The SACE Board of South Australia has policies and procedures to recognise a range of learning experiences other than SACE/NTCET subjects that can count towards the SACE/NTCET.
SATAC’s member institutions may also agree to these studies contributing to the flexible option in the calculation of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) and the TAFE SA Selection Score.
Who to contact about Recognised Studies
For information about counting other learning towards the SACE at Stage 2 level, schools should contact the SACE Board in the first instance. More information about recognised learning is available from the SACE Board website.
Studies that have been approved by the SACE Board as counting towards the SACE/NTCET at Stage 2 are referred to SATAC for consideration as Recognised Studies. The outcome of this consideration is reported back to the SACE Board. If you have any questions about the approval process please contact SATAC.
Please note that SATAC cannot advise you on the outcome of approval for other learning by the SACE Board, and it is the responsibility of students (with the assistance of schools) to ensure that patterns of study which include recognised learning and Recognised Studies meet their goals (e.g. completing the SACE or gaining an ATAR). Decisions regarding Recognised Studies are the responsibility of SATAC's member institutions.
Rules for Recognised Studies
For Recognised Studies to count towards the ATAR or TAFE SA Selection Score, students must meet the following conditions.
Recognition by the SACE Board
Recognised Studies must be approved by the SACE Board of South Australia as counting towards the SACE/NTCET at Stage 2 level.
Nature of study
Under normal circumstances only academic studies or vocational training will be recognised. Life experiences and community involvement will generally not be recognised.
Level of study
Studies must be at the same or higher level as SACE/NTCET Stage 2 subjects in terms of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).
VET studies must be completed qualifications at AQF Certificate III or above.
Depth and breadth of study
Recognised Studies must involve the study of an academic discipline to at least the same depth and breadth expected in a SACE Stage 2 subject.
- Individual instances of study suitable for the purpose must count for at least 10 credits towards the SACE/NTCET where the subject is to be used in lieu of a 10 credit SACE Stage 2 subject.
- Individual instances of study suitable for the purpose must count for at least 20 credits towards the SACE/NTCET where the subject is to be used in lieu of a 20 credit SACE Stage 2 subject (for either its full score or half its score).
- Studies counting for less than 10 credits will not be counted.
- Studies counting for less than 10 credits cannot be summed to achieve these 10 or 20 credit thresholds.
Number of instances of study considered
A maximum of 20 credits of Recognised Studies can count in the calculation of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
Precluded combinations and studies with significant content overlap
Year 12 studies
SACE/NTCET subjects and interstate/International Baccalaureate (IB) year 12 subjects in the same subject area may be treated as precluded combinations. Please refer to the list of pre-approved IB and Australian interstate subjects on this page, as it also contains information on any precluded combinations regarding such subjects.
The SACE Board will only approve university studies which are part of a degree-level course and are not introductory in nature as recognised learning and hence the institutions do not approve other subjects for Recognised Studies. Many first year university courses have significant content overlap with SACE/NTCET subjects and are not approved. Students and schools should always seek approval to study a university subject in the year before enrolment to make sure that the subject will be able to be used to count towards the ATAR.
As the learning outcomes of VET and SACE/NTCET subjects are different in nature, completed VET qualifications do not form precluded combinations with SACE/NTCET subjects.
Level of achievement
In all cases studies will only count towards the university aggregate provided the student has been assessed at a level that is deemed to be equivalent to a SACE/NTCET grade of C- or better.
When can students include Recognised Studies?
Students can undertake other learning approved by the SACE Board at any time during their enrolment in the SACE/NTCET. However, Recognised Studies intended to count toward the ATAR and/or TAFE SA Selection Score must be completed prior to or in the same year that the ATAR and TAFE SA Selection Score are calculated for the first time. Final results for such studies must be provided to the SACE Board no later than the end of the Clerical Check Period in mid-February of the following year.
Please note that studies normally able to be counted as Recognised Studies, but completed in any year following the year in which the university aggregate and/or TAFE SA Selection Score has been calculated, cannot be used in the recalculation of these scores.
Scaled score equivalents
The universities and TAFE SA have approved the following methods of assigning scaled score equivalents for Recognised Studies:
The scaled score contribution of a Recognised Studies higher education subject will be:
- an equivalent scaled score based on grades as follows
|Scaled score equivalents|
|Grade||Equivalent SACE scaled score|
|P where P1 is not in grading system||15.8|
|P where P1 is in grading system||11.5|
|Non-graded passes||Average of first 70 credits is used|
- or the average scaled scores of the first 70 credits of Tertiary Admissions Subjects (TAS) used in the calculation of the university aggregate (or the first 40 credits for the TAFE SA selection score) whichever is higher.
The scaled score contribution of a completed VET qualification will be the average scaled scores of the first 70 credits of TAS used in the calculation of the university aggregate (or the first 40 credits for the TAFE SA selection score).
Where a VET qualification will only count for 10 credits the value described above is halved.
Please note, the SACE Board's 'Recognition Arrangements for Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the SACE' policy determines how many credits a VET qualification will count for at Stage 2 and hence for Recognised Studies.
Interstate year 12 subjects
For interstate subjects, the scaled score in the home state will be equated to South Australian scaled scores on an equivalent percentile basis. For example using this methodology a Victorian scaled study score of 41.0 (out of 50) would equate to a South Australian scaled score of 18.5 (out of 20); 31.8 would equate to a South Australian scaled score of 15.5.
International Baccalaureate (IB) subjects
The scaled score contribution of IB Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL) subjects will be as follows:
|Scaled score equivalents|
|3 (HL only)||12.0|
Procedures for approval of Recognised Studies
The procedure for approval of Recognised Studies is managed in two ways. Studies are either pre-approved as Recognised Studies by SATAC's member institutions, or approval must be sought for studies that are not pre-approved.
Preapproved Recognised Studies
SATAC's member institutions have agreed that the following studies can be counted as Recognised Studies, subject to the rules for Recognised Studies:
- Higher and Standard Level International Baccalaureate (IB) subjects
- specified Australian interstate year 12 subjects which count towards the ATAR in their home state
- completed VET awards at Certificate III level and above.
IB and Australian interstate subjects approved as Recognised Studies are outlined in the document below.
This document is updated periodically as new subjects are approved by the institutions.
Application for Approval for Other Studies
To gain approval for studies that are not pre-approved to count as Recognised Studies schools will, in the first instance, need to gain permission from the SACE Board for the studies to be recognised as counting towards the SACE/NTCET at Stage 2.
Learning that is recognised by the SACE Board as counting towards the SACE/NTCET at Stage 2, but which has not been pre-approved by SATAC's member institutions as Recognised Studies, is then referred to SATAC for consideration. SATAC will inform the SACE Board of the outcome of this consideration, who will in turn inform the school concerned.
University subjects are not pre-approved as Recognised Studies so schools will need to apply for approval. Most university subjects which are part of a degree-level course and are not introductory in nature will be approved upon application. Please note that there are some circumstances where university subjects will not be approved, so it is important for students and schools to apply for approval the year before the subject is intended to be studied.