Structure of the VCE

At MGSC each student undertakes 6 studies (subjects) in Year 11 and 5 studies in Year 12.

Studies are divided into Units. Each Unit takes one semester to complete. Typically at MGSC a student therefore completes 22 or 24 Units

Units 1&2 are generally undertaken by students in Year 11 and Units 3 & 4 are generally undertaken in Year 12.

This year at MGSC, 100+ Year 11 students are taking a Unit 3-4 study, a similar number are accelerating in Unit 1-2 study in Year 10.

How do you pass the VCE?

A student must satisfactorily complete 16 Units.

Three of those Units must be from the English group: English, Literature, English Language or ESL (English as a Second Language), at least one of these three need to be a Unit 3 or 4.

A student must satisfactorily complete four 3-4 sequences.

For determination of an ATAR one of the 3-4 sequences must be from the English Group.

Structure of the Studies

Each study (subject) has a course description which has been accredited by VCAA, the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

Teachers are required to present the course to the students as outlined in the Study Design for each subject.

The Study Design describes the outcomes (skills and knowledge) a student must demonstrate in each Unit.

Teachers make professional judgement on whether a student has achieved outcomes (passed) based on tasks completed by the student.


Many of the tasks set by teachers will be graded to establish the level of achievement. These assessment tasks are called SACs (School Assessed Coursework) in Unit 3&4.

SACs are set and marked by the classroom teacher. Across the state the SACs follow the same guidelines but they are not identical from school to school. The grades are reported to VCAA and are moderated against exam results so final SAC marks may be adjusted by VCAA. These results will contribute to the student’s final study score.

Grades for Unit 1&2 Assessment Tasks are not reported to VCAA. VCAA is only interested in whether a student has satisfactorily completed the Unit at this level.

Assessment Procedures

The College has the responsibility to administer assessment in a way that is fair to all.

Whilst it is most important the girls are responsible and accountable for themselves at this level, sometimes some friendly reminders are in order.

This is how assessment policy is administered here at MGSC.

Students should use diaries to record dates of assessment tasks and be available to do the task.

A student must have a legitimate reason for missing as assessment task:

  • Illness
  • School excursion or sporting commitment
  • Extreme personal circumstance

Assessment Procedures Units 1 & 2

If your daughter is unable to attend on the day of the assessment task.

  • Telephone the VCE office before 8.45am and speak to the Student Manager or leave an explanation on the answering service: 9581 5231.
  • Remind your daughter she must talk to her teacher to negotiate sitting the missed task within 5 days of her return to school.
  • The task will then be graded without penalty.

Failure to sit within that time frame will mean the task is not graded.
On negotiation with her teacher the student will get up to a further 5 days to complete the task in order to demonstrate achievement of the outcome. If it is deemed satisfactory it will be assigned a UGL (Ungraded Late). If not it will be assigned an N, not satisfactorily demonstrating achievement of the outcome and therefore failing the Unit.


  • If a student has been ill, or had extenuating personal circumstances prior to the task date, she may apply for an extension to complete a task.
  • Extensions must be approved by the Student Manager and they must be applied for prior to the due date.

Non-submission of a task on a due date or unexplained absence from an assessment task.

  • The task in these circumstances is considered to be late. The task will not be graded.
  • The student must still submit the work within 5 days and the result will appear on her report as a UGL. If the task is not submitted at all within the 5 days or does not satisfy the requirements of the outcome, the result will be an N for the outcome and hence an ‘N’ for the Unit.
  • Teachers and student managers will notify parents of these developments should they arise.

IMPORTANT: Encourage your daughter to: Be organised and get work in on time.


  • Should a student submit the task on time but it does not demonstrate achievement of the outcome she will have the opportunity to redeem her work within 5 days. The task may be altered in some way for the redemption.
  • The assessment task will be assigned a UGR (Ungraded Redemption) and may appear on the report as such
  • If it is still not considered satisfactory or if it is not resubmitted within the 5 days the result will be an N for the outcome and hence an N for the Unit.
  • Parents will be informed of these developments should they arise

IMPORTANT: Encourage your daughter to: Submit her best work.

Assessment Procedures

  • Students have also been made aware of the consequences of plagiarism: submitting work obtained from another source as their own.
  • It has become increasingly easy for a student to access and use material which is not her own.
  • You can support your daughter by helping her distinguish between research and plagiarism.
  • Plagiarised work will not be accepted.
  • The student will be required to resubmit her own work within 5 days in order to demonstrate satisfactory achievement of the task. No grade will be recorded other than UGR.
  • Parents will be contacted.

IMPORTANT: Encourage your daughter to: Submit her own work

Assessment Procedures Units 3 & 4


Rescheduling SACs in a 3-4 study has greater implications than rescheduling Unit 1&2 tasks since SACs contribute to the Study Score and hence the final ATAR received at the end of Year 12.
RESCHEDULED SACs can only be approved in the following circumstances:

  • Illness confirmed by a doctor’s certificate for the day of the SAC. Illness not supported by a doctor’s certificate will incur a 50% downgrade of the result.

