Parent Information

Getting Started - VCE

Senior School offers a variety of new educational opportunities and experiences with a significant increase in program and subject offerings available to students. This page aims to support parents and guardians who are new to the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) by providing explanations and overviews of key terms and concepts.

The VCE Explained

  • Section 1 - VCE Glossary

  • Section 2 - How to get a VCE

  • Section 3 - Assessment - SACs & SATs & Exams

  • Section 4 - VCE VET

  • Section 5 - Study Scores & Ranking

  • Section 6 - ATARS

  • Section 7 - Tertiary Educations & Prerequisites

  • Section 8 - Subject selection tips and tricks

VCE Subject Selection Resources

  • VTAC Guide for current Year 10s

  • VTAC Guide for Current Year 11s

  • Course Prerequisites For 2023

  • The Atar Profile Explained

  • 2022 Year 12 Information Update

  • VTAC ATAR and scaling guide

  • ABC Of Offers

  • How To Use Coursesearch

  • 2022 Years 11 &12 Booklet

  • Subject Selection Planner 12

  • VCE Subject Scaling Report

Section 1

VCE Glossary

The VCE uses many new terms. Here are the main ones:

Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) A ranking on a scale of 0.00 to 99.95, based on study scores, given to a student. Calculated by VTAC and used by tertiary institutions to select students for their courses. Section 4
General Achievement Test (GAT) Completed by all students enrolled in a VCE Unit 3 and 4 study or a scored VCE VET Unit 3 and 4 study. Section
Outcomes What students are expected to know and be able to do by the time they have finished a VCE unit. Section
Satisfactory (S) Certifies that a student has achieved the outcome for a unit. If a student does not satisfactorily complete a unit, they will receive an N (not satisfactory). Section
School-assessed coursework (SAC) Used to assess a student’s level of achievement. Tasks are selected by the school from the designated study design. Section
School-assessed task (SAT) Occurs in studies where products and models are assessed. Section
Studies The subjects available in the VCE Section
Study score A score between 0 and 50, showing how a student performed in a VCE study or scored VCE Section

Section 2

How to get a VCE


Having viewed these videos, spend some time reflecting on your current Year 11 subjects and consider which subjects you might be interested in studying in Year 12.

Play Video
Play Video

Section 3

Compulsory Subjects and Teacher Recommendations

Each Year 12 student is required to complete the compulsory subjects of Religious Education and one of the subjects from the English Group of studies (for students completing the VCE program) or Literacy (for students completing the VCAL program)

Religious Education at St Patrick’s:
The following year-long Religious Education studies are offered to 2022 Year 12 students:
Religion and Society VCE Units 3/4 (not available to students completing the VCAL program)
Texts and Traditions VCE Units 3/4 (not available to students completing the VCAL program)
Non-VCE Year 12 Religious Education

VCE English and VCAL Literacy:
VCE students must study at least one of VCE Units 3/4 English, VCE Units 3/4 English Language, or VCE Units 3/4 Literature for the whole year. English Support is taken as an additional subject and does not contribute to an ATAR score.
Students completing the VCAL program should note that VCAL Literacy is a compulsory study.

Watch this video to learn about the different options on offer for RE. For more details about RE and English subjects, see the 2022 Year 11 and 12 Information Booklet.

Play Video

Subject Recommendations

Students are required to seek the recommendation of their current Year 11 RE and English teachers. Ask for their recommendation and signature in Section 3 of your 2022 Year 12 Subject Selection Guide.


Section 4




VET programs with Unit 3 and 4 sequences can contribute to the ATAR in two ways:

1. VET sequences with scored assessment are counted the same as any VCE study (in the primary four or as an increment). If a scored assessment is available and you decide not to take it, no increment will be available.

2. VET studies with no scored assessment recognised by the VCAA may be counted as fifth and/or sixth contributions to the ATAR. The increment will be 10 per cent of the average of the primary four VTAC scaled study scores.

Yr 12 Subject Sleection Guide
Play Video

Section 5

Year 12 Subject Planning

By this stage you’ve done a lot of reading, researching and talking. It’s now time to map out your proposed subjects for Year 12.

For many, you will be continuing with the majority of your Units 1/2 subjects. You will just be deciding which one you will not continue with.

For other students, you may want to discontinue more than one subject leaving you to decide a Units 3/4 subject you will pick up. Further research and discussion will be required to help you work out which Units 3/4 subject will be best for you – some require the study of Units 1/2. See the 2022 Year 11 & 12 Information Booklet for more details.  

On the last pages of the 2022 Year 12 Information Update record the subjects you would like to study in Year 12. 

Subject Selection Planner Year 10
  • Year 12 Subject Planner


Section 6

Bringing it altogether


These are four studies that are counted first in the calculation of the ATAR. The primary four is made up of the VTAC Scaled Study Score in one of English, English (EAL), Literature or English Language, and is added to the next three highest permissible scaled scores.


An increment is 10 per cent of any fifth or sixth permissible scaled score that is available. Increments are added to the primary four during the calculation of the ATAR. Where multiple combinations exist, the highest permissible combination is used.


The total produced by adding the primary four to a maximum of two available (and permissible) increments. A maximum of six studies can contribute to the ATAR. Any additional studies are visible on your application.

Year 12 Section 6
Yr 12 Subject Sleection Guide

Section 7

Proposed Year 12 studies

Using your “Year 12 Subject Selection Planner” and the advice from Section 6, fill in your proposed 2022 Year 12 studies in your Year 12 Subject Selection Guide.

2022 Year 12 Proposed Subjects Planner
Year 12 Section 6
Year 12 Subejct Selection Section 7

Section 8

Submission of proposed Year 12 studies - Web Preferences

Web Preferences

Deciding on a career pathway is not easy but there are several tools that support students in choosing subjects.

Morrisby Report

Log into your personal area on the Morrisby Website to review your results, research pathways into careers and investigate job-specific information. Your login is your email school address. Use the "Forgotten Login" function to reset your password if you have forgotten it.

TAFE/University or Future Employment 

You may know the area you would like to study or work in. This will also inform your subject choices. Prerequisites are subjects that you need to have taken in order to be eligible for the course or job. Your entry to a course may not only require a certain ATAR score but you also may need to have taken a specific subject like Mathematical Methods or Chemistry.

Research the courses that you may be interested in and look for any prerequisites that may be required in the Course Prerequisites for 2023 PDF below.

Parents - Subject Selection Confirmation

Once you have completed your web preferences, you will be required to enter your parent/guardian primary contact’s email address. This will generate an email requesting confirmation of your proposed course of studies.

Parents will also receive a 2022 Year 12 intention form to complete via PAM.

Keep your Year 12 Subject Selection guide as a record of your work on your subject selection. You do not need to hand it in.

Your proposed 2022 Year 12 subjects need to be submitted in Web preferences no later than Friday,  July 23.