School-based assessment of WACE courses

School-based assessment tasks are developed by teachers and are required to meet the requirements of the syllabus for the course/stage. These tasks are conducted by teachers in accordance with the school’s senior secondary assessment policy. The Authority provides a sample school assessment policy  to assist schools in developing and/or reviewing their policy based on the guidelines provided in Section 3.7 of the WACE Manual.

At the end of a unit or pair of units, aggregate marks are used to produce a rank list of the students. The teacher uses the grade descriptions for the course/stage to assign a grade (A, B, C, D or E) to each student. The Guide to Grades package provides the grade descriptions and annotated student work samples.

Year 12 students studying Stage 2 and/or Stage 3 units will also receive a school mark out of 100 for each unit. For courses with a practical (oral/interview, performance, production or portfolio) examination in addition to a school mark out of 100, schools are required to provide a mark out of 100 for the written component and a mark out of 100 for the practical component.

Schools may choose to integrate two or more course units, VET units of competency and/or endorsed programs to encourage greater levels of engagement from particular students and to help improve their literacy and numeracy skills. The Authority provides guidelines to assist schools that choose to use an integrated approach to teaching and learning.

Details about school-based assessment of WACE courses are provided in Section 3 of the WACE Manual. The Authority also provides seminars/workshops to assist teachers.

Authority moderation process

The Authority uses several methods to moderate school-based assessments to provide comparability between schools. Details of these methods are provided on the moderation page of the website and in Section 4 of the WACE Manual.

Where the number of WACE examination candidates in a Stage 2 or Stage 3 group at a school is fewer than six, the school is required to form a partnership with another school/s. Information about this requirement is provided on the small group moderation page of the website and in Section 4.9 of the WACE Manual.

External assessment of WACE courses

Year 12 students sit a WACE examination for each Stage 2 or Stage 3 pair of units being studied (unless they apply for and receive exemption). All WACE examinations have a written component and some have a practical (oral/interview, performance, production or portfolio) component. Details about WACE examinations are provided on the WACE examinations page of the website and in Section 7 of the WACE Manual.

A Standards Guide is developed for each course/stage examined in the previous year. These guides provide samples of student answers and question statistics. They are posted on the course page on the Authority's extranet during Semester 1 of the following year.

Combining school-based and external assessments

School marks and WACE examination marks are combined in equal proportion by the Authority when reporting student achievement. This enables both the advantages of the breadth of coverage of school-based assessments and the objectivity of external assessment to be maximised in the final result. It also provides a means of ensuring comparability across schools.

The school mark is combined with the student’s examination mark to produce a WACE course score. Before being combined, the school marks are standardised and moderated using the standardised WACE examination mark so that school marks can be compared State wide. The interactive graphics below allow you to explore the impact of two of the marks adjustment processes.

Interactive graphics to demonstrate
Statistical moderation

Details about the marks adjustment process are provided in Section 4.8 of the WACE Manual.

For university entrance, the school marks and WACE examination marks are used to calculate scaled scores and an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). For details of these calculations go to the Tertiary Information Services Centre website.

Last Updated: 21/07/2014 13:57