school has progressed over time.

NAPLAN results for a selected school can be compared with the average results of a group of schools with similar students, and with the averaged results of all Australian schools.

Read more about the NAPLAN tests on the National Assessment Program (NAP) website.

About the NAPLAN scale

NAPLAN tests students in reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. The results for each of the five NAPLAN assessment areas (or domains) are reported on a common scale.  


Rather than a separate scale for each year level tested (3, 5, 7 and 9), My School shows a single common scale, which makes it easier to see growth over time. The midpoint of each domain scale is set at 500 NAPLAN score points. The mean score will vary depending on the year level and test domain, and from test year to test year. 


The common scale for each domain is also divided into 10 achievement bands (bands 1–10), with six bands reported for each year level. This is because each year group cohort is specifically tested for the range of six bands appropriate to the year level. For Year 3, the proportions of students in each of bands 1–6 are reported. For Year 5 students, bands 3–8 are reported; for Year 7, bands 4–9; and for Year 9, bands 5–10.


Watch a video about the NAPLAN scales.


Examples of individual student reports can be found on the NAP website.


Understanding NAPLAN results in graphs

Average student achievement is displayed graphically for each year. The graph shows the school’s average with clearly marked margins of error, which are possible for any kind of assessment. This display provides information about a single domain (testing area) and year level at a time.


A school’s average can be compared with the average scores of similar schools and the Australian average.


For example:



Read more information about interpreting NAPLAN results in graphs.

Understanding NAPLAN results in numbers

Average student achievement is displayed in numbers for each year from 2008. A numeric range that shows the margin of error is also given. This display shows results for all test domains and all year levels at the same time. 


For example: 


Read more information about interpreting NAPLAN results in numbers.

Understanding NAPLAN results in bands

Student achievement is displayed across the bands of the NAPLAN scale. Proportions of students achieving in the same bands at similar schools and all Australian schools are shown.


For example:


Read more about interpreting NAPLAN results in bands.

Participation rates

On the ‘NAPLAN results in bands’ page, participation rates are provided for a selected school and for all Australian schools. For a selected school, percentages are shown for students who:

  • participated in testing
  • were assessed
  • were exempt 
  • were absent
  • were withdrawn.

Students can be exempted from testing if they have a language background other than English and have arrived in Australia less than a year before the tests, or because they have significant intellectual disability. However, exemption is not automatic and parents must request this. 

Exempt students who are not assessed are deemed not to have met the national minimum standard. The percentage of students below the national minimum standard includes both students assessed at this level and exempt students. However, the results of exempt students are not included when calculating school average scores.

Students unable to do the test because of illness or some other acceptable reason are regarded as absent. They are not awarded a NAPLAN score.

Students whose parents withdraw them from participating in NAPLAN for their own personal reasons are counted as withdrawn. Withdrawn students are not awarded a NAPLAN score.

Understanding NAPLAN student gain

The ‘Student gain’ page presents the average change in results for students who have taken consecutive NAPLAN tests at the same school.


For example:


This is measured by identifying those students who undertook NAPLAN tests in both years (for example, in Year 3 in 2015 and again in Year 5 in 2017) at the same school. No other students are included in this calculation.


For this reason, the NAPLAN result, shown on this graph, may be different to the result for the whole school population, shown on the other NAPLAN results pages. The percentage of the school’s students in this group is clearly shown on the page. It is important to note that for some schools, it is not possible to represent student gain.


Student gain is a way to measure the impact the school has had on student progress. That is, when the background of students is similar across schools, it is more likely that any differences in gain made by schools are related to the teaching and learning capabilities of the school.


It is important to consider that students generally show greater gains in literacy and numeracy in the earlier years than in the later years of schooling, and that students who start with lower NAPLAN scores tend to make greater gains over time than those who start with higher NAPLAN scores.


Read more about interpreting NAPLAN student gain.