About OLNA Support

Why we’re making a difference

Who is OLNA Support?

OLNA Support was designed and created by two Perth based teachers who wanted a learning tool to help support students with practice materials for the Western Australian Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) in March and September each year.

Carl Owen and Andrew Thomas have worked in Western Australian schools for the last 15 years in both the Government, Independent and most recently in the Catholic Education sector and specifically with students that had to sit the OLNA assessment. When the OLNA assessment was implemented into WA schools, Andrew was teaching as a Learning Support Coordinator and Carl was teaching as an ATAR English and OLNA specialist. In 2014, they were directly teaching students who were impacted by the decision of the WA State Government to implement the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment. In the next two years, they experienced the stress and anxiety that WA students go through in preparation for the OLNA assessment and they decided they had to do something about it. OLNA Support was born out of student need and developed with the continued input of students and schools over the last few years.

Andrew and Carl used the diagnostic criteria that the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) provided to schools for their students and created and developed OLNA Support questions and materials to aid student skill development and understanding. Every question is matched to the diagnostic criteria and the “skill builders” include hints and full explanations for every answer response to encourage learning through a direct feedback model. 

“We know OLNA Support helps students, they tell us every time they use it, but no resource, no matter how flashy, will ever replace good teaching. OLNA Support questions have been designed to replicate good teaching and can be accessed on any device and at any time.”

– Carl Owen

Both Andrew and Carl highly recommend that students work with their teachers and parents to get the best learning and preparation from the resources they have developed. It is through great teaching, a supportive community and a great resource such as OLNA Support that students will achieve their best.

“We are proudly West Australian teachers and we proudly support West Australian students, schools and families who deal with OLNA every year.”

– Andrew Thomas

What is OLNA?

The Online Literacy and Numeracy test, or OLNA, is a computer-based, multiple-choice test designed to assess students for a minimum standard required for higher education and the workforce. It consists of three components: Reading, Writing, and Numeracy. If students do not meet the minimum standard required after their first test, they are required to sit the test again. To complete the OLNA requirements, students must achieve the standard in all three tests but not necessarily at the same time. Once a student has met the minimum standard in one area, they do not have to complete that test again, but they will have to complete the other components. For example, a student may achieve the minimum standard in Reading and Writing but may have to repeat the Numeracy test until they meet the standard.

Who is Required to Take the OLNA Test?

Students may be exempt from taking the OLNA test if they have already attained a certain proficiency level categorized as “Exceeding” in the NAPLAN test. This proficiency level is determined by a numerical score on the NAPLAN assessment.

Students who do not meet these prequalification levels (in each respective test) will be required to take the OLNA test for the first time in Year 9 (students who are in Year 9 when they are given their first opportunity to sit the OLNA, will have this count as their first sit as a Year 10 student). Following that, they will have two opportunities each year to meet the standard. The timing of the OLNA test administration in schools will vary throughout the year according to each school’s schedule. For students who do not achieve the standard in Year 9, they will have the opportunity to make an additional two attempts at the required test(s) in Year 10, Year 11, and a final two attempts in Year 12, allowing for a total of six attempts.

How is prequalification for the minimum Literacy and Numeracy standard for the WACE determined given the changes to NAPLAN in 2023?

With the revisions to NAPLAN in 2023, students’ NAPLAN results are now presented to reflect their performance across four new year-appropriate proficiency levels: Exceeding, Strong, Developing, and Needs Additional Support. This marks a departure from the previous system of 10 bands. Within the ‘Strong’ proficiency level, there exists a threshold that aligns with the minimum standard required to meet the Year 12 WACE Literacy and Numeracy requirement by the end of Year 12. This minimum standard corresponds to Level 3 of the ACSF (Australian Core Skills Framework).

ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority) provides SCSA with NAPLAN scores that correspond to the minimum WACE requirements in Reading, Writing, and Numeracy. Previously, these scores aligned with NAPLAN Band 8. The standard has not changed, just the method of reporting.

Why has the OLNA test become important?

The OLNA test was established in 2014 and has since been tied to graduation. At present, students who do not meet the minimum standard required for OLNA will not receive a Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) which means they will not be eligible to be considered for University Entry in Year 12.

Students who did not meet the minimum standard to achieve OLNA competency during Year 12 can sit the OLNA test at any time after Year 12 has been completed. At present, there is no maximum number of attempts.

The OLNA Support Website and the actual OLNA test

This website is in no way directly affiliated with the SCSA (School Curriculum and Standards Authority) or the OLNA test itself. This OLNA Support website will include Skill Builders and Practice quizzes which look like tests but they have no direct impact on the OLNA test itself. Completing the Practice tests or Skill Builders on this website does not mean you, or your student, have met the minimum standards required to achieve the OLNA test. This website is designed to aid students and facilitate their learning so they have every opportunity to complete the OLNA test.

How does the OLNA Support Website help students to achieve the standards in OLNA.

This website includes three distinct sections of support which are designed to deal with each of the three tests available in OLNA. You can choose to gain access to one test or purchase the package to gain access to all three support options. Each option is based on the original OLNA test and will aid students by presenting similar problems, stimulus or questions to increase familiarity and facilitate learning of the skills being tested. All sections of this website have been designed to familiarise students with the expectations of the OLNA test and its formatting to give them every opportunity to achieve the standards required.