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External assessment and exams
In a Stage 2 subject, 70% of student work is assessed by the school, with 30% assessed externally. All student work in a Stage 1 subject is assessed by the school.
When student work is externally assessed, it is marked outside the school. This ensures that the performance standards in a subject have been interpreted and applied consistently and the results awarded to students — no matter where they attend school — are comparable and fair.
There are three types of external assessment: investigations, performances, and examinations.
The marking process
The SACE Board appoints teachers to mark external assessments in a particular subject.
Markers receive training on performance standards and undertake benchmarking activities to ensure that assessment decisions are consistent in the one year, and from one year to another.
They assess students' work, either face-to-face (oral language examinations), or on site (performances), or by marking batches of investigations or written examinations, and they prepare feedback on the quality of students' responses.
For all external assessments, the SACE Board conducts rigorous integrity checks to ensure consistency between markers and within each marker's work.