Recognised Studies

The SACE Board of South Australia has policies and procedures to recognise a range of non-SACE learning that can count towards the SACE/NTCET.

SATAC’s member institutions (Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, Charles Darwin University and TAFE SA) 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.

Rules regarding Recognised Studies

For Recognised Studies to count towards the ATAR or TAFE SA Selection Score, you 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.

Study load

  • 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.
  • Completed VET awards will count towards Stage 2 as either 0, 10 or 20 credits according to the SACE Board VET Recognition Register. If a Certificate IV counts as 10 credits at Stage 1 and 10 credits at Stage 2 in the VET Recognition Register then it will only count as 10 credits of Recognised Studies.

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 approved as Recognised Studies link lower down this page which also contains information on any precluded combinations concerned regarding such subjects.

Higher education

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 them 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.

VET studies

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 candidate has been assessed at a level that is deemed by the Working Group to be equivalent to a SACE/NTCET grade of C- or better.

When can I include Recognised Studies?

You can undertake other learning approved by the SACE Board at any time during your 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 to recalculate these scores.

Scaled score equivalents

The universities and TAFE SA have approved the following methods of assigning scaled score equivalents for Recognised Studies:

Higher Education

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
HD 20.0
D 19.8
C 18.0
P1 15.8
P2 11.5
P where P1 is not in grading system 15.8
P where P1 is in grading system 11.5
Conceded pass 10.0
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. 

VET Qualifications

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).

Interstate Year 12 Subjects

For interstate subjects, the scaled score in the home state will be equated to South Australian scaled scores on a 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
IB score Equivalent SACE
scaled score
7 19.0
6 18.2
5 16.6
4 14.2
3 (HL only) 12.0

Procedures for approval of Recognised Studies

Recognised Studies will be dealt with in two ways.

Preapproved Recognised Studies

The 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. 

Interstate/IB subjects pre-approved as Recognised Studies (163KB XLSX)

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 have not been pre-approved to count as Recognised Studies your school 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 but is not pre-approved 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. Please note that most university subjects which are part of a degree level course and are not introductory in nature will be approved. Some university subjects however, will not be approved so it is important for students and schools to seek approval the year before the subject is intended to be studied.

Back to top