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.
It is anticipated that students at Princes Hill SC will undertake:
The majority of students undertake VCE over two years, although it is possible to complete units over 3 (or more) years without penalty.
For more details see the VCAA VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook - Qualifications.
Students must satisfactorily complete 16 units to gain a VCE including:
All students must study English/English as an Additional language and/or English Literature at Year 11 and Year 12 levels.
Students must complete units 1 and 2 of any VCE 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 and Chemistry are completed prior to undertaking these subjects as units 3 and 4.
Students undertaking VCE Mathematics need to consult the information ‘Deciding which Mathematics units to take’ 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:
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.
The school 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:
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 a fewer than eight units have been satisfactorily completed, students will negotiate with the coordinator/s 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.).
Students gain a Study Score out of 50 for each subject at Unit 3/4 level.
SACs and SATs form part of the Study Score for the unit, along with examination results. SATs and 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 year level in a given year. The
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
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:
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.
See the VCAA FAQ "How is the ATAR calculated? How are subjects scaled?" for more details.
Only one of the following combinations can be used in the best six (that is, in the calculation of the ATAR):
In each of the study areas of English, Mathematics, History, Contemporary Australian Studies, Information Technology, Languages and Music:
The subjects included in these study areas are those listed in the VICTER guide.
School-assessed coursework (SAC) has to take place in class time. Therefore, students must attend school for their SAC sessions.
The following rules will apply if a student is absent from a SAC session:
SAC dates are indicated on the SAC Calendar accessed via the PHSC Homepage. Please not these dates are indicative only and may change due to unforseen circumstances.
The PHSC VCE Attendance policy was developed to fulfill VCAA requirements.
For each semester-length unit the following attendance policy applies:
If a student’s absences reach six unexplained or thirteen in total, the subject teacher will arrange an interview with the level coordinator and the student to undertake an enrolment review. Parents/guardians may be contacted at this stage.
A student may be eligible for exam assistance or adjustments to work load if affected to a significant degree by illness or other serious problems, or if he or she is disadvantaged by any physical disability or other impairment such as a learning problem. These arrangements are negotiated between the student and their parents, teachers and the coordinators. The principal makes the final decision about all cases of Special Provision.
For further details see the VCAA publication "Special Provision".
Eligible students may apply to the VCAA for special arrangements for their exams. In the case of Year 12 exams, applications must be supported by recent independent professional advice (medical, psychological and/or educational test results). This could mean, for example, extra reading and/or writing time, rest breaks or the use of a computer in exams. Applications must be made through the Year 12 coordinator. If this applies to you, speak to Debra Icely as soon as possible. Applications are due in to VCAA early March. Emergency Arrangments can be made immediately prior to exams if necessary.
If you have become ill or experienced a traumatic event in the two weeks leading up to examinations or during the examination period, you may apply to have your examination result determined by the VCAA. This applies to all examinations - written, oral and performance.