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Examinations and testing


To meet WACE requirements, Year 12 students who are enrolled in a Year 12 ATAR course are required to sit the ATAR course examination (written and, in some courses, practical) for that course. If you do not sit an ATAR course examination and do not have an approved sickness/misadventure application for the course, the pair of units completed in that year will not contribute towards any of the WACE requirements.


The schedule for the ATAR course written and practical examinations are available at https://senior-secondary.scsa.wa.edu.au/assessment/examinations/examination-timetables.

Candidates are able to download their Personalised written examination timetable and Personalised practical examination timetable from the student portal at https://studentportal.scsa.wa.edu.au.

The written examination timetable will contain the date, time and examination centre. The practical examination timetable will contain the date, time, venue and location of your practical examination.

Special arrangements

Special arrangements may be made if you have permanent or temporary disabilities that may disadvantage you in an examination situation. Special arrangements are available for practical or written examinations. Special arrangements may include, for example, the consumption of food, the use of a scribe, extra working time, rest breaks, specified seating, coloured or enlarged papers, alternative format practical examinations.

Your school must submit an application on your behalf if you are seeking any variation to the standard examination conditions. The application must be supported by documentation as described on the application form available from the Authority website at https://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/forms/forms. Further information about permissible adjustments can be found in the Authority’s Guidelines to disability adjustments for timed assessments at www.scsa.wa.edu.au.

In the case of illness or disability occurring at the time of the ATAR course examinations, candidates should phone the Principal Consultant – Special Provisions at the Authority on 9273 6316 to determine if arrangements can be made.


In the case of an unexpected illness or misadventure occurring at the time of the ATAR course examinations, you should refer to the relevant section of the Year 12 Information Handbook Part I or Part II for details of the procedure to follow. It is your responsibility to obtain supporting medical evidence about the illness or relevant independent evidence about a misadventure at the time of the examination. You must submit the application to the Authority by the published due date.

Examination preparation

Marking keys from the ATAR course examinations are now publicly available for students to access and use together with the ATAR course examinations.

You may find the following resources useful in your examination preparation. Some of these documents can be obtained from the Authority.

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A comprehensive set of study notes that you have developed and refined as you complete each section of the course should be your main source of information when revising for the examinations.

Marking keys from the ATAR course examinations are now publicly available for students to access and use together with the ATAR course examinations.

Materials required/recommended for written ATAR course examinations

Further details regarding ATAR course examination requirements can be found by accessing the course syllabus at https://senior-secondary.scsa.wa.edu.au/syllabus-and-support-materials.

Standard Items: pens, pencils, sharpener, eraser, correction fluid/tape, ruler, highlighters. (Note: coloured pencils are allowed in all examinations).

Note: do not use erasable or gel pens.

For more information including the use of dictionaries and calculator in ATAR course examinations refer to Appendix C and Appendix D of the Year 12 Information Handbook Part 1.

For detailed information regarding each of the practical examinations, you are strongly advised to download the practical examination requirements document from the relevant course page which can be accessed from the syllabus and support materials webpage.

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Externally set tasks (EST)

All students enrolled in a General Year 12 course and/or a Foundation Year 12 course are required to complete the externally set task (EST) developed by the Authority for that course. The EST is compulsory and forms part of the school-based assessment and is included as a separate assessment type with a weighting of 15% for the pair of units.

The ESTs are administered in schools during designated weeks in Term 2 under standard test conditions. The EST will take 50 minutes. The Authority informs schools during Term 3, in the previous year, of the Unit 3 syllabus content on which the task will be based. This notification will enable schools to ensure that the identified content is taught prior to the administration of the EST. The ESTs are marked by teachers in each school using a marking key provided by the Authority.

School assessment

During the school year, the Authority uses several procedures to ensure that the grades awarded by different schools are comparable. Teachers meet in groups and/or are visited by Authority officers to discuss assessment procedures and course standards. The Authority provides sample assessment tasks and samples of student work to indicate to teachers the required level of difficulty and standard of marking for each course.

Grades assigned by your school are based on the Authority’s grade descriptions for each course. The grades you receive from your school are provisional until confirmed by the Authority. Your school is required to advise you in writing if any changes are made to your provisional grades during the approval process. The Authority only adjusts grades assigned by a school in exceptional circumstances.

Asessment in Vocational Education and Training (VET)

The delivery of assessment in VET requires that:

  • a competency-based approach is used, this means that school assessment marks are not awarded for VET achievement
  • assessment judgements are based on being ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’
  • the assessment must be conducted according to the national Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 which includes the requirements for all training and assessment to be conducted by a suitably qualified trainer and assessor in partnership with an RTO that is scoped to deliver the training and assessment
  • a record of the competencies achieved by each student is held by the RTO.

For more information on assessment in VET industry specific courses please refer to the syllabus documents available from the VET Industry Specific section of the Years 11 and 12 website.

Endorsed programs assessment

The types of assessments that students will undertake are determined by individual endorsed programs and reflect the Authority's principles of assessment. For more information visit the Endorsed Programs section of the Years 11 and 12 website.

Online literacy and numeracy assessment (OLNA)

The OLNA is an online literacy and numeracy assessment. It is designed to enable students to successfully meet the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) requirement of demonstrating the minimum standard of literacy and numeracy.

For more information visit the OLNA section of the Authority’s Years 11 and 12 website.

National assessment program - Literacy and numeracy (NAPLAN)

NAPLAN, an assessment of literacy and numeracy, is undertaken annually by all Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 students throughout Australia. For more information visit the Testing section of the Authority’s Kindergarten to Year 10 website.