School-based assessment

School-based assessment tasks are developed by teachers and are required to meet the requirements of the syllabus for the course. These tasks are conducted by teachers in accordance with the school’s senior secondary assessment policy. The Authority provides advice to assist schools in developing and/or reviewing their policy. See Section 2.3.1 of the WACE Manual 2015-16 [Revised edition].

A sample policy is provided here.  

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.

The Authority also provides seminars/workshops to assist teachers.

Year 12 students studying a Year 12 pair of ATAR course units and who sit the ATAR course examination 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.

Details about school-based assessment students in Year 11 and Year 12 are provided in Section 2 of the WACE Manual 2015-16 [Revised edition].

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 3 of the WACE Manual 2015-16 [Revised edition].

Where the number of WACE examination candidates in an ATAR course examination group 2016 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 3.8 of the WACE Manual 2015-16 [Revised edition]

External assessment of WACE courses 2015

Year 12 students sit a WACE examination for each Stage 2 or Stage 3 pair of units being studied.

Students enrolled in a pair of:

  • Stage 3 units may apply for an exemption

  • Stage 2 units may opt out of sitting the examination.

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 2014-15.

Combining school-based and external assessments 2015

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 2014-15.

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: 01/02/2016 11:00