The Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement (WASSA)
The WASSA is issued to each Year 12 student at the completion of their senior secondary schooling. Senior secondary school typically takes two years. The WASSA lists all courses and programs that a student has completed and the grades and marks achieved.
The WASSA formally records, as relevant:
- achievement of WACE requirements
- achievement of the literacy (reading and writing) standard
- achievement of the numeracy standard
- achievement of awards
- school grades, school marks and combined scores in ATAR courses
- school grades and school marks in General and Foundation courses
- completed Preliminary units
- completed VET industry specific courses
- successfully completed VET qualifications and VET units of competency
- completed endorsed programs
- number of community service hours undertaken (if reported by the school).
The Western Australian Certificate of Education
The WACE is awarded by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) when students successfully meet the requirements of the WACE.
To achieve a WACE, the Authority requires students to complete at least four Year 12 Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) courses or a Certificate II (or higher) VET qualification.
To meet the WACE requirements, students must:
- demonstrate a minimum standard of literacy and a minimum standard of numeracy
- demonstrate breadth and depth of study through the number and level of units studied
- meet a minimum achievement standard through the number and level of C grades attained
Literacy and numeracy standards
Students must demonstrate minimum literacy and numeracy standards based on skills regarded as essential for individuals to meet the demands of everyday life and work. These standards are equivalent to Level 3 of the Australian Core Skills Framework.
For the WACE literacy standard, students must:
complete at least four units of an English course (English, Literature or English as an Additional Language or Dialect) post-Year 10, studied over at least two years meet the minimum standard of literacy either by achieving Band 8 or higher in the reading and writing components of the Year 9 National Assessment Program ñ Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) or by successfully completing the literacy components of the Authorityís Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) in Year 10 or subsequently.
For the WACE numeracy standard, students must achieve either Band 8 or higher in the numeracy component of Year 9 NAPLAN or successfully complete the numeracy component of the OLNA in Year 10, or subsequently.
This means that if students have achieved Band 8 or above in the reading, writing or numeracy component of the Year 9 NAPLAN students will be considered to have pre-qualified for that component.
Breadth and depth
- complete a minimum of 20 units, which may include unit equivalents (see below) attained through VET or endorsed programs. This requirement includes at least:
- a minimum of ten Year 12 units (including unit equivalents)
- two completed Year 11 units from an English course and one pair of completed Year 12 units from an English course (English, Literature, English as an Additional Language or Dialect)
- one pair of Year 12 units from each of List A subjects (the arts, languages and social sciences) and List B subjects (mathematics, science and technology)
Students must achieve at least 14 C grades (or equivalents) in Year 11 and Year 12 units, including at least six C grades in Year 12 units (or equivalents).
The WACE requirements for at least 20 units and at least 14 C grades may be met partly through unit equivalents. These are units within VET and endorsed programs of least 55 nominal hours. They are known as unit equivalents because they are considered equivalent to one unit of a Year 11 or Year 12 course.
Unit equivalents can be obtained through VET qualifications and/or endorsed programs. The maximum number of unit equivalents available through VET and endorsed programs is four Year 11 units and four Year 12 units. Students may obtain unit equivalents through:
- up to eight unit equivalents through completion of VET qualifications, or
- up to four unit equivalents through completion of endorsed programs, or
- up to eight unit equivalents through completion of a combination of VET qualifications and endorsed programs, but with endorsed programs contributing no more than four unit equivalents (two Year 11 units and two Year 12 units).
For VET qualifications:
- a Certificate I is equivalent to two Year 11 units
- a Certificate II is equivalent to two Year 11 and two Year 12 units
- a Certificate III or higher is equivalent to two Year 11 and four Year 12 units
- a partially completed Certificate III or higher is equivalent to two Year 11 and two Year 12 units (credit is allocated only if the criteria for partial completion are met).
For endorsed programs, unit equivalents are identified on the Authorityís approved list of endorsed programs (http://senior-secondary.scsa.wa.edu.au/syllabus-and-support-materials/endorsed-programs).
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:
- VET industry specific and
- Foundation 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 studentís 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 studentís 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 ñ 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 Authorityís website.
For more information on how VET contributes towards your WACE visit the Authorityís 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 studentís 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
- Workplace Learning
- Community Service
- 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