Courses in the senior secondary system are taught and assessed each semester, unit by unit. One standard unit of study towards a Senior Secondary Certificate represents a minimum of 55 hours per class over one semester.
Courses are usually completed as either ‘majors’ or ‘minors’.
- A major is obtained by completing four standard units of a course, that is, studying it in both Years 11 and 12.
- A minor is obtained by completing two standard units of a course, that is, studying it for only one year in either Year 11 or Year 12.
- In some courses it is possible to do more than four standard units. A student completing six units gains a major/ minor in the subject. Eight units provide a double major.
A Tertiary Package needs to include at least 4 majors and 1 minor, or 3 majors and 3 minors.
- A T (Tertiary) Course has been accepted by the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies as one which prepares students for higher education.
- An A (Accredited) Course has been accepted by the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies as being educationally sound and appropriate for students in Years 11 and 12.
- A V (Vocational) Course leads to a vocational Certificate or Statement of Attainment as defined by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). It may include structured workplace learning.
Assessment and Moderation
Assessment in the ACT takes the form of continuous school based assessment. This means there are no external subject-based examinations. An A-E scale is used to grade the majority of courses. Students studying a T course will also receive a score.
Teachers moderate assessment items to ensure consistency of grading within colleges.
A formal BSSS-run Moderation Day is conducted every semester to ensure comparability of grades from different schools. The ACT Scaling Test (AST) higher order thinking examination is used to compare Tertiary scores from different schools for calculation of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
For further information and detail about the ACT Secondary School System please refer to the JPC or BSSS websites, or contact the College with specific inquiries.