Victorian Certificate of Education

Victorian Certificate of Education

The Victorian Certificate of Education or VCE is the credential awarded to secondary school students who successfully complete high school level studies (Year 11 and 12 or equivalent) in the state of Victoria, Australia. Study for the VCE is usually completed over two years, but it can be spread over a longer period in some cases. It is possible to pass and obtain the VCE without completing the end of year exams.

tructure of the VCE

The Victorian Certificate of Education is generally taught in Year 11 and 12 of secondary college in Victoria, however some students commence their VCE studies in Year 10.

All VCE studies are organised into units (VCE subjects typically consist of four units; each unit covers one semester of study). Each unit comprises a set number of outcomes (usually two or three); an outcome describes the knowledge and skills that a student should demonstrate by the time the student has completed the unit. Students must study a minimum of five subjects each year during the VCE. Subject choice depends on each individual school. Unit 3/4 of a subject must be studied in sequencial order, whereas Unit 1/2 can be mixed and matched. Students are not required to complete all the units of a subject as part of the VCE course, meaning they are able to change subject choice between Year 11 and Year 12.

On completing a unit, a student receives either a 'satisfactory' (S) or 'non-satisfactory' (N) result. If a student does not intend to proceed to tertiary education, a 'satisfactory' result is all that is required to graduate with the VCE. If a student does wish to study at a tertiary level then they will require an ENTER. In order to gain an ENTER a student must satisfactorily complete four units of any subject in the English field (at least one English field subject is compulsory) and sixteen units in any other subjects.


VCE studies are assessed both internally (in school) and externally (through VCAA). During Unit 1/2 all assessment is internal, whilst in Unit 3/4 assessment is conducted both internally and externally.

Internal Assessment

Internal assessment is conducted via "school assessed coursework" (SACs) and "school assessed tasks" (SATs).

"School assessed coursework" (SACs) are the primary avenue of external assessment, with assessment in every VCE study consisting of at least one SAC. SACs are tasks are written by the school and must be done primarily in class time; they can include essays, reports, tests, and case studies. Some studies in the visual arts and technology areas are also assessed via "school assessed tasks" (SATs). SATs are generally practical tasks that are examined in school. Both SACs and SATs are scaled by VCAA against external assessment, this is eliminate any cheating or variances in task difficulty.

External Assessment

External assessment is conducted in the form of examinations set by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Unit 3/4 studies. Midyear (June) examinations are held for all subjects in the Science field, as well as accounting. End of year (October/November) examinations are held for all studies.

Subjects in the LOTE field are also assessed in the form of oral examinations. Subjects in the Music field must are must perform for a VCAA panel of examiners as part of their external assessment. All performance based external assessment (Oral Examinations and Music Performances) are typically held in early October.

General Achievement Test (GAT)

The GAT is an essential part of VCE external assessment. It provides the basis of a quality assurance check on the marking of examinations. Any student who is enrolled in a VCE Unit 3/4 study is expected to sit the GAT.


tudy scores

A student who satisfactorily completes Unit 3/4 of a VCE study is eligible for a study score of between 0 and 50. Study scores are calculated by VCAA and indicate a students performance in that subject.


Scaling is the process that adjusts VCE study scores into ENTER subject scores. The Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) adjusts all VCE study scores to equalise results in more difficult studies with those in easier subjects. Scaling down occurs when the overall performance is high. Scaling up happens when the overall performance is low.


VCE Studies

In total there are 129 VCE studies ranging across education fields including humanities, science, mathematics, technology, the arts and langauge as well as encorporating vocational studies.

* A student must study an English subject; with a choice between "English", "English (ESL)", "English Language" or "English Literature"; "Literature" is regarded as the most difficult English subject. Approximately 75% of students study "English", rather than the other three options.

* Mathematics is the only field of study which caters for the varying abilities of students. During Unit 1 and 2 a student may study either "General Mathematics" (basic level) or "Mathematical Methods/Mathematic Methods (CAS)" (advanced level). In Unit 3 and 4 a student may study either "Further Mathematics" (basic level), "Mathematical Methods/Mathematic Methods (CAS)" (advanced level) or "Specialist Mathematics" (tertiary level).

The following is a list of all VCE studies avaliable:

VCE Results

For the past two decades, ENTER based school rankings have been dominated by selective state schools MacRobertson Girls High School and Melbourne High School and independant school Bialik College. Other top performing state schools include Balwyn High School [ [ The Age 2006 School results] ] , Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, Edenhope College [ [ The Age 2006 School results] ] and Werribee Secondary College [ [ Post Compulsory Completion And Achievement Data 2007 Information ] ] whilst top performing private schools include Camberwell Anglican Girls Grammar School, Fintona Girls' School, Ruyton Girls' School and Korowa Anglican Girls' School [ [ The Age 2007 School Results] ] .

See also

* Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
* Department of Education, Victoria
* Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre
* General Achievement Test
* Equivalent National Tertiary Entrance Rank
* Education in Australia
* Higher School Certificate
* University admission
* VCE Results 2005
* VCE Results 2006


Resources and External links

* [ Victorian Curriculum & Assessment Authority (VCAA) website] - The Victorian Curriculum & Assessment Authority are responsible for the provision of high quality and assessment programs for all students in Victoria.
* [ Victorian Certificate of Education] - information about the VCE.
* [ Exam timetable]
* [ Sample VCE Exams] - Past VCE Exams and sample exams for the current year.
* [ VCAA: General Achievement Test] - past years' questions and answers.
* [ VCAL] - the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning.
* [ VCAA: Where To Now?] - Guide to the VCE, VCAL and Apprenticeships and Traineeships for 2008.
* [ VCAA FAQs page]
* [ 2006 Public & Independent school VCE results]
* [] - VCE student community

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