Year 11 gives students the opportunity to choose courses that reflect their strengths and interests, and support their career aspirations. If students enjoy the courses they study, they are more likely to do well in them.
The Authority provides a wide range of courses and programs for Year 11 and Year 12. Schools make decisions about which courses and programs they will offer. These decisions are based on a range of factors such as resources, staffing and community need.
There are four types of WACE courses:
Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) courses
ATAR courses are designed for students who are aiming to enrol in a university course directly from school. These courses will be examined by the Authority and contribute to the achievement of an ATAR.
What's an ATAR?
An ATAR ranges between 99.95 and zero, and reports a student’s rank position relative to all other students. It takes into account the number of students who sit the WACE examinations in any year and also the number of people of Year 12 school leaving age in the total population. In 2008 the TEA (Tertiary Entrance Aggregate) replaced the TES (Tertiary Entrance Score).
A student’s TEA will be calculated and then converted to an ATAR, which tells them where they are ranked relative to other students. This will be the same position as a ranking based on their TEA, but the TEA isn't able to convey this information directly to them. If a student has an ATAR of 70.00, for example, it indicates that they have achieved as well as or better than 70% of the Year 12 school leaver age population.
For more information please visit the TISC website: https://www.tisc.edu.au
General courses are designed for students who are aiming to enter vocationally based training or the workforce straight from school. These courses will not be examined by the Authority. However, they each have an externally set task (EST) which is set by the Authority.
Foundation courses are designed for students who have not been able to demonstrate the minimum standard of literacy and numeracy before Year 11 and are unlikely to do so before the end of Year 12 without significant levels of student support.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
For students who do not complete at least four Year 12 ATAR courses, the successful completion of a Certificate II (or higher) qualification is one of the minimum requirements for achievement of the WACE. A Certificate II or higher can be obtained through various delivery arrangements with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Students may have their VET achievements contribute to the WACE either as:
a VET industry specific course
VET credit transfer (the mechanism by which VET qualifications may be used to substitute for a specified number of WACE course units – see also unit equivalents), or a combination of the above.
VET credit transfer can contribute up to eight of the 20 units a student needs to achieve their WACE.
There are special circumstances in which a partly completed Certificate III or higher may meet the minimum requirement of a Certificate II. A comprehensive account of VET procedures, and the process for identifying and presenting a case for a variety of special circumstances, is located on the Authority’s website.
For more information on how VET contributes towards your WACE visit the Authority’s VET page at: http://senior-secondary.scsa.wa.edu.au/vet/how-vet-contributes-towards-wace
Note: VET qualifications do not contribute to the WACE breadth of study requirement (i.e. they are not identified as List A or List B subjects).
An endorsed program is a significant learning program that has been developed by a school, community organisation or private provider, and endorsed by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority for students in Years 10, 11 and 12. These programs offer a range of activities not covered by traditional school courses or vocational education and training. They include extra-curricular learning and workplace learning.
Achievement of endorsed programs can contribute to the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) requirements and will be reported on the student’s Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement (WASSA).
Evidence of learning
Some programs provide a statement of attainment, qualification, academic transcript, certificate or award as evidence of learning. Other programs require the student to create a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate what the student has learnt.
Examples of endorsed programs
Cadets WA (e.g. Air Force, Army, Navy, Police Rangers, Emergency Services and Bush Rangers)
Surf Life Saving WA certificates and awards
Diver certificates (e.g. PADI, Scuba Schools International)
Duke of Edinburgh Awards