Assessment

Overview

Student work in the SACE is assessed through the use of performance standards. SACE subjects are school assessed at Stage 1. The responsibility for assessment at Stage 2 is shared between schools and the SACE Board.

Teachers and assessors use the performance standards to decide how well a student has demonstrated his or her learning.

The performance standards, which are provided in each subject outline, describe in detail the level of achievement required to obtain a grade:

  • from A to E for Stage 1
  • from A+ to E– for Stage 2.

Subject outlines are available under the 'Planning to teach' section on each subject minisite.

More information

Assessment responsibilities

The SACE Board and schools share responsibility for assessment in the SACE.

The SACE Board is responsible for:

  • the moderation process used to quality assure the school assessment component in each subject
  • managing the external assessment process
  • combining the results for both assessment components
  • reporting students' results
  • issuing the SACE.

The SACE Board also provides continual support and assistance to schools.

Schools are partners with the SACE Board in managing their assessment responsibilities. The school principal has responsibility for the quality of teaching, learning, and assessment in his or her school, including responsibility for implementing SACE Board policies.

The school's role in assessment includes:

  • developing and amending learning and assessment plans for each Stage 1 and Stage 2 subject
  • providing a grade from A to E at Stage 1 and A+ to E– at Stage 2, in accordance with the performance standards and learning requirements
  • developing school procedures to verify the authenticity of student work
  • submitting student work for Stage 2 subjects for moderation and external assessment
  • submitting student work for Stage 1 compulsory subjects for moderation
  • incorporating any adjustments from moderation into final Stage 1 results
  • noting any adjustments to students' Stage 2 school assessment grades made by the SACE Board, and analysing these for internal improvement purposes.

Stage 1 school assessment and moderation

School assessment

SACE subjects are 100% school assessed at Stage 1.

The SACE Board defines school assessment as 'assessments that are set by the school, in accordance with subject outlines, and carried out by the school'.

At Stage 1, the SACE Board supports teachers in their assessment role, including through moderation of compulsory subjects.

Moderation

At Stage 1 the compulsory subjects — English and mathematics subjects and the Personal Learning Plan (PLP) — are moderated. During moderation, samples of student work are reviewed to make sure that the assessment decisions (grades) are consistent with the performance standards for a subject.

Stage 1 moderation confirms that students have met the compulsory Stage 1 requirements of the SACE. For most schools only the C and D grades are moderated, as the C grade represents the minimum essential grade required in these subjects.

The compulsory requirements are important at Stage 1; their focus is on student literacy and numeracy, and on helping students to plan for their SACE studies and future.

Stage 1 moderation takes place towards the end of the teaching and learning program.

After moderation, schools receive feedback either confirming the grades or recommending changes. Teachers apply the moderation feedback in any subsequent assessment tasks and to students' final results that are submitted to the SACE Board. This ensures that final results are consistent and fair.

The SACE Board checks that the final results submitted by schools reflect the feedback from moderation, including any necessary adjustments to results.

Stage 2 school assessment and moderation

School assessment

SACE subjects are 70% school assessed at Stage 2.

The SACE Board defines school assessment as 'assessments that are set by the school, in accordance with subject outlines, and carried out by the school'.

At Stage 2, the SACE Board supports teachers in their assessment role. Part of this support is the moderation of the school assessment component of all Stage 2 subjects.

Moderation

During moderation, samples of student work are reviewed to make sure that the grades are consistent with the performance standards for the subject.

Stage 2 moderation confirms a school's interpretation of the performance standards before students receive their final subject grades.

In each Stage 2 subject, samples of student work are selected from the grade levels A+ to E–.

Moderation occurs at the end of Semester 2 for all subjects. There is also a mid-year moderation for Stage 2 Research Project A and Research Project B if students have completed the 10-credit subject in Semester 1.

After results are released, the SACE Board provides quantitative and qualitative data on the moderation outcome to all schools. Schools incorporate the feedback from moderation into their improving and planning processes for the following year.

Stage 2 external assessment

At Stage 2, the SACE Board marks the 30% external assessment component of all subjects. External assessment takes a range of forms depending on the subject.

For all external assessments, the SACE Board conducts rigorous integrity checks to ensure consistency between markers, and within each marker's work.

Examinations

Some Stage 2 subjects have written examinations as the external assessment. Language subjects have an oral examination as well as a written examination.

Examination papers for the past 3 years can be found under the Stage 2 support materials section of the subject minisites.

Investigations

Some Stage 2 subjects have externally assessed investigations. Investigations are first marked by the subject teacher before being sent to the SACE Board for marking by Board-appointed and trained markers.

Performances

Performances comprise the external assessment of Drama, Dance, and three music subjects: Ensemble Performance, Performance Special Study, and Solo Performance. They are marked independently by subject teachers and SACE Board markers at the time of each performance.