The Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) is the certificate awarded to students completing their secondary schooling in Queensland. The QCE was introduced in 2008, to replace the Senior Certificate. It is currently issued by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA).
All Queensland courses of study are awarded credits, which can contribute towards a QCE. These courses are divided into:
- Core courses
- Preparatory courses
- Enrichment courses
- Advanced courses
Core courses are the most common form of education undertaken in Years 11 and 12 and include both Authority and Authority-registered subjects. Authority subjects are those whose syllabuses are maintained by the QSA and whose results contribute to a student’s Overall Position, which is the ranking used for entrance to tertiary education institutions, whereas Authority-registered subjects are developed from a Study Area Specification. Authority-registered subjects do not contribute to the Overall Position of a student. Preparatory and Enrichment courses are commonly Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications, which often result in Certificate qualifications. Advanced courses are often university subjects completed alongside a student’s regular secondary schooling.
Students are assessed based upon the subjects which they undertake. A student’s final grade is given as a Level of Achievement, of which there are five:
- Very High Achievement (VHA), roughly equivalent to an “A”
- High Achievement (HA), roughly equivalent to a “B”
- Sound Achievement (SA), roughly equivalent to a “C”
- Limited Achievement (LA), roughly equivalent to a “D”
- Very Limited Achievement (VLA), roughly equivalent to an “E”
Each of these achievement levels are split into 10 rungs, to further differentiate the achievement of individual students. A VHA10 is the highest mark a student can achieve for a subject and a VLA1 is the lowest.
In order to be awarded a QCE, a student must be awarded at least 20 credits from their studies, in which at least 12 credits must come from Core courses. Core courses not fully completed may also contribute some credits, however the level of achievement must be at least a Sound Achievement (or Pass).
Did you know? Brisbane is named after a former New South Wales governor who established the city’s original penal settlement in the 1820s. Sir Thomas Brisbane was also a keen astronomer, known for building Australia’s first astronomical observatory in Parramatta. Locals call Brisbane “Brissie” The first Queenslanders i.e. the Brisbane-based Aborigines named the city as “Meanjin”. It means a place that is shaped like a spike! Summer is quite long in Brisbane yet the temperature never goes beyond 35 °C. – the sun shines here for 283 days every year.
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