What are national tests, and why do we have them?
National tests are designed to assess the extent to which the school hassucceeded in developing the basic skills of pupils in reading and numeracy and in parts of the English subject.
Basic skills means:
- being able to express yourself orally
- being able to express yourself in writing
- being able to read
- being able to use numeracy
- being able to use digital tools
These skills are important for learning and development in all subjects andhave a major impact on how pupils cope with school and life in general. The numeracy and reading tests are not tests in the subjects of Norwegian,Sami and mathematics, but rather in reading and numeracy as basic skills used in all school subjects all subjects. The English tests aim to assess reading comprehension, vocabulary and grammar.
The school will use the information from the tests together with other information about the pupils to promote each pupil’s development in cooperation between the teacher, the pupil and the arents. The information from the tests, together with other information about the pupil, will be used to plan what is best for the individual pupil’s future development. The teacher, pupil and parents will be involved in this process.
Who gives the tests, and which tests must the pupils take?
The national tests are taken in Years 5, 8 and 9. The general rule is that the tests are obligatory for all pupils. Exemption may be granted to
- pupils with the right to special education or with the right to special language instruction, and also when
- it is evident that the test results will not have any great impact on the pupil’s learning
Even if a pupil has the right to an exemption, he/she or his/her parents may still decide that the pupil should take the test.
Pupils in Year 5 and Year 8 must take national tests in reading, numeracy and English. Pupils in Year 9 must take national tests in reading and numeracy. These tests are the same as those given in Year 8.
Pupils in Years 5, 8 and 9 who have Northern Sami as their first language will take national tests for reading in the Northern Sami language. Pupils in Year 5, Year 8 and Year 9 who have Northern, Southern or Lule Sami as their first language must take national tests in numeracy in the Sami language.
The tests for English and numeracy are computer-based tests. The reading tests are given on paper-based.
What type of tasks do the pupils answer?
The tests consist of multiple choice and open-ended tasks. The pupils answer the open-ended tasks in their own words or by using numbers, whereas the multiple choice tasks are answered by choosing one of several alternatives.
The results of the tests will provide information about the pupils on all skill levels. This is why the tests are composed of easy, medium and difficult tasks.
The Directorate for Education and Training’s website provides some examples of the types of tasks used in the national tests. You can also find electronic tests in English and numeracy that have been given in earlier years on the website.
Who has access to test results?
The pupil and his/her parents will receive feedback from the teacher when the test results are available. Results for municipalities and counties will be published on our website, Skoleporten.no. We do not publish the results on a school-to-school basis. The schools and local authorities may decide to publish the results about their own school or municipality.
The Norwegian Freedom of Information Act requires us to provide the results for each school when requested. This is permitted only if the identity of the pupils is protected. This is why you will be able to find the results for each school in newspapers and internet websites.
The results for each school will be made available to the head of the school and to the local authority. These results will be used to improve the quality of the education.
Teachers and schools are required by law to keep the test results for each pupil confidential.
Do you have any questions?
Contact your school if you have any questions. You can read more about national tests at:
The tests are given during weeks 37 to 46
Pupils who are unable to take the national tests on the stipulated test day must be given the opportunity to take the tests at a later date.