The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is an Australian senior school certificate operated by the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA). It is one of two senior school options offered at Princes Hill Secondary College.
There are approximately 45 subjects in the VCE, some which contain several options. Most subjects have four units, each lasting one semester or half-year.
Units 1 and 2 are generally taken in Year 11.
Units 3 and 4, which are more advanced, are usually taken in Year 12.
Students can, however, take a unit 3 and 4 subject in Year 11 subject to approval.
While units 1 and 2 can be taken as single units, units 3 and 4 must be taken as a sequence.
It is anticipated that students at Princes Hill SC will undertake:
In Year 11: six unit 1’s and six unit 2’s, including English or EAL units 1 and 2.
In Year 12: five unit 3 and 4 sequences including at least one of: English or EAL or
Literature units 3 and 4.
The majority of students undertake VCE over two years, although it is possible to complete units over 3 (or more) years without penalty.
Students must satisfactorily complete 16 units to gain a VCE including:
at least 3 units from English, Literature or EAL
and three other unit 3/4 sequences.
All students must study English/English as an Additional language and/or English Literature at Year 11 and 12 levels.
Important note: to gain an ATAR, both units 3 and 4 from the English group must be satisfactorily completed.
Students must complete units 1 and 2 of any VET course prior to enrolling in units 3 and 4. While there are no prerequisites for undertaking any VCE 3/4 units, faculty coordinators strongly recommend that units 1 and 2 of Languages, Physics, Chemistry and Accounting are completed prior to undertaking these subjects as units 3 and 4.
Students undertaking VCE Mathematics need to consult the information under the header ‘Deciding which Mathematics units to take’ on page 50 to determine the most beneficial sequence of units.
A teacher will not accept your work if they believe that it has been copied from somewhere else. To show the teacher that your work is your own, you must:
a. Regularly complete work in class.
b. Hand in work regularly throughout the semester. Show the teacher drafts of work when
c. Keep ALL drafts, notes etc. until the end of assessment.
If a teacher believes a student has cheated in a SAC, VCAA rules will apply. These rules are set out in the VCAA VCE Handbook, accessible on the VCAA website
The College determines tasks for units 1 and 2 assessment. Marks are not reported to the VCAA. Students will receive a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory grade for all units and this is reported to VCAA.
Teachers will determine a set of tasks for students to complete. These tasks will address a series of outcomes set by the VCAA. Each VCE unit includes a set of two to four outcomes. Achievement of the outcomes is based on the teacher’s assessment of the student’s performance on tasks designated for the unit. These series of tasks can include the SACs and SATS. The students will be awarded an 'S' for a unit when:
a. The work meets the required standard as described in the outcomes, and all required course work has been completed.
b. The work has been submitted on time.
c. The work is clearly the student’s own.
d. There has been no serious breach of rules, including attendance rules.
In order to complete the VCE in two years, a minimum of eight units (including at least one unit of English) must be satisfactorily completed in Year 11. With eight units, promotion to Year 12 is automatic. If only four to seven units have been satisfactorily completed, students will negotiate with the coordinators the most appropriate path, e.g. completing VCE over three years.
All studies have both school assessment and examination(s). School-assessed coursework (SAC) is made up of a number of assessment tasks that are specified in the study design. School-assessed coursework is part of the regular teaching and learning program and must be completed in class time within a limited time frame.
A small number of studies have school-assessed tasks (SAT). These are used in studies where products and models are assessed (e.g. Art, Visual Communication, etc.).
SACs and SATs form part of the Study Score for the unit, along with examination results. SATsand SACs are marked by the class teacher. SAT and SAC marks are reported to the VCAA and the results form part of the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank - with rankings up to 99.95). The remaining part of your ATAR is comprised of your exam results.
ATAR stands for Australian Tertiary Admission Rank. The ATAR is an overall percentile ranking that reflects a student’s comparative performance amongst the relevant age group in a given year. The
ATAR allows tertiary institutions to compare students who have completed different combinations of VCE studies. It is calculated by VTAC (Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre) solely for use by institutions.
The ATAR is reported as a rank between 0.00 and 99.95 with increments of 0.05. An ATAR of 75.00 means that a student has achieved a VCE result that places them in the top 25% of the Year 12 age
VTAC calculates an ATAR for all students who have qualified for an ATAR. However, only those who apply through VTAC for tertiary courses receive an ATAR statement. An ATAR will be calculated by VTAC for applicants when they first qualify for an ATAR. If you undertake further study in a later year and are awarded at least one study score or complete a non-scored VET sequence that entitles you to an additional VET increment, a new ATAR will be calculated. Ranking for courses will be based on the highest ATAR achieved. You will receive an official statement containing your ATAR from VTAC at the same time that you receive study scores from the VCAA if you have applied for tertiary entry through VTAC.
VTAC uses VCE results issued by VCAA. Subject to the restrictions outlined in VICTER (Victorian Tertiary Entrance Requirements), the ATAR is developed from an aggregate produced by adding:
ATAR subject score in English, English Language, Literature or EAL
the next best three ATAR subject scores (permissible); and
10% of the fifth and sixth permissible ATAR subject scores that are available.
In calculating VCE study scores, the VCAA does not determine any measure of overall performance in the VCE, but rather the performance of each student in each individual subject. In order to facilitate selection, institutions require an overall measure of the performance of students undertaking the VCE.
Before the scores of different VCE studies can be added together for the ATAR, they need to be scaled to take into account the different ability levels of the students taking different studies. This ensures that the ATAR provides a fair comparison for all students regardless of the combination of studies they take. The scaled score is called the ATAR subject score.
For further information about the ATAR visit www.vtac.edu.au
For specific study information visit www.vtac.edu.au/pdf/publications/victer2013.pdf for students in Year 11 2011; /victer2014 for students in Year 10 2011; and /victer2012 for current Year 12 students.
Only one of the following combinations can be used in the best six (that is, in the calculation of the ATAR):
English/English as an Additional Language (EAL)
Chinese (FL)/Chinese (SL)/Chinese (SL Advanced)
Indonesian (FL)/Indonesian (SL)
Japanese (FL)/Japanese (SL)
Korean (FL)/Korean (SL)
Mathematical Methods/Mathematical Methods (CAS).
In each of the study areas of English, Mathematics, History, Contemporary Australian Studies, Information Technology, Languages and Music:
at most two results can contribute to the primary four
at most three results can contribute to the ATAR, whether they are VCE results, Higher Education study results, or VET results.
The subjects included in these study areas are those listed in the VICTER guide.