Assessment and reporting

Australian states and territories, and the systems and schools within them, are responsible for the assessment of student learning under the Australian Curriculum.

Reporting on student achievement in Australian schools for students in F–10 needs to meet expectations set out in regulation 59 of the Australian Education Regulation 2013 (Cth).

Explanatory information about the reporting requirement can be found on the Australian Government Department of Education and Training website.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) manages the National Assessment Program for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 under the direction of the Education Council. The Program includes:

  • the National Assessment Program –  Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN);
  • three-yearly NAP sample assessments in science literacy, civics and citizenship, and information and communication technology (ICT) literacy; and
  • international sample assessments.

The Curriculum, Assessment and Certification Authority in each Australian state or territory (ACACA agency) is responsible for the assessment and reporting that contributes to the Senior Secondary Certificate for that state or territory.

ACT

Senior secondary assessment methods in the Australian Capital Territory

Moderated school-based continuous assessment is used throughout the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) senior system.

An external scaling test provides additional moderation of assessment results for students meeting the requirements for the awarding of a Tertiary Entrance Statement.

Senior secondary reporting in the Australian Capital Territory

Schools have the responsibility for administering assessment. Teachers’ decisions about unit grades are moderated through a biannual process of structured consensus-based peer review against course-specific achievement standards outlined in the BSSS Course Frameworks.

Grades are awarded A–E. Grade standards are course-specific but can be very generally summarised as:

A = Very high achievement
B = High achievement
C = Sound achievement
D = Limited achievement
E = Very limited achievement.

Reporting at the end of the compulsory years in the Australian Capital Territory

The certificates that are available to be awarded on completion of senior secondary education (typically Year 12) in the ACT are:

  • The ACT Senior Secondary Certificate
  • The ACT Senior Record of Achievement
  • The ACT Tertiary Entrance Statement
  • Certificate I, Certificate II or Certificate III or Statement of Attainment (Vocational qualifications).

For more information see the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies website

Assessment and reporting in the Australian Capital Territory to Year 10

Responsibility for assessment and reporting to Year 10 in the ACT sits with the ACT Education Directorate.

NSW

Senior secondary assessment methods in New South Wales

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES) promotes a standards-referenced approach to assessing and reporting student achievement in NSW and the importance of assessment for, as and of learning as essential components of good teaching.

Assessment is the process of gathering information and making judgements about student achievement for a variety of purposes. In NSW these purposes include:

  • assisting student learning
  • evaluating and improving teaching and learning programs
  • providing evidence of satisfactory achievement and completion in the Year 11 (Preliminary) course
  • providing the Higher School Certificate results.

The HSC combines internal (school-based) and external (state-wide examination marked by BOSTES) assessment each worth 50% of a student’s final HSC mark for each course. The external HSC examination is used to moderate school-based assessments.

Visit the Assessment section of the BOSTES Students Online website for more information about how assessment in the HSC works.

Senior secondary reporting in New South Wales

Achievement in each course is reported by an examination mark, an assessment mark, an HSC mark (the average of the first two) and a performance band.

Student performance in each HSC course is measured against defined standards. HSC marks for each course are divided into bands and each band aligns with a description of a typical performance by a student within that mark range. The performance bands for a two unit course are as follows:

  • Band 6 equals 90 – 100 marks
  • Band 5 equals 80 – 89 marks
  • Band 4 equals 70 – 79 marks
  • Band 3 equals 60 – 69 marks
  • Band 2 equals 50 – 59 marks
  • Band 1 equals 0 – 49 marks.

For an Extension course, the bands are E4 (highest level of performance) to E1. 

Visit the HSC section of the BOSTES website for detail about how the HSC is reported.

Eligible students who leave school before receiving their HSC will receive the RoSA, which lists the grades they have achieved to date (see below for more about grades).

Reporting at the end of the compulsory years in New South Wales

Eligible NSW students who leave school before receiving their Higher School Certificate (HSC) will receive the Record of School Achievement (RoSA). The RoSA reports a student’s grades (A, B, C, D or E – with A being the highest) or participation in courses in Year 10 up to the point when they left school.

Teachers award grades in each course a student studies in Years 10 and 11. BOSTES monitors grades and provides resources to teachers to support their professional judgement.

Students leaving school before completing the HSC also have the choice of taking literacy and numeracy tests to use as evidence of their literacy and numeracy skills.

See on the BOSTES website:

NT

Senior secondary assessment methods in the Northern Territory

Student work in the NTCET is assessed through the use of performance standards. The NT uses the South Australian curriculum. SACE subjects are school assessed at Stage 1. The responsibility for assessment at Stage 2 is shared between schools and the SACE Board.

The performance standards, which are provided in each subject outline, describe in detail the level of achievement required to obtain a grade:

  • from A to E for Stage 1
  • from A+ to E– for Stage 2.

For more information, visit the SACE website.

