The South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) is a certificate awarded to students who successfully complete their senior secondary education. Students from both government and non-government schools are eligible for the SACE, which is administered by the SACE Board of South Australia. Students studying for the SACE undertake a balanced course of subjects usually over two years – Stage 1 (Year 11) and Stage 2 (Year 12) starting however, with the PLP in Year 10.
Students who successfully complete the requirements of the SACE will receive a certificate that shows that they have formally completed secondary schooling. Students may take more than two years to gain the SACE. There is no time limit, only as long as it takes to complete 200 credits of study, some of which are compulsory.
Levels of Achievement in SACE Subjects
SACE subjects are assessed by means of Performance Standards and the grades A, B, C, D, E, and N are assigned at Stage 1 and A+, A, A- …. E+, E, E-, I apply at Stage 2.
A, B & C indicate a “passing grade” while D and E do not
N indicates no work has been submitted or E grade has not been achieved at Stage 1.
I indicates insufficient information for a grade to awarded or E grade has not been achieved at Stage 2
Literacy and Numeracy
The SACE has compulsory literacy and numeracy requirements.
- Literacy: 20 credits from a range of English subjects at Stage 1 or Stage 2
- Numeracy: 10 credits from a range of Mathematics subjects at Stage 1 or Stage 2.
At Stage 1, students must achieve a C grade or better to achieve their SACE.
At Stage 2, the students must achieve a C- grade or better.
A minimum C grade in 20 credits of these Board-accredited subjects will meet the literacy requirement:
- English (Stage 1)
- English as a Second Language (Stage 1)
- English Pathways (Stage 1)
- Literacy for Work and Community Life (Stage 1)
- Any Stage 2 English subject.
A minimum C grade in 10 credits of these Board-accredited subjects will meet the numeracy requirement:
- Mathematical Studies (Stage 1)
- Mathematical Applications (Stage 1)
- Mathematics Pathways (Stage 1)
- Numeracy for Work and Community Life (Stage 1)
- Any Stage 2 Mathematics subject.
The SACE Board has endorsed the Australian Core Skills Framework level 3 descriptions in reading, writing and numeracy as reference points for the SACE literacy and numeracy benchmarks.
The SACE Board will moderate Stage 1 English and Mathematics subjects to confirm each school’s use of the performance standards before students receive their final grades in the subject.
How can I qualify for the SACE?
There are a number of compulsory areas of study in the SACE and students must achieve a passing grade, ie C or better, in these subjects in order to receive their SACE.
- 10 credits of the Personal Learning Plan (mostly studied at Year 10)
- 20 credits of literacy (achieved at either Year 11 or 12)
- 10 credits of numeracy (achieved at either Year 11 or 12)
- 10 credits of the Research Project (studied in Year 11 or 12)
- 60 credits (3 full year subjects) at Stage 2 or approved VET
- 90 credits from either Stage 1 or Stage 2
Students must complete 200 credits in order to receive their SACE
There are two stages of the SACE:
- Stage 1, which usually begins in Year 10, with students studying the Personal Learning Plan, and continues through Year 11.
- Stage 2, which is usually undertaken in Year 12.
Each subject or course that is ‘successfully’ completed earns ‘credits’ towards the SACE. Students receive a final grade from A to E for each Stage 1 subject and A+ to E- for Stage 2 subjects.
To qualify for the SACE students must:
- complete a minimum of 200 credits
- achieve a C grade or higher in the Stage 1 compulsory subjects
- achieve a C- or higher in the Stage 2 compulsory subjects.
The compulsory requirements are:
- Personal Learning Plan – 10 credits at Stage 1
- literacy – at least 20 credits from a range of English subjects (Stage 1 or Stage 2)
- numeracy – at least 10 credits from a range of mathematics subjects (Stage 1 or Stage 2)
- Research Project – 10 credits at Stage 2
- other Stage 2 subjects – that total at least 60 credits
The remaining 90 credits can be gained through additional Stage 1 or Stage 2 subjects or Board-recognised courses (such as VET or community learning) of a student’s choice.
Detailed assessment plans will be given to all SACE students by their subject teachers at the beginning of each course of study. The assessment section gives a broad outline only of assessment expectations.
Submission of Work Policy
The SACE Board requires all schools to follow a common assessment policy for students doing the SACE. The SACE Board requires “that assignments or work requirements not presented at the expiration of deadlines must be awarded a zero (0) or “Not completed” for summative student achievement record purposes”. Findon High School staff will therefore set deadlines for summative work. Deadlines can be re-negotiated with teachers, but only where there is a genuine reason, and before the due date for that assessment item.
Success in study at school is strongly supported by hard work, and this includes regular homework. Although time spent on homework will vary depending on how successful students want to be, students in Years 11 and 12 should do 2-3 hours per night for five days of each week. Homework includes preparation, completing work, practising skills, revision and assignment work over a period of time.
SACE Board Online
SACE students in Years 11 and 12 (and younger students planning for their SACE years) can find vital information and download useful documents from the SACE Board web site. The site is for students and their families as well as the school. www.sace.sa.edu.au
Recognition of Community Learning
Students may also gain SACE units from their learning which is a result of following a structured, accredited, community-developed program and/or the result of following a personal learning program which is considered to be “community learning” and/or from completing Vocational Education & Training course and/or School Based Apprenticeships. Students will be informed via the SACE coordinator. This learning must be the equivalent of the learning expressed in SACE Board accredited subjects.