Senior study and the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) can be particularly daunting. All the
rules and requirements as well as the huge range of subjects can
scare and confuse you. It doesn't have to be that way. On this page you will find
information and links to more information about the WACE rules and
requirements as well as lots of helpful subject specific material.
WACE Study Requirements:
These are the minimum requirements for students to receive a Western
Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) in 2016 and beyond.
Breadth and depth requirement
Completion of a minimum of 20 units or the equivalent. This
requirement must include at least: (notes 1, 2 , 3, 4)
10 units or the equivalent at Year 12
two Year 11 units from an English course and one pair of
Year 12 units from an English course
one pair of units completed in Year 12 from each of List
A (arts/languages/social sciences) and List B
Achievement of at least 14 C grades or higher (or the
equivalent) in Year 11 and 12 units, with a minimum of six C
grades or the equivalent at Year 12. (notes 5 and 6)
Completion of at least four Year 12 ATAR courses or of a
Certificate II (or higher) VET qualification.
Literacy and numeracy standard
Completion of at least four units of an English course
post-Year 10 and studied over at least two years.
Demonstration of the minimum standard of literacy and
numeracy. (notes 7 and 8)
Explanatory notes relating to
WACE requirements - 2016 and beyond
The breadth-and-depth requirement can be met through ATAR,
General and Foundation courses. The achievement standard can be
met through ATAR, General, VET industry specific and Foundation
Of the 20 units required for a WACE, up to a maximum of four
Year 11 units and four Year 12 units may be substituted by VET
qualifications and/or endorsed programs. A student may choose to
substitute using only VET qualifications (up to a total of eight
units) or using endorsed programs (up to a
total of four units) or using a combination of
VET and endorsed programs (up to a total of eight units but with
a maximum of four units with endorsed programs).
Students are able to substitute the course unit requirement
with unit equivalents achieved through the completion of AQF VET
qualifications at Certificate I, II, III and higher and/or
Students can repeat units. However, those units that have
the same unit code, e.g. AEENG, and are repeated, do not
contribute to the WACE requirements more than once.
Students enrolled in Units 3 and 4 in an ATAR course must
sit the external examination in that course. If students do not
sit, or do not make a genuine attempt in this examination, the
grades for the pair of units completed in that year will not
contribute to the calculation of the achievement standard, but
they will still count in the breadth-and-depth requirement.
Students who do not sit the examination will not receive a
course report. Year 12 students enrolled in Units 3 and 4 in a
General or Foundation course must sit the EST in that course.
Both VET qualifications and endorsed programs can indirectly
contribute to the WACE standard requirement of a C grade in at
least 14 units. A C grade in a maximum of eight units (four in
Year 11 and four in Year 12) can be replaced by unit equivalents
from VET qualification and/or endorsed programs. Of these eight
unit equivalents, a maximum of four can be from endorsed
programs (two in Year 11 and two in Year 12).
The literacy and numeracy standard can be met either through
the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) or by
achieving Band 8 or above in the associated components of
reading, writing or numeracy in the Year 9 NAPLAN assessments.
Students undertaking the OLNA will be required to satisfy both
the reading and writing components in order to demonstrate the
minimum WACE literacy standard.
If students do not demonstrate the literacy and numeracy
standard by the time they exit secondary school, they can apply
to the Authority to re-sit the assessment at any age.
To see this information directly on the SCSA website, you can
The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR):
The ATAR is a ranking
given to WACE students who meet certain course requirements. It is
calculated by the Universities (through TISC) and is used to rank
students for the purpose of offering them a place in
It is simply a number between 0 and 99.95 and ranks you
relative to the other students in
the same year as you.
For more information on the ATAR and how it is calculated, go
You only need a ATAR if you are intending to go to
university once you leave school.
Effective study habits and techniques are the key to success in the WACE. Click here to find out more about how to study effectively.
While you might be able to study effectively, you
also need to know the best ways to approach exams. Click here to get information on how to develop good exam techniques.