Trial testing

The annual ISA online trial testing period is a good opportunity for schools to get an indication of the kind of material used in the ISA, or to have a 'practice run' before sitting the official test.


Trial testing is conducted by ACER to determine whether new test materials are appropriate for future tests. Statistical analyses, along with the feedback we receive from schools, are used to determine what has 'worked', and can be utilised in the final tests. We depend on the goodwill of participating schools to help us with this part of the test development process.


The next trial testing window is Monday 29 January – Friday 9 February 2018. Registration is open to schools interested in participating in online testing.


There is no cost to schools, except in time.


Online trial tests are available in reading and mathematical literacy for Grades 3–10, and scientific literacy for Grades 7–10. Each trial test contains a selection of questions that we wish to trial with a similar student population to that which that will ultimately sit the official test. Generally, the trial tests are shorter than the final forms, and are not necessarily representative of the whole test construct. While we hope that the trial tests give schools some idea of the kind of material that appears in the official tests, the main purpose is to trial new questions to determine whether they are appropriate for their stated grade level in terms of difficulty, language, cultural content and so on.


We DO NOT issue any results for the trial test.


To register your interest in participating in ISA online trial testing please contact us.