Senior secondary reporting in the Northern Territory 

The NT Board of Studies reports final subject grades at Stage 1 using grades from A to E. At Stage 2 the NT Board of Studies reports grade levels from A+ to E–.  The subject grades for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 are based on the performance standards described in each subject outline, and are reported on a student’s Record of Achievement. 

Reporting at the end of the compulsory years in the Northern Territory 

When a student has fulfilled all of the requirements of the Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training they are awarded the certificate, which includes the student’s name, SACE registration number, date of issue, and is signed by the Chair of the NT Board of Studies.

Refer to the Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training website for more information on ‘Your certificate’.

NZ

Senior secondary assessment in New Zealand

Each year, students study a number of courses or subjects. In each subject, skills and knowledge are assessed against a number of standards. Schools use a range of internal and external assessments to measure how well students meet these standards. When a student achieves a standard, they gain a number of credits. Students must achieve a certain number of credits to gain an NCEA certificate.

For further information about NCEA standards visit the NZQA website.

Senior secondary reporting in New Zealand

Secondary school students will receive results for all internal or external standards that are assessed as part of NCEA. During the school year, students receive results for internally assessed work. These results are sent by the school to NZQA throughout the year.

At any stage, students can log in via the Learner Login and view the results that NZQA holds for them. In January, students can access a Results Notice, which provides results for internal and external assessment from the previous year. These results are available online.

For further information about NCEA results visit the NZQA website.

QLD

Senior secondary assessment methods in Queensland

In Queensland, students in Years 11 and 12 are assessed by teachers within a system of school-based assessment, using a variety of assessment methods. Rigorous external moderation ensures that students are treated fairly and that achievement standards are comparable across all schools for all students. Further information about student assessment in Queensland is available on the student assessment page of the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority website.

Queensland’s system of senior assessment is currently under review and a new system will be introduced for students entering Year 11 in 2018. Information on the review and the proposed new system is available at:

Senior secondary reporting in Queensland

Students in Queensland are issued with a Senior Education Profile (SEP) when they complete Year 12. All students receive a Senior Statement, and eligible students are awarded a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) and/or a Tertiary Entrance Statement. Students who continue to study towards a QCE after completing Year 12 will receive a Statement of Results and a QCE when they become eligible. Eligible students undertaking an individual learning program, receive the Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA).

Further information about reporting student achievement is available on the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority certificates and qualifications page.

Reporting at the end of the compulsory years in Queensland

Student achievement is reported twice-yearly using a five-point scale (A–E or equivalent).

Schools and school authorities determine the reporting frameworks that are used in schools.

Year 10 certificates may be generated by a school or school authority.

SA

Senior secondary assessment methods in South Australia

Student work in the SACE is assessed through the use of performance standards. SACE subjects are school assessed at Stage 1. The responsibility for assessment at Stage 2 is shared between schools and the SACE Board.

The performance standards, which are provided in each subject outline, describe in detail the level of achievement required to obtain a grade:

  • from A to E for Stage 1
  • from A+ to E– for Stage 2.

For more information, visit the SACE website.

Senior secondary reporting in South Australia 

The SACE Board reports final subject grades at Stage 1 using grades from A to E. At Stage 2 the SACE Board reports grade levels from A+ to E–. The subject grades for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 are based on the performance standards described in each subject outline, and are reported on a student’s Record of Achievement. 

Reporting at the end of the compulsory years in South Australia 

When a student has fulfilled all of the requirements of the South Australian Certificate of Education they are awarded the certificate, which includes the student’s name, SACE registration number, date of issue, and is signed by the Chief Executive of the Board.

Refer to the SACE Policy Framework, and SACE Assessment and Reporting Guidelines on the SACE website.

TAS

Senior secondary assessment methods in Tasmania

Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification (TASC) accredited senior secondary courses use criterion-based assessment methodology.

Provider-based internal assessments are quality assured by TASC and used by TASC to calculate awards and issue qualifications. Courses at Levels 3 and 4 that contribute to the calculation of ATAR are also subject to external assessment managed by TASC.

Senior secondary reporting in Tasmania

A Qualifications Certificate is issued to learners at the end of their senior secondary studies. This certificate is a formal record of senior secondary, recognised and VET qualifications/Unit of Attainment gained to that time. The certificate can be updated to form a record of life-long learning.

Learners who reach the required standards are also issued with a Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE).

Reporting at the end of the compulsory years in Tasmania

Principals establish clear processes in their schools to support both formative assessment for the purpose of providing regular feedback to students, and summative assessment for the purpose of reporting to parents and at a system level against the Australian Curriculum according to the implementation timeline.

Teachers must assess student progress against the achievement standards of the Australian Curriculum according to the implementation timeline and the internal processes of their school. Teachers assess and report student achievement Years 3–10 using the letter ratings A–E. Students F (Prep) to Year 2 receive corresponding achievement descriptors.

Principals establish clear processes in their school to support teachers of those subjects not yet implemented under the Australian Curriculum and still being assessed against the Tasmanian Curriculum.

