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Frequently Asked Questions |  VCE

Information for VCE students and their parents

The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is the certificate that the majority of students in Victoria receive on satisfactory completion of their secondary education. The VCE provides diverse pathways to further study or training at university or TAFE and to employment. Vital information for parents and students can be obtained from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). Please refer to the website listed below for further details on VCE study designs and resources, VCE publications, general advice and policy, VCE examinations and assessment as well as university recognition of VCE. Publications referred to in the answers below can be located on the VCAA website.

What do I have to do to be awarded the VCE?

Refer to the ‘How do I graduate with the VCE?’ section within the ‘Where to Now? Guide’ for details, located on the website.

How is the ATAR calculated? How are subjects scaled?

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is calculated by the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) from your study scores. For more information on the ATAR and scaling, please visit the VTAC website.

ATAR Notes also have a calculator for estimating ATARs at

For more information please visit Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC)

What must I include in my VCE program?

VCE requires satisfactory completion of at least 16 units including: - At least three units from the English group listed below:  - English Units 1 to 4    - English as an Additional Language (EAL) Units 3 and 4    - English Language Units 1 to 4    - Literature Units 1 to 4 - One Unit 3/4 English sequence - Three sequences of Unit 3 and 4 studies in addition to the sequence chosen from the English group. These sequences can be from VCE studies and/or VCE VET programs. If you intend to apply for tertiary entrance at the end of your VCE, you need to be aware that the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre has additional requirements for the calculation of the ATAR.

How many subjects do I have to study each year?

The VCAA does not prescribe a minimum number of subjects/units that students have to study each year. You can take as long as you need to complete the VCE.

What are the attendance requirements for the VCE?

All VCE units require 50 hours of class time. You need to attend sufficient class time to complete work. Any attendance difficulties must be discussed with your Year Level Coordinator and will be referred to the VCE Coordinator.

What is a Study Score?

A study score shows how well you have performed in a study at Unit 3 and 4 level, compared to everybody else in Victoria who took that study. Study scores calculated by the VCAA will be used by the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) to calculate the ATAR. The maximum study score is 50. Each year, and for every study, the mean study score is set at 30. A score of between 23 and 37 shows that you are in the middle range of students; a score of 38 or more indicates that you are in the top 15%. For studies with large enrolments (1,000 or more): - 2% of students will get a score on or above 45 - 9% of students will get a score on or above 40 - 26% of students will get a score on or above 35 - 53% of students will get a score on or above 30 - 78% of students will get a score on or above 25 - 93% of students will get a score on or above 20.

How can I earn a study score?

At Unit 3 and 4 level, there are three Graded Assessments for each study, consisting of School-assessed Coursework (SACs), School-assessed Tasks (SATs) and examinations. VCE VET subjects that have scored assessment have two Graded Assessments. The Graded Assessments are different for each study and contribute towards the study score in different ways. If you complete at least two Graded Assessments, and have satisfactorily completed both unit 3 and 4, you will be awarded a study score.

How is the study score calculated?

To calculate the study score, the VCAA combines the standardised scores for each of your Graded Assessments. Each graded assessment in a study contributes a specific percentage, or weighting, to the final study score. Once the scores have been standardised, weighted and totalled your total score is compared with the scores of all other students in that study and then converted to a score out of 50.

How does the GAT affect my VCE result?

The General Achievement Test (GAT) is an important part of the VCE assessment procedures.

Although GAT results do not count directly towards a student’s VCE results, they play an important role in checking that school assessments and examinations have been accurately assessed.

If a student applies for a Derived Examination Score the GAT is used in determining this derived score. Therefore students should attempt to score as high as possible on all parts of the GAT.

Achievement on the GAT is a good predictor of achievement on other assessments. If students have done well on the GAT, then their achievements are likely to be high in their school assessments and examinations.

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