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Guidance for students completing the 2020 General Achievement Test (GAT)

You should read the following information in conjunction with the information related to the GAT contained in the 2020 VCE Exams Navigator. All students enrolled in one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3 and 4 sequence are expected to sit the GAT.

Every year there are some students who are unable to complete the GAT due to health issues. While the GAT plays an important part in determining final results for the VCE, if you are unable to complete the GAT because of coronavirus (COVID-19) your final VCE results will be determined on your school-based assessment and examination results, as well as a range of additional data provided by your school to assist the VCAA in ensuring all students receive fair and reliable results in 2020. If students are unable to participate in the GAT, VCAA has established processes to ensure these students receive fair results.

What will be different about the GAT in 2020?

In 2020, the GAT will be held on Wednesday, 7 October, from 10:00am to 1:15pm. The test date has been pushed back due to disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, however the length and format of the GAT will be the same as previous years.

What measures will be in place to make GAT venues COVID-safe?

The GAT will be held onsite at your school or at another venue as advised by your education provider. All Victorian schools and other senior secondary providers are required to have a COVID Safe Plan in place. In relation to the GAT, this will include the following measures which have been approved by the Victorian Chief Health Officer to achieve a COVID-safe environment for all students, teachers and supervisors:

  • COVID-compliant processes, including temperature checks, registration on arrival and processes to assist with maintaining physical distancing of 1.5 metres before, during and after the GAT
  • Venue set-up that supports physical distancing requirements, including all chairs spaced at least 1.5 metres apart, and
  • Desks, chairs and other equipment will be cleaned and disinfected before and after the test.

What do I need to do to be COVID-safe?

You must:

  • Wear a face covering, in line with current guidance for Victorian schools, unless you have an exemption due to a disability or medical condition. You must keep your face covering on at all times, including as you arrive, throughout the test, and as you exit.
  • Perform regular hand hygiene, including on entry to, and exit from, the venue, and
  • Maintain physical distancing, keeping at least 1.5m away from others at all times.

What should I do if I have a disability, illness or other circumstance that makes me vulnerable to COVID-19?

If you have a disability, illness or other circumstance that makes you more likely to become very sick with coronavirus (COVID-19), you should discuss any Special Examination Arrangements with your school. This may include special arrangements to allow you to sit the GAT in isolation on school premises with appropriate health and safety controls in place.

What should I do if I am unwell in the week of, or on the morning of the GAT?

You must not attend the GAT if you feel unwell or have any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, including:

  • loss or change in sense of smell or taste
  • fever, chills or sweats
  • cough, sore throat or runny nose, or
  • shortness of breath
  • in certain circumstances headache, muscle soreness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may also be considered as symptoms.

You should contact your school and remain at home pending further advice.

If you display any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms on arrival or during the GAT, you will be asked to wait in a separate area and your parent or carer will be called to pick you up.

If you become unwell during the GAT, you will be isolated in a separate room and allowed to continue the test with appropriate health and safety controls in place. If you are too unwell to complete the test you will be isolated while you wait for collection by a parent or carer.

If you are unwell with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms on the day of the GAT, you will eligible to apply for an exemption from the GAT.

Under what other circumstances should I not attend the GAT?

You must not attend the GAT if:

  • You have completed a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and are awaiting your results in isolation.
  • You are isolating prior to completing a coronavirus (COVID-19) test (e.g. because you have recently returned from overseas).
  • You have tested positive to coronavirus (COVID-19), or
  • You have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19).

In these circumstances, you will be eligible to apply for an exemption from the GAT.

What evidence do I need to apply for an exemption from the GAT due to coronavirus (COVID-19)?

You will be eligible for an exemption from the GAT if you are prevented from completing the GAT due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Evidence requirements include:

  • Supporting letter/incident report from the school.
  • Evidence of testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) - includes a Medical certificate from an independent health professional recommending testing or direction to isolate having been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Where can I find further information?

For information specific to your school or other secondary education provider’s GAT arrangements – get in touch with your school or education provider.

For further health advice you can contact the 24-hour COVID-19 hotline 1800 675 398, your GP, or visit the DHHS website.

Download Guidance for students completing the 2020 General Achievement Test (GAT)