All students who enrol at Lynwood Senior High School work towards achieving the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE)
Western Australian Certificate of Education
The WACE is a certificate that demonstrates significant achievement over Years 11 and 12.
The WACE requirements
Achievement of your WACE acknowledges that at the end of your compulsory schooling you have achieved or exceeded the required minimum standards in an educational program that has suitable breadth and depth.
To achieve a WACE in 2020, a student must satisfy the following
- demonstrate a minimum standard of literacy and a minimum standard of numeracy based on the skills regarded as essential for individuals to meet the demands of everyday life and work in a knowledge‐based economy
- complete a minimum of 20 units or equivalents as described below
Breadth and depth
Students complete a minimum of 20 course units or the equivalent. This requirement must include at least:
- a minimum of 10 Year 12 units or the equivalent
- two completed Year 11 English units and one pair of completed Year 12 English units
- one pair of Year 12 course units from each of List A (arts /languages/social sciences) and List B (mathematics/ science/technology).
Students are required to achieve 14 C grades (or equivalents, see below) in Year 11 and Year 12 units, including at least six C grades in Year 12 units (or equivalents).
Unit equivalence can be obtained through Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs and/or endorsed programs. The maximum unit equivalence available through these programs is eight units – four Year 11 units and four Year 12 units. Students may obtain unit equivalence as follows:
- Of the 20 units students need to achieve their WACE, up to four units (two in Year 11 and two in Year 12), may be substituted through the completion of a Certificate II.
- Of the 20 units students need to achieve their WACE, up to four units (two in Year 11 and two in Year 12), may be substituted through the completion of Endorsed Programs.
- Students completing Foundation Courses in Year 12 will be required to undertake the pathway requiring a Certificate II or higher VET qualification to achieve their WACE.
The amount of unit equivalence allocated to VET and endorsed programs is as follows:
- VET qualifications
- Certificate I is equivalent to two Year 11 units
- Certificate II is equivalent to two Year 11 and two Year 12 units
- Certificate III or higher is equivalent to two Year 11 and four Year 12 units
- Endorsed programs – unit equivalence is identified on the Authority’s approved list of endorsed programs.
There are five types of courses developed by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority:
- ATAR course units for students who aim to enrol in a university course direct from school. These courses are examined by the Authority and contribute to the achievement of an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
- General course units for students who aim to enter further training or the workforce directly from school. These courses are not examined by the Authority.
- Foundation course units for those who need additional help in demonstrating the minimum standard of literacy and numeracy.
- Vocational Education and Training industry specific (VETis) courses for students who aim to enter further training or the workforce directly from school.
- Preliminary course units for those who may need modification to the curriculum to meet their special needs. Preliminary courses do not contribute to the achievement of a WACE.
There are two types of programs which can contribute to the WACE:
- VET programs
- Endorsed programs
You can mix and match these options to provide the best platform to meet the requirements to achieve your WACE – and for life beyond school.
Courses units/programs from these groups contribute to the achievement of a WACE: ATAR, General, Foundation, VETis courses, VET programs and endorsed programs. Preliminary course units do not contribute to the achievement of a WACE.
WACE courses are grouped into List A (arts/languages/social sciences) and List B (mathematics/science/technology). Students studying for a WACE are required to select at least one Year 12 course from each of List A and List B.
You can select across a range of course units at a range of cognitive levels to suit your skills and post-school aspirations.
If you plan to go to university once you finish Year 12, you should enrol in at least four ATAR courses to be eligible for an ATAR. The rank is used by universities as a selection mechanism.
More information about the ATAR is available at https://www.tisc.edu.au/static/guide/atar-about.tisc?cid=381712.
Each course has four units – Unit 1 and Unit 2 (Year 11 units) and Unit 3 and Unit 4 (Year 12 units). Unit 1 and Unit 2 can be studied as a pair (except VETis which are paired), Unit 3 and Unit 4 must be studied as a pair.
Unlike other WACE courses, VETis course units are paired in both the Year 11 (Unit 1 and Unit 2) and the Year 12 (Unit 3 and Unit 4) syllabuses. A student who withdraws from a VETis course after only one semester will not receive VETis course unit credit for that academic year.
