ANA – Annual National Assessments

The Annual National Assessments (ANA) are standardised national assessments for languages and mathematics in the senior phase (grades 7 – 9), intermediate phase (grades 4 – 6) and in literacy and numeracy for the foundation phase (grades 1 – 3).The question papers and marking memoranda (exemplars) are supplied by the national Department of Basic Education and the schools manage the conduct of the tests as well as the marking and internal moderation.


What is literacy and numeracy?

Literacy is the ability to read for knowledge, write logically, communicate verbally and think critically about printed material. Numeracy is the ability to reason with numbers and mathematical concepts such as addition and subtraction, for example. Literacy and numeracy are important building blocks of education.

Why is the Department administering these tests?

The DBE is determined to improve the language and mathematics skills of our learners. The Department has set specific targets to be achieved by 2014 and beyond. The ANA will be used to measure learners’ progress and to establish the level they are performing at.

What will ANA be used for?

The ANA will not be used for learner progression or promotion. It is a tool to assess whether a child needs extra help or not. Teachers will see to what extent the learners in their classes measure up to expectations. They will use the results to inform their lesson plans. District officials will use the results to designschool improvement plans and to render appropriate support to schools.

Who sets the ANA?

ANA tests are set by competent subject experts and teachers who are selected and appointed by the DBE.

Who writes ANA?

All Grades 1-6 and 9 learners in public schools will write ANA, according to a nationally-set timetable. A Pilot Study will be conducted in a sample of 50 public schools per province in Grades 7 and 8. Twenty-five (25) learners will be selected in each of the sampled schools who will write ANA. Learners from State funded Independent schools will also write ANA in either Grade 3 or 6, whichever is the highest grade in a school.

What will learners be tested on?

The learners will be tested on the language and numeracy skills they have learnt during the first three terms of the school year. Knowledge and skills developed in earlier years may also be assessed but the DBE provides guidelines on the scope of work to be covered in the tests.

Who will administer and mark the tests?

Marking of all ANA tests will be done by the teachers, guided by the memoranda provided by the DBE. In addition, the DBE and Provinces conduct centralised moderation of samples of marked scripts from schools to verify the quality of marking at school level. Scripts from the Independent Schools from either Grade 3 or 6 will be marked and moderated centrally.

How are ANA results verified?

Samples of schools and learners will be drawn by a competent independent agent to verify both the process and the results of ANA.

How are ANA results reported?

The Minister of Basic Education will provide a national report on learner performance in December 2014.

What are the Department’s targets for improving literacy and numeracy using ANA as a tool?

The DBE would like to see at least 60% of learners achieving acceptable levels of literacy and numeracy by 2014 and this is to go to 90% by 2024.

Will parents be informed of the ANA results of individual learners?

Parents will be informed of their children’s performance by the school. The school will send out an ANA report to each parent that will give their child’s individual results and explain in which areas the learner has achieved and also the areas in which the learner will need to improve.

Each school must also call a meeting to explain to parents what the results mean and to explain clearly how the school plans to improve results.

How do I know what my child’s results mean?

ANA is useful for measuring to what extent a number of teaching goals had been achieved. Learner achievement, in Grades 1-6 and 9, is graded on a seven point scale:


7 Outstanding achievement 80 – 100
6 Meritorious achievement 70 – 79
5 Substantial achievement 60 – 69
4 Adequate achievement 50 – 59
3 Moderate achievement 40 – 49
2 Elementary achievement 30 – 39
1 Not achieved 0 – 29

So, in all grades at least 50% is required in order to be deemed to be performing at the “adequate achievement” level.

How can parents help their children prepare for the ANA?

  • Schools have been provided with exemplars for Grade 9 that demonstrate the kind of questions that will be included in the ANA tests. Schools are advised to utilise previous years’ exemplars and question papers to prepare for the ANA. They can also be found at or Go through them with your child and discuss the possible answers to questions.
  • Use your child’s Workbook. Ask your child to tell you what the exercises in the Workbook are about and ask her/him to explain to you why she/he would give certain answers to the questions presented in the Workbook.

Get involved with your child’s homework. Check whether the work the teacher gave as homework is indeed completed before school the next day.