Faculty of Health, Arts and Design

Department of Education

Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students

Information about an Australian Government test which is compulsory for current and commencing Swinburne initial teacher education students.


The Australian Government, in partnership with the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), introduced the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education on 1 July 2016.

This test is a requirement for all undergraduate and postgraduate initial teacher education students. You need to pass this test before you can register to work as a teacher in Australia.

The ACER manage the test on behalf of universities in Australia. All details, including test window dates and registration, are on the ACER website.

As per Swinburne’s course rules, eligible students will need to pass the test to graduate or have their degree conferred.

Who must take the test

Swinburne initial teacher education students (undergraduate or postgraduate) must pass the national literacy and numeracy test to graduate, subject to their course start date.

We recommend you sit the test as soon as possible and no later than the timelines specified in the course details for your specific course.

Q. What if I started my degree before 1 January and will graduate after 31 December 2017?
You must sit and pass the test before 31 December 2017.* 

Q. What if I started my degree after 1 January 2017?
A. You must pass the test before the deadlines specified in the accredited course rules.*
* To view your accredited course rules, find your course page, then visit the 'Course details' or 'Course information in detail' section.

When you can take the test

The test will be available several times a year during test windows. When registering for a test window, you can choose to go to a test centre in person or take the test online (via 'remote proctoring'). 

For all test windows and to register, visit the ACER website.


In 2017, the total cost for both tests is $185 (GST inclusive), payable to the ACER.

How to prepare for the test

For information on how to prepare for the test, visit the the ACER website to access practice materials.

Test results

The ACER will provide you with your test results. A copy will also be provided to Swinburne.

If your results do not meet the test requirements, you will be subject to Swinburne’s academic progress requirements for your specific course. You cannot graduate or have your degree conferred if you have not passed the test.

Re-sitting the test

The ACER only allows you three attempts to pass the test. However, Swinburne can request, on your behalf, that the ACER allow you a fourth attempt if you meet the following conditions:

  1. Your overall numeracy and/or literacy test results were within five percent (5%) of a satisfactory result; or,
  2. You experienced special or extenuating circumstances that impacted your ability to complete the test successfully; and,
  3. After your second attempt, you sought additional resources and support to prepare for the third attempt.

In order for Swinburne to act on your behalf, you must submit a formal request via our Complaints and Feedback form. Your request will be considered subject to you providing some, or all, of the following items, as relevant to your circumstances: 

  1. An outline of the reason you require another attempt at the test(s), including any special or extenuating circumstances with supporting documentations e.g. medical certificates; technical reports;
  2. An overview of the steps you took to prepare for the first, second and third attempts;
  3. A description of the formal preparation (e.g study, personal tutoring, preparatory modules) you will undertake for the fourth attempt; and
  4. Copies of the results certificate for each of your tests.

There is no guarantee that the ACER will grant a fourth attempt, even with Swinburne's recommendation. The final decision on whether you are granted a fourth attempt is made by the ACER.

Submit your resit request via our complaints and feedback form.

Once your request has been adjudicated, you will be notified via email whether Swinburne will submit a formal recommendation to the ACER.

Please note students enrolled after 1 January 2017: A request for a fourth attempt will be limited to those who experienced issues with the process (including technical issues) or who have special or extenuating circumstances (including illness).