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The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)

The VCE is a secondary certificate leading to higher education at a university or TAFE and/or into different career fields. The VCE is designed to allow a pathway to be developed to suit the needs of the majority of students completing their secondary education.

VCE Structure

The VCE is organised in semester-length units of study: Semester one - over the first six months of the year; Semester two - over the second six months of the year. The VCE is generally completed over a two - year period, however, there is flexibility for completion over an extended period if necessary. Units 1 and 2 are usually Year 11 level subjects which have school-based Assessment Tasks. Units 3 and 4 are generally Year 12 level subjects with Unit 3 and Unit 4 sequences. These are assessed by school-based SACs (School Assessed Coursework) or SATS (School Assessed Tasks) and external examinations. Students can enter most, but not all, studies at Units 1, 2 or 3. It is possible to attempt a Unit 3 or Unit 4 subject in the first year of the VCE and/or select Units 1 and 2 in the second or third year of the VCE. Over the two years of the VCE, full-time students will undertake 22 units.

VCE successful completion requirements

During VCE studies, students must successfully complete at least SIXTEEN units of study which can include VET studies. These sixteen units of study MUST include:

  1. 3 units of English
  2. 3 sequences of Units 3 & 4 in studies other than an English Study.

VCE Reporting Process

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) will issue all students with a Statement of Results at the end of each year. A student's overall achievement for each Unit 3 & 4 study will be calculated and reported as a Study Score on a scale of 0 to 50. On completion, a VCE certificate is awarded to each student. Progress reports are issued during Term One and in conjunction with the Parent -Teacher - Student conversations. A College descriptive report will be provided for all students at the end of Semester One. In Semester Two, Year 11 students will receive a descriptive report. Students receive on-going assessment, advice and feedback from their teachers.

ATAR Score

ATAR stands for Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank, which is a score derived from VCE results by the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC).

When selecting Year 12 applicants, tertiary institutions use either the ATAR ranked score or an index of criteria including interviews and/or presentation of folios and VCE scores.

To gain an ATAR score a student needs to:

  • Complete the VCE satisfactorily and obtain scaled scores for SACs/SATs and external exams in at least 4 studies, including at least one unit of 3 / 4 English study.
  • A maximum of 6 subjects may be counted: the 5th and 6th subject will contribute 10% of each of their results to the overall ATAR score.


Additional Information is available from the following sources:

VCE Student Manual

Brauer Curriculum Site

Yr 10 into VCE information for parents




NPDL 150

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