Permission for a student to change courses is a school decision; however, for a student to achieve course unit credits, a change can only be made early in Year 12, before the cut-off date set by the Authority; or in Year 11 after the completion of Unit 1, or at the end of Year 11 after the completion of Unit 2. A student who withdraws from a VETis course does not achieve course unit credits.
VET is recognised across Australia. VET programs give you the opportunity to gain core skills for work and, in some cases, complete training in industry through workplace learning.
If your educational program does not include four ATAR courses in Year 12, you will need to complete a Certificate II qualification or higher to achieve your WACE.
You can also begin training for your career while still at school by undertaking a VET qualification. Among the range of VET programs on offer are school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.
As with the WACE courses, the VET programs available to students vary between schools. You should discuss VET opportunities with your course advisor.
VET can contribute up to eight of the 20 units you need to achieve your WACE.
At Lynwood SHS we have 1 VETis course. This course uses a training package qualification in which competency electives maybe prescribed, as well as workplace learning. Completed industry specific courses count towards your WACE requirements as courses, which means they can be studied in addition to the eight unit equivalents outlined above.
Endorsed programs address areas of learning not covered by WACE courses. Examples include workplace learning, Cadets WA, and independently administered examinations in music, speech and drama.
These programs can be delivered in a variety of settings by schools, community organisations, universities, training organisations and workplaces.
Endorsed programs may replace up to two Year 11 course units and two Year 12 course units you need to achieve your WACE.
You should discuss endorsed programs opportunities with your course advisor.
WACE breadth-of-study list for the WACE
To ensure an appropriate breadth of study in your senior secondary studies, you are required to select at least one Year 12 course from each of List A and List B. The table contains a list of subjects which may be offered. Please contact the Deputy Principal Senior School to check exactly which subjects are available each year.
List A (arts/languages/social sciences)
List B (mathematics/science/technology)
|Business Management and Enterprise||Applied Information Technology|
|Career and Enterprise||Biology|
|Children, Family and the Community||Building and Construction|
|Chinese language courses||Chemistry|
|English||Food Science and Technology|
|English as an Additional Language or Dialect||Human Biology|
|Health Studies||Materials Design and Technology|
|Physical Education||Mathematics Applications|
|Modern History||Mathematics Methods|
|Politics & Law||Mathematics: Specialist|
|Visual Arts||Outdoor Education|
|Physical Education Studies|
The Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement (WASSA)
A WASSA is issued to all Year 12 students who complete any study that contributes towards a WACE. It lists all courses and programs students have completed in Year 11 and 12.
Literacy and numeracy
There are two parts to demonstrating competence in literacy and numeracy. Firstly, you are required to complete two Year 11 English units and a pair of Year 12 English units.
Secondly, you must demonstrate that you have met the minimum standard for literacy and numeracy, which is based on skills regarded as essential for individuals to meet the demands of everyday life and work.
You can demonstrate the minimum standard:
- through the Authority’s Online Literacy Numeracy Assessment (OLNA), or
- if you demonstrate Band 8 or higher in your Year 9 NAPLAN, Reading, Writing and Numeracy tests.
The OLNA is compulsory for students who have not prequalified in one or more of the components through Year 9 NAPLAN and want to achieve the WACE. Students have up to six opportunities (two per year) between Year 10 and Year 12 to demonstrate the literacy and numeracy minimum standard.
There are three assessment components:
- one 50‐minute, 45‐item multiple‐choice of Reading
- one 50‐minute, 45‐item multiple‐choice of Numeracy, and
- one 60‐minute, typed response of up to 600 words.
If you have a language background other than English and arrived from overseas in the past year, you may be able to delay sitting the OLNA. You should discuss your options with your course advisor.
Disability adjustments are available for students with significant conditions which may severely limit their capacity to participate in the OLNA. These students, after discussions with parents/carers and the school, may choose not to sit the OLNA. However, this would mean that these students could not achieve the WACE. Students should discuss their options with their course advisor.
Post Year 12 sits
If you have not demonstrated one or more of the reading, writing and/or numeracy standards, you can apply to sit the OLNA in any future rounds. The application form is accessible via this link. http://wace1516.scsa.wa.edu.au/assessment/olna
Further information & enquiries:
Enquiries regarding any aspect of Year 11 and 12 should be directed to the Deputy Principal Senior School on telephone (08) 9 354 0600