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Assessment of VCE units 3 and 4

The relevant VCE Study Design outlines the assessment for all levels of achievement in each study. Every study design is published and distributed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). All VCE studies include school-based assessment and external assessment at Unit 3 and 4.

The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on a decision that the student has demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit. This decision is based on the teacher’s judgment of the student’s overall performance on a combination of set work and assessment tasks related to the outcomes.

School-based assessment

There are two forms of graded school-based assessment – school-assessed coursework (SAC) and school-assessed tasks (SAT). The forms of school-based assessment and their weighting are specified for each study, and are found in the Study Design.

For studies with school-assessed tasks, the Administrative Information for School-based Assessment provides the SAT assessment sheet for the task and detailed advice on the interpretation and application of criteria for each task. For school-assessed coursework assessment, the performance descriptors are advisory and are designed to support teacher judgments in differentiating between levels of students’ achievement in demonstrating the outcome. The VCE study design and support materials (which includes the previously known Advice for teachers) provide advice about the scope, timeframes and conditions of each assessment task.

The results of these school-based assessments count towards a student's study score in each VCE study and ultimately towards the student's Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). Further information about the ATAR may be obtained from the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre website.

School-assessed coursework (SAC)

School-assessed Coursework assessment of each student's level of achievement is based on a selection of the assessment tasks designated in the study design. For each school-assessed coursework component, the Study Design specifies a range of assessment tasks for assessing the achievement of the unit outcomes.

Assessment tasks designated for school-assessed coursework assessment must be part of the regular teaching and learning program, and must be completed mainly in class time. They are to be completed within a restricted timeframe and the scope of each task is described in the relevant study design.

The requirements for school-assessed coursework are set out in the relevant VCE Study Design. Teachers select from the range of tasks designated for the assessment of the unit outcomes. They might decide that all students will complete the same task or they may allow students to select the task. Where options are available, the assessment tasks are of comparable scope and demand. Task selection is a school decision and should be based on what suits the teaching and learning program, the resources available and the needs and interests of students.

The study design and support materials (which includes the previously known Advice for teachers) provide advice on the scope of the assessment tasks, the conditions under which they are completed, the timeframe for completion and the criteria (performance descriptors) used for assessment. This advice is provided to limit student and teacher workload.

Schools are responsible for administering and assessing school-assessed coursework. The requirements of the relevant study design and the VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook must be met. The advice in the study design and support materials (which includes the previously known Advice for teachers) on the scope of the task and criteria (performance descriptors) for marking is provided as guidance and advice upon which schools should make school-based decisions on  their requirements of students.

School-assessed tasks

School-assessed tasks occur in studies where assessment is across outcomes and units for an extended task to produce, for example, a product, artwork or model. The following VCE studies have school-assessed tasks:

  • Algorithmics (HESS)
  • Art Creative Practice
  • Art Making and Exhibiting
  • Applied Computing
    • Data Analytics
    • Software Development
  • Media
  • Product Design and Technology
  • Systems Engineering
  • Visual Communication Design.

Details of school-assessed tasks are outlined in the relevant study design, support materials (which includes the previously known Advice for teachers) and the Administrative Information for School-based Assessment. They are initially assessed by the teacher using criteria provided in the Administrative Information for School-based Assessment and are subject to external review. The VCAA provides schools with assessment sheets for school-assessed tasks that specify the criteria for the award of marks. Schools must use the current year's assessment sheets published annually in the Administrative Information for School-based Assessment.