Australia’s national education evidence body

The Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy and Purpose (CRAAP) test helps you to evaluate non-academic sources of evidence, such as a webpage. The webpage could be about a policy, program or practice you are considering using at your school, service or in your classroom.

The downloadable resource (PDF, 400KB) has a space for you to write notes.

You could use this test on your own, for example to help you assess whether information is trustworthy before you share it with colleagues. You could also use the test as part of a group, for example as part of a community of practice. This can help you and your team to make decisions about your practices and programs. If you’re a leader, you can use this resource to support your team to engage with evidence as part of their ongoing professional development.

Related frameworks

Early Years Learning Framework

Principle 5: Ongoing learning and reflective practice

National Quality Standard

Standard 7.2: Effective leadership builds and promotes a positive organisational culture and professional learning community

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Focus Area 6.2: Engage in professional learning and improve practice

Australian Professional Standards for Principals

Professional Practice 2: Developing self and others

About the CRAAP test

Developed by a librarian at the University of California1, the CRAAP test is a set of questions to think about when assessing how much you should rely on a particular non-academic source of evidence. The questions can help you decide if the information is likely to be objective and reliable, or whether there are signs it could be biased.

Some questions will be more important than others depending on your purpose, so there are no hard and fast rules. The CRAAP test is a tool to help you – it doesn’t replace your professional judgement.

Many of the questions relate to online sources of information, but you can also use the CRAAP test to assess printed texts such as books.

Once you’re familiar with the questions, you’ll find that you can weigh up the reliability of a source quite quickly in your head. In the meantime, you can use this resource to make notes and give each question a score to help you assess reliability.

Take the CRAAP test!

For each section, think about the questions and give a score out of 5, where 1 indicates an outdated, irrelevant or unreliable source and 5 indicates a very relevant and credible source.

As a general rule, if the information you need to answer a question isn’t available, give it a low score.

There are no hard and fast rules to scoring or interpreting the scores and you’ll need to use your professional judgement. As a guide, avoid relying on a source if:

  • you’ve scored 3 or lower on 2 or more sections OR
  • you scored 2 or lower on either Authority or Accuracy.

1 = Very poor

2 = Poor

3 = Okay

4 = Very good

5 = Excellent

Is your source CRAAP?


Michelle is a primary school teacher who has recently seen an online talk about learning styles and is wondering, ‘Should I use learning styles in my teaching?’ She does a Google search for the term ‘learning styles’.
The Google results page offers 2 sites that look worth investigating:

Michelle uses the CRAAP test for each webpage – you can read her notes and scores below – and concludes that the magazine article is the more reliable source of evidence, and that learning styles are not evidence-based.

This example provides you with some guidance for scoring using the CRAAP criteria. There’s no single ‘correct’ score so you might find you score a little differently if you look at the webpages yourself – that’s fine. If you find you’re scoring very differently to the samples and your conclusion about the information is different to Michelle’s, it’s probably a good idea to talk to colleagues about how you’re interpreting the criteria.

Webpage 1: Sphero blog

The banner at the top of the webpage telling the Australian reader they can ‘now shop locally’ is an immediate red flag, and completing the CRAAP test confirms that this is not a reliable site to find evidence about learning styles.

Webpage 2: Magazine article in ‘The Atlantic’

The content comes from an online magazine, which at first glance might not seem like a good source, but the content is relatively recent, relevant to the question and scores well on the CRAAP test. This content is useful.

More evidence tools

Standards of evidence

For making consistent and transparent judgements when assessing evidence

Evidence decision-making tools

For assessing your confidence in a practice, program or policy and decide on next steps

Research reflection guide

A guide and worksheet for reflecting on a piece of research
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