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What is the SACE?

The South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) is a modern, internationally-recognised secondary school qualification designed to equip you with the skills, knowledge, and personal capabilities to successfully participate in our fast-paced global society.

You’ll be awarded the SACE if you successfully complete requirements that include a range of skills and subjects you may study at school or may have acquired through other education, training or experience.

Knowledge and skills for life

The SACE offers subjects and courses at two stages, Stage 1 and Stage 2

As you study the SACE, you’ll gain valuable literacy, numeracy, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, while gaining knowledge about the specific subjects you choose.

The SACE also helps you learn how to work with and alongside others, and to understand how your decisions can affect people, situations and the world.

These capabilities are essential to your future education, training and careers, and your role as an active and informed citizen.

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How does it work?

The SACE is a two-stage certificate. 

Most people study Stage 1 in Year 11 and Stage 2 in Year 12.

There are also other ways to complete the SACE, such as:

  • by earning credits for individual or community activities such as volunteering
  • as an adult learner
  • through recognition for other study achievements such as vocational education and training (VET) courses or international education.

If you are studying the SACE at school, your teachers and careers counsellors can help you choose the subjects to suit the study, training, career or other activities you want to take part in when you leave school.

Each subject is worth either 10 or 20 credits, depending on the subject. Subjects are worth 10 credits for one semester and 20 credits for a full year. 

You’ll need 200 credits to complete your SACE. Some of the credits will come from compulsory requirements, but most will come from the subjects you choose to suit your interests and future goals, or recognition for knowledge and skills you’ve gained in your life outside school.

There are more than 60 SACE subjects in nine areas of learning, as well as 11 modified subjects that allow students with identified intellectual disabilities to demonstrate learning through a range of experiences.

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Meeting the requirements of the SACE

To complete your SACE, you’ll have to achieve 200 credits in the two stages.

Some of the credits come from compulsory requirements, and the rest are from the subjects or courses you’ll choose to suit your interests and career goals.

The compulsory requirements are together worth 50 credits, which means you’ll have to choose other subjects or courses that are worth at least 150 credits as you study for your SACE.

Welcome to the SACE — A student guide [PDF 1.1MB] provides an overview of the SACE requirements, recognised learning, and special provisions.

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Compulsory requirements

To achieve your SACE you must complete these compulsory requirements with a C grade or higher at Stage 1, and a C- grade or higher at Stage 2:

  • Stage 1 Personal Learning Plan – completed in Year 10 or Year 11 (10 credits)
  • numeracy requirement – a mathematics subject or course in Stage 1 or Stage 2 (10 credits)
  • literacy requirement – an English subject or course in Stage 1 or Stage 2 (20 credits)
  • Stage 2 Research Project – completed in Year 11 or Year 12 (10 credits).

Of the remaining 150 credits you will need to make up your 200 credits, at least 60 credits must be at Stage 2 level.


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Non-compulsory subjects

The SACE offers more than 60 subjects to suit your interests and your study, training, and career goals.

In addition to the compulsory requirements, and the three 20-credit subjects at Stage 2 (worth 110 credits), you can choose your remaining 90 credits from a range of Stage 1 or Stage 2 subjects. You must achieve a grade in these subjects to achieve your SACE. 

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