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VCE Frequently Asked Questions - Current students

Students Currently Studying the VCE

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

Refer to the Where to Now? publication (VCE section) for details.

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, see the 'ABC of Scaling' published by VTAC under their website's Publications section.

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

  • ATAR
  • Scaling (including the current Scaling Report)
  • Primary four
  • Increments
  • Special Entry Access Schemes (SEAS) (including Year 12 Special Consideration)
  • Aggregate scores
  • Tertiary offers (including change of preferences)
  • University places

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) is not responsible for any of the above.

What must I include in my VCE program?

To earn your VCE, you must satisfactorily complete at least 16 units.

Regardless of how many units you do altogether, you must satisfactorily complete:

  1. At least three units from the English group listed below:
    • Foundation English Units 1 and 2
    • 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
    At least one of these units must be at Unit 3 or 4 level. However, VTAC advises that for the calculation of the ATAR, students must satisfactorily complete both Unit 3 and Unit 4 of an English sequence.
  2. 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.

Talk to your VCE Coordinator or visit Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) for more information.

(Note, this link will take you out of the VCAA website to a site not maintained or funded by the VCAA.)

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. Your school sets minimum class time and attendance rules.

You can find more information on the attendance requirements under the 'Administrative Information: Students' section of the VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook.

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.

You can find a list of Graded Assessments for every study in 'Report Results: Score aggregation' section of the VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook.

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.

For more information on the calculation of the study score, read 'Reporting Results: Score aggregation' in the VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook.

How does the GAT affect my VCE results?

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.

Read how the GAT relates to school coursework and examinations for more information.

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.

I am transferring into the VCE from interstate/overseas. Can I still earn the VCE?

You need to complete 16 units to be awarded the VCE. If you are transferring into year 11 or 12 you may need to apply for your interstate or overseas studies to be credited towards your VCE to help you reach 16 units.

Your school can apply for credit for the VCE on your behalf. Ask your VCE coordinator about what to do next.

How can I find out which schools/providers teach particular VCE subjects?

You can find out which schools and providers offer which subjects by using the Schools and Studies Search.