A parent or student must ring the VCE office on the morning of the SAC so the classroom teacher can be informed of the absence.

  • Extenuating personal circumstances which must be approved by the Student Manager prior to the SAC.

An example of extenuating circumstance would be a death in the family. It does not include family holidays, even overseas ones, or going for a driver’s licence.

  • Excursion or either of first two school representative sports commitments

Note: a student will be able to reschedule for either sport as long as the team is successful and continues to higher levels.

Teachers will generally try to avoid clashes of this nature but it is not always possible.

Rescheduled SAC letter

You should all have received a letter outlining these procedures. Please keep the body of the letter for your reference and have your daughter return the acknowledgement slip


Rescheduled SACs are always held on Thursday after school and are supervised by members of the VCE team. It is not possible to reschedule to another time unless a student has a number of SACs to do because of extended illness. It is important that work commitments etc do not compromise your daughter’s ability to be available at this time. A doctor’s certificate is necessary if your daughter is not well enough to sit at the rescheduled time.


All Unit 1&2 Units will have exams set and marked by the teacher and reported to you on the end of Unit report. Unit 1&2 exam marks are not reported to VCAA and do not contribute to the ATAR score.

All Unit 3-4 sequences have at least one external exam, set and marked externally by VCAA. Students sit the exam here at school but are supervised by independent supervisors, not school staff. These results do form a major part of your daughter’s study score and hence final ATAR rank.

All students doing a Unit 3-4 sequence are required to sit the GAT (General Achievement Test) in June. The GAT does not contribute directly to the ATAR.


Students must have excellent attendance in a study to pass that study.

  • If your daughter is absent please record the absence on Compass and telephone the VCE office in the morning. The phone calls are logged and are accepted as a note of absence if the parent makes the call.
  • Illness, dental appointments etc are approved absences unless the total absence rate (approved or not) is greater than 10 days.
  • A leeway of five days is allowed for unforeseen circumstances such as a late bus or for family holidays etc. These absences are classified as unapproved.
  • One unapproved absence every three weeks would take a student over the 10% tolerance for a Unit.

See MGSC’s VCE Assessment and Attendance Policy.

IMPORTANT: Encourage your daughter to: Strive for 100% attendance


Rescheduled SACs and extensions are two of the processes we can put in place for your daughter should illness or disability affect her ability to perform. Other forms of Special Provision include:

  • Special Exam Arrangements: e.g rest time in exams, permission to stand or stretch, extra writing time
  • Derived Exam Score: should a student become ill or have an extenuating personal circumstance just prior to or during the Unit 3 & 4 exams, it is possible to apply for an exam mark to be determined for your daughter using information from the GAT, teachers and SAC results.
  • It is absolutely essential you contact the Director of Senior School as soon as a situation presents, if you think either of these provisions could apply to your daughter.


The first two weeks of Year 12 2019  for your daughter will be from Monday 25 November to Friday 6 December, 2019. (TBC)

All attendance and submission requirements will be the same as for the rest of the year.

Please be aware that no vacations or casual work should be taken in HEADSTART time as this will impact on attendance for Unit 3.

How can you support your daughter?

The internet PLUSES:

  • Teachers may encourage research, enrichment activities. They may require on-line submission of work.
  • With the roll out of the ULTRANET, Compass and Classroom, staff and students will increasingly communicate on-line.
  • Students can form on-line study discussion groups.

The internet MINUSES:

  • Hhaving ready and uncontrolled or unlimited access is likely to be very distracting. Study time may be ineffectual if there is simultaneous on-line chatting occurring.
  • We have also spoken to students of the dangers of inappropriate use of the internet or any electronic communication

Casual Work

  • Part time work can be very beneficial for a number of reasons.
  • However work that interrupts time that would be used for study will affect the ability of your daughter to do her best at school.
  • More than 6-8 hours a week is likely to have a significant impact.

Amount of Study

  • In Year 12 studies we would anticipate 3 to 4 hours of homework and revision per subject per week, increasing prior to the exams.
  • In Year 11 studies up 2½ to 3 hours per study per week is reasonable.
  • Having a study plan in which these times can be planned into a week allows guilt-free time for work, sport, music, internet and other recreation.

Keep her Healthy

  • Encourage appropriate amounts of sleep (8 hours is still good), exercise and healthy food.
  • But let us know if any issues arise so we can help manage her circumstances.

Our College

We are only too aware of the enrichment we can bring to your daughters final years of secondary education. These years are full of wonderful opportunities for leadership growth, sporting and artistic achievement in the co-curricular program. We aim to support your daughter to become a confident, independent and socially conscious young woman through a culture that celebrates girls’ education.
The Senior School team is sensitive and responsive to personalities and issues. The teaching staff and those of us in the VCE office are only too happy for you or your daughters to talk to us about any concerns, so please take the opportunity to see us as you need.