Similarly to other states, years 11 and 12 students can obtain the Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) or can complete Vocational Education Training. In order to achieve the TCE, students must meet the minimum standards of literacy, numeracy and ICT skills to be demonstrated, a set amount of learning and evidence of Pathway planning (achieved through Home Group). Pathway planning equips learners with ‘whole of life’ knowledge, skills and understanding and focuses them on clearly defining their goals for life beyond formal education and training.
These criteria usually assess knowledge, skills and competencies in differing ways to ensure a wide understanding of the course syllabus has been obtained by the student. It is felt that this is fair and more practical than just relying upon traditional examinations, although many areas of study still utilise exams in conjunction with other methods of assessment.
Upon successful completion of a satisfactory pattern of study students are awarded the “Tasmanian Certificate of Education” (TCE) by way of a testamur. This may also come with a Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER) if the student has nominated to attempt a university entrance qualification, and the TER score will dictate which university courses the student is eligible to apply for. The Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER) was a tertiary entrance score used in several Australian states, the ACT and the Northern Territory as a tool for selection to universities in Australia. As of 2010, it has been replaced by the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) in all states and territories except Queensland.
Yet unlike other states, Tasmania has separate schools, called colleges, for the final two years. Years 7-10 are undertaken at high schools, although district schools and many non-government schools combine primary, high school, and college education together, depending on the needs of the school.
The courses offered for study within the TCE are divided into categories according to the relevant knowledge types or skills. These reflect the nature of the subject and are similar to the way universities allocate areas of study according to faculty. These are: Arts, English, Health & Physical Education, Information Technology, Languages, Mathematics, Science, Society and Environment, Student-Directed Inquiry, Technology and Manufacturing Studies.
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