WIMMERA principals have urged people to remember that NAPLAN results are only one measure of students' abilities.
The 2014 National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy results were released to the public on Thursday.
The results showed how students in schools across Australia performed in a range of measures, including reading, persuasive writing, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and numeracy.
Murtoa College principal Tony Goodwin said schools were made aware of their results in June.
He said he liked the NAPLAN testing method, but it was not the be-all and end-all indicator of a school's ability to educate students.
"The use of data is very important. What comes out with NAPLAN is one of the best tools we have to advise us on student progress," he said.
"The importance for us is looking at the relative growth and now we can look at that growth across a single cohort."
Mr Goodwin said the school used the results to identify areas that might need extra attention.
"We put in strategies to change things across the whole school. All our teachers will address the issue," he said.
"For example, if we've found in our grade five cohort spelling was down we would address that."
Edenhope College principal Robyn Hollis said it was important to remember NAPLAN was just one way to measure results.
"It is great when you have good results. We did last year and we saw improvements across some cohorts and we were stoked to see those results," she said.
"NAPLAN measures specifically the test they run at that point in time.
"Some students might not perform well at NAPLAN, but can go on to have excellent outcomes in their education and life."
Both principals agreed NAPLAN results should not be viewed in isolation and said many factors affected the results.
Mr Goodwin said looking at isolated results was pointless and did not provide any meaningful information.
He said the college had 15 students in year 3 and 12 in year 5, but had 30 in year 7 and 35 in year 9 last year.
He said because of the small numbers in the primary school, one or two poor or excellent tests from students would have a large impact upon the final scores.
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