Principals provide opportunities for moderation which involves collaborative teacher discussion of student work samples, assessment of the samples according to standards, and processes to discuss and reconcile assessment judgements to occur in their schools.

The Department of Education has produced the Good Teaching: Quality Assessment Practices Guiding Learning to support teacher practice. This hard copy resource is available upon request.

Department of Education Assessment and Reporting Policy and Procedures

VIC

Senior secondary assessment methods in Victoria

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)

Students complete School-based assessments to demonstrate their knowledge and skills of unit outcomes as outlined in the VCE study designs and VCE VET programs. For all units, satisfactory completion of units is determined by the assessing school.

At the Units 1 and 2 level, all students’ assessment and achievement are determined by the assessing school.

At the Units 3 and 4 level, the setting of School-based assessments and grades are determined by the assessing school. The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) also sets external assessments.

For both school assessment and external assessment, the VCAA ensures that all schools throughout the state mark to the same standard. This involves statistical moderation of school-based assessments and multiple checks on each aspect of the external assessment.

Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)

All accredited courses and certificates in the VCAL program are assessed by the school or Registered Training Organisation (RTO). VCE studies, VET programs and other accredited courses that contribute to the VCAL are assessed in accordance with the requirements as set out above.

Senior secondary reporting in Victoria

On successful completion of the VCE or VCAL, the VCAA will issue students with the following:

  • VCE or VCE (Baccalaureate) or VCAL certificate
  • Statement of Results – cumulative record
  • General Achievement Test (GAT) results, where the student has taken the GAT
  • Statement of Vocational Education and Training (VET) unit of competence or module results, where the student has taken a VET course.

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)

Students who have completed Units 1 and 2 of studies will receive a Statement of Results that indicates satisfactory (S) or non-satisfactory (N) completion of VCE units and/or VCE VET units.

Students who have completed Units 3 and 4 studies will receive a Statement of Results that includes:

  • Unit results of satisfactory (S) or non-satisfactory (N)
  • Three graded assessments (from A+ to E or UG) for VCE studies
  • Two graded assessments (from A+ to E or UG) for VCE VET studies
  • VCE study scores for each study (to a maximum of 50)
  • Previous years’ results
  • Recognised Higher Education studies.

Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)

Students who have completed VCAL studies in Foundation, Intermediate and Senior levels will receive a Statement of Results that indicates satisfactory (S) or non-satisfactory (N) completion of:

  • VCAL units
  • VCE units and/or VCE VET units
  • VET and/or Further Education (FE) modules.

Reporting at the end of the compulsory years in Victoria

Year 10 completion and achievement is determined by the students’ school. Schools report student attainment directly to parent/s or guardian/s.

WA

Senior secondary assessment methods in Western Australia

School-based assessment involves teachers gathering, describing and quantifying information about student achievement. Assessment tasks include tests, examinations, essays, reports, investigations, exhibitions, productions, performances and presentations.

In Year 12 courses there are two forms of external assessment:

ATAR course examinations are conducted at the end of Year 12, and for students exiting ATAR courses in Year 11.

An externally set task (EST) is conducted for each General and Foundation course in Year 12. The EST is:

  • compulsory for all students enrolled in Units 3 and 4
  • set by the Authority and
  • administered by the school under invigilated conditions and following the protocols provided by the Authority.

Senior secondary reporting in the Western Australia

A student’s school‐based achievement in ATAR, General and Foundation courses is recorded in grades (A, B, C, D or E) and marks out of 100. A student’s school-based achievement for a Year 12 course must be recorded for a pair of units i.e. one mark and one grade. A student’s school-based achievement for a Year 11 course may be recorded for each pair of units (i.e. one mark and grade), or for each unit completed (i.e. two marks and two grades).

Student achievement in Preliminary course units is recorded as ‘completed’ or ‘not completed’.

Student achievement in VET industry specific courses is recorded as ‘completed’ upon completion of all course requirements. The notation ‘completed’ counts as a C grade for the WACE requirements.

Student achievement in VET programs is competency‐based and specific requirements are outlined in national training packages or accredited courses

Student achievement in endorsed programs is reported as the particular program that has been completed.

Reporting at the end of the compulsory years in the Western Australia

In WA, students need to be enrolled in school or training, or approved work, until the end of the year a student turns 17 and 6 months or reaches the age of 18, whichever occurs first.

Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement (WASSA)

A statement of student achievement is issued to all Year 12 students at the completion of their secondary schooling.

The statement of student achievement formally records, as relevant:

  • achievement of WACE requirements
  • achievement of literacy (reading and writing) standard
  • achievement of numeracy standard
  • achievement of exhibitions and awards
  • school grades, school marks, and combined scores in ATAR units *
  • school grades and school marks in General and Foundation units *
  • completed Preliminary units
  • completed VET industry specific units
  • successfully completed VET qualifications and VET units of competency
  • completed endorsed programs
  • number of community service hours undertaken (if reported by the school).

A student who does not achieve all of the WACE requirements will still receive a WASSA.

Read more about the WASSA.