Frequently asked questions

​​The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) have provided a wide range of answers to frequently asked questions on the website. Listed below are the common questions asked by schools and their communities.

Go directly to ACARA’s FAQ section or select a topic below.

Please contact our team if your question is still unanswered.

Automated essay scoring

Did you know… In December 2017, Education Council determined that automated essay scoring will not be used for the marking of NAPLAN writing scripts. Any change to this position in the future will be informed by further research into automated essay scoring, and be made as a decision of Education Council.

Bring your own device (BYOD)

Did you know… students can use their own devices as long as their school is supportive and the device meets NAPLAN Online technical requirements.


Did you know… word processing is in the Australian Curriculum from foundation year to Year 10.

Privacy, Security and Use of Data

Did you know… policies and procedures are in place to ensure personal information is protected in the online environment. Read more on the NAPLAN Online and protecting privacy page.


Did you know… from 2021, when all students sit NAPLAN online, the turnaround time for individual student reports to be returned to parents will greatly reduce, from months to weeks.

Staff training

Did you know… Queensland sectors and the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) are supporting schools to transition to NAPLAN Online by providing a range of professional development and training opportunities.

Student readiness

Plan a whole-school approach to the use of ICT in your school. Teaching the Australian Curriculum is the best way of preparing students for NAPLAN Online.

A number of initiatives are available to support students to effectively use ICT as an everyday way of learning within the curriculum.

The initiatives support students to develop ICT skills for online assessment, including reading, planning and composing digital texts, manipulating objects and navigating on screen

Tailored testing
During the test, students are presented with sets of questions based on their performance. Many of these questions are of mid-range complexity for each year level, but some are of higher or lower complexity. Students who experience difficulty early in the test are given some questions of lower complexity, more suited to their performance. These students are less likely to become discouraged as they progress through the tests. High achieving students are given questions that they find more challenging.

Students who complete a more complex pathway are more likely to achieve a higher score (and a higher band placement). Students who answer the same number of questions correctly but follow a less complex pathway, will achieve a lower score.

Did you know… students can go back and change their answers. A progress summary function is available in the test so students can see questions they might have missed or flagged to go back.

Visit the public demonstration site.


Did you know… you can access the locked down browser online.

Queensland state schools can deploy the locked down browser to school owned computers and devices using a pre-distributed global package. Contact Service Centre Online (department login required)​ for support.


Queensland schools are supported in the transition through the NAPLAN Online readiness approach.

Independent Schools Queensland, the Queensland Catholic Education Commission, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority and the Department of Education are working closely to develop and share resources to support all Queensland schools with their readiness.

Resources are available for engagement and initiatives that support:

  • When will my school transition to NAPLAN Online?

Queensland schools will transition in stages from the current paper-based tests to online delivery by 2021.

Schools that are technically ready, with students who are confident ICT users, are well positioned to successfully make the transition.

Did you know… In 2016, Queensland pilot schools gained first access to national online assessment, along with supporting resources and activities. Their feedback and experiences helped improve the national system.

Transitioning schools

In May 2019, 481 Queensland state, Catholic and independent schools joined their interstate counterparts in moving to NAPLAN Online.

These schools, supported by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority, were supported through training and successfully undertook readiness activities prior to moving online.

Queensland schools will continue to transition to NAPLAN Online in 2020 and 2021. From May 2020, Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 students in all Australian schools will use NAPLAN Online unless circumstances prevent them from doing so. Alternatives will be in place for the students at those schools unable to sit tests online.

Undertaking and administering the tests

Did you know… Test Administrators (teachers) will have a dashboard to help them to administer the test and deal quickly with any scenario that occurs e.g. A student who arrives late to an assessment can be processed as a late arrival.

Last updated 21 April 2020