South Australian Certificate Of Education (SACE)

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The introduction of the new South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) in 2009 marked the beginning of a new phase in senior secondary education in South Australia.

The aims of SACE are to -

  • Encourage the successful completion of secondary education
  • Develop skills and knowledge necessary for successful participation in Australian society
  • Expand students’ general education and provide a broadly based and challenging preparation for entry into employment, training and higher education
  • Signify students’ preparedness to enter post-school studies and employment
  • Be a certificate that is valued by the community and by those to whom it has been awarded.

How Do Students Get The SACE?

To gain the SACE, students complete about two years of full-time study which most students spread over three years. There are two stages -

  • Stage 1, which most students do in Year 11, apart from the Personal Learning Plan, which most students are likely to do in Year 10
  • Stage 2, which most students do in Year 12.

Each subject or course successfully completed earns ‘credits’ towards the SACE, with a minimum of 200 credits required for students to gain the certificate.

Students will receive a grade – from A to E – for each subject. For compulsory subjects, they need to achieve a C grade or better. The compulsory subjects are -

  • Personal Learning Plan (10 credits at Stage 1)
  • Literacy – at least 20 credits from a range of English subjects or courses (Stage 1)
  • Numeracy – at least 10 credits from a range of mathematics subjects or courses (Stage 1)
  • Research Project – an in-depth major project (10 credits at Stage 2)
  • Other Stage 2 subjects totalling at least 60 credits.

The remaining 90 credits can be gained through additional Stage 1 or Stage 2 subjects or Board-recognised courses of a student’s choice.

SACE Glossary

Credits - Each subject, depending on its depth and length will be awarded credits towards the (New) SACE. A semester subject will generally award 10 credits on completion, while a 2 semester subject generally will award 20 credits.
Performance standards: Performance standards describe 5 levels of student achievement, A to E.
SACE - South Australian Certificate of Education.
SATAC - South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre.
Scalable subject - Stage 2 subjects that are awarded a score out of 20 (Community Studies is the only subject that is not scalable).
Semester Unit - semester (half year course).
SACE Board - South Australian Certificate of Education Board of SA.
Stage 1 - First level of SACE Certificate.
Stage 2 - Second level of SACE Certificate.
TAS - Tertiary Admissions Subjects, are nominated by the universities and TAFE SA as the only SACE/NTCET subjects that can be used in the calculation of the TER or TAFE SA Selection Score. For university entry you will normally need 80 credits of TAS, and for TAFE SA entry you will normally need 60 credits of TAS.
TER - (Tertiary Entrance Rank): University entrance points are calculated using a procedure called ‘scaling’ and are used to select students who will be offered places in particular courses.
VET - (Vocational Education and Training) some subjects may offer competencies within the course of study which can be used towards vocational certificates.