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Reporting literacy and numeracy tests results

Students who intend to leave high school before completing their HSC can opt to sit for literacy and numeracy tests delivered by NESA.

Once a student completes one or both of the tests, they receive test reports which provide an overview of their level of achievement in literacy and numeracy.

Australian Core Skills Framework

The concepts of literacy and numeracy being tested have been drawn from the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF).

The ACSF describes five levels of performance in key skill areas that are essential for people to participate in our society: Learning, Reading, Writing, Oral Communication and Numeracy.

The framework provides a consistent national approach to the identification of the core skills requirements and a common reference point for describing and discussing individual performance, strengths and areas for further support and learning.

The levels used for reporting performance in the literacy and numeracy tests are derived from Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the ACSF for Reading, Writing and Numeracy.

Scale score reporting

The literacy and numeracy tests are delivered by a computer adaptive testing (CAT) model. CAT allows students to receive questions aimed at their level of ability.

As each CAT is tailored to the individual student, the number of questions each student receives varies and no two students will receive the same questions. Because of this, student results cannot be reported as marks. Instead, they are reported as a score on a scale.

Each 'scale score' is calculated using a statistical model that is part of the CAT system. Most students will receive a score between 100 and 450, although a small number may receive higher or lower scores.

Scores are mapped to the ACSF performance levels as follows:


  • Level 4 corresponds to scores of 330 and above
  • Level 3 corresponds to scores between 246 and 329
  • Level 2 corresponds to scores between 189 and 245
  • Level 1 corresponds to scores less than 189


  • Level 4 corresponds to scores of 316 and above
  • Level 3 corresponds to scores between 250 and 315
  • Level 2 corresponds to scores between 171 and 249
  • Level 1 corresponds to scores less than 171.

Test and diagnostic reports

A student will see how they performed immediately after completing each test.

Students, and their schools, will be provided with a  Literacy Test Report and a  Numeracy Test Report, including a diagnostic report showing the types of questions answered correctly and the types of questions answered incorrectly.

It is important to note that a student’s performance will be influenced by a number of factors and is only an indication of their skills at that point in time. To gain a full understanding of the student’s literacy and numeracy skills, this report should be considered in conjunction with other evidence of the student’s performance.

Test results are reported separately from  the RoSA and are not a requirement for its award.

About the tests

Find out more about the literacy and numeracy tests.

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