Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment: answers to frequent questions.

Ben Businovski (08) 9273 6378

The Authority has the answers to frequently asked questions about the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) on its website. They are available at

The answers to the most common questions are provided below. Secondary school leaders and teachers may find these helpful.

Q: Why do students have to do this assessment?

The achievement of a WACE currently signals significant achievement in many areas of education; however, tertiary institutions, employers and the community have requested more explicit assurances about the standards of literacy and numeracy achieved by students at the end of Year 12. For each student completing Year 12, the OLNA assessment confirms that a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy has been demonstrated for WACE achievement.

Q: Do all students have to complete the OLNA?

Students who achieved Band 8 or above in the Year 9 NAPLAN Numeracy, Reading or Writing tests will not be required to sit the corresponding components of the OLNA. All other students are required to demonstrate the standard through the OLNA to achieve a WACE.

Q: What happens if students do not meet the required standard before the end of Year 12?

Students who do not meet the required standard are not eligible for a WACE.  However, opportunities will be provided for people who have finished Year 12 and left school to be able to sit the OLNA as many times as necessary to demonstrate that they have reached the required standard. If all of the other requirements of the WACE are met, the certificate will be awarded.

Q: What is the required standard?

OLNA assesses the skills that are essential for individuals to participate effectively in our society. These skills are described in Level 3 of the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF).

Q: Are there examples of the sorts of questions students can expect?
Practice questions ranging from ACSF Levels 1 to 4 are available on a secure website at the school before the assessment periods in March and September 2014.

Q: How will students find out the results?

Schools can access reports that identify those students who have met the standard and those who will need to sit or resit the OLNA. Schools will inform you about your performance.

Q: Is there extra help for a student if they are struggling to meet the required standard?

It is recommended that students who do not meet the required standard by Semester 1, Year 11, enrol in the Foundation courses. Foundation courses will provide you with the support needed to demonstrate the minimum literacy and numeracy standard.

Western Australian submission to the Review of the Australian Curriculum

Vanessa Peters (08) 9273 6337

The Western Australian jurisdictional response to the Australian Government’s Review of the Australian Curriculum is available on the Authority’s website at

The jurisdictional response has been developed by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority in collaboration with, and on behalf of, the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia, the Catholic Education Office of Western Australia and the Department of Education.

While the Australian Government may implement changes in 2015 from the results of the Review, the Authority will establish the timelines for implementation in Western Australia.

The Western Australian submission has been developed in response to Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s announcement on 10 January 2014 of the Australian Government’s Review of the Australian Curriculum.
The Terms of Reference for the Review outline the following:

  • The Review of the Australian Curriculum will evaluate the development and implementation of the Australian Curriculum.
  • The reviewers will consider the robustness, independence and balance of the Australian Curriculum, including:
    • the process of curriculum shaping, development, monitoring, evaluation and review, and
    • the curriculum content from Foundation to Year 12 for subjects developed to date, with a particular focus on the curriculum for English, mathematics, science, history and geography.
  • The reviewers will provide recommendations to Minister Pyne on the above, plus, the cross curriculum priorities and general capabilities of the Australian Curriculum.

WACE 2015–16 literacy and numeracy requirement video for students

George Temple (08) 9273 6703

The Authority has produced a brief video about the literacy and numeracy requirement for the WACE for 2016 and beyond and, specifically, the importance of the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment.

The video has been designed specifically for students, but may also be of interest to teachers, parents and carers.

It is available for viewing at

Overview of Western Australian K–10 curriculum, assessment and reporting

Robyn Smith (08) 9273 6353

Principals and teachers are encouraged to visit the Authority’s website to view a Powerpoint presentation of CEO Allan Blagaich’s overview of Western Australian K–10 curriculum, assessment and reporting. It includes the latest information on the process and timelines for the development and implementation of Phases 2 and 3 of the P–10 Australian Curriculum for Western Australian schools.