Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose which college to attend?
In choosing the college to meet your needs, you should:

  • visit all colleges in which you are interested
  • talk to personnel at colleges
  • examine courses available
  • consider extra-curricular activities
  • take into account the organisation of college
  • talk to students and ex-students of the college
  • select a college where you think that you can achieve your very best results.

Good results and high ATARs can, and do, occur in every college.

Which subjects should I study?
Choose those subjects that you enjoyed or did well in at high school

  • do not choose subjects because someone told you that they scale well  No predetermined assumptions are made on scaling as it is determined by each year's cohort in each school. Students can, and do, achieve high course scores in any course.
  • know and understand pre-requisites of university courses for which you are aiming

How do I get good results?
Good results come from YOUR understanding of the content of the course in which you are enrolled and the standard of work that you achieve in all assessment items. You should:

  • enrol in courses which you enjoy and which will allow you to produce your best standard of work.
  • in the ACT system of continuous assessment, all assessment items must be completed and done to the best of your ability in order to maximise your ATAR. This means that you should  treat every assessment item seriously and work to achieve your best effort and your best standard
  • realise that good scores come from you and the quality of work you complete.
  • aim for a broad package of study, so you can develop comprehensive skills.

What are T and A units and courses?
In the ACT system there are different types of courses. T units and courses are ones that the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies has deemed suitable as a preparation for Tertiary Studies. A units and courses are ones that the ACT BSSS has deemed appropriate for studies at the Year 11 and 12 level.

How will my grades at College be decided?
The grades you receive in college are based on the grade descriptors that are published in the course documents and are included in the unit outlines that you receive at the beginning of each semester. Grades in T and A units from all colleges in the ACT system are verified on Moderation Days, which are held twice a year. All grades (except V – Void) awarded to you will be recorded on your ACT Senior Secondary Certificate.

My daughter tells me she got 80 for her unit score in Information Technology. Should I be very pleased with her result?
Scores in T units represent a ranking of students in that unit. They are not a mark out of 100. This score says that your daughter achieved better results than a student who achieved lower scores and not as good in this subject as a student who achieved higher scores. You need to ask your daughter what the mean and standard deviation was for the unit scores in Information Technology to fully understand how she is achieving in this subject.

Scores can also be used to roughly compare results across subjects. Although final scaling is not known until the end of Year 12, schools try to standardise unit scores as a 'best estimation' of scaling based on historical data. This means that if your daughter also achieved a 70 in Physics, the best estimates suggest she actually received a higher score in Information Technology.

Be pleased and proud about any high grades your daughter receives every semester in every course. It is the grades that appear on your daughter's ACT Senior Secondary Certificate.

I don't need to try in the AST because my individual result does not count. It is the school's AST that matters.
This is a dangerous and false misconception as the assumption in the scaling process is that the AST is an accurate measure of your general ability.

Each college breaks their subjects into scaling groups which are scaled separately and are each affected by the AST scores of all students in that scaling group. The AST is not included in your ATAR calculation, but all your course scores (and hence your ATAR) are scaled, based on the AST results of all students in that scaling group. This means that each of your course scores has been affected by your own AST result as well as those of the other students in each of the scaling groups.  Each of your scaled course scores has been impacted, in part, by your own AST results, so you should try your best in the AST if you want the highest ATAR you can possibly get.

I studied for Certificate III in Aged Care at the CIT.  How do I get recognition for that qualification on my Senior Secondary Certificate?
See the student support section at the college you attend.  They will be able to help you fill in the application form for this to occur.

I lost my Certificate, what can I do?
Certified copies of past results are available from the Office of the Board of Senior Secondary Studies.  See a link elsewhere on the BSSS website for more details.

I forgot to collect my Certificate, what can I do?
Uncollected Certificates, Tertiary Entrance Statements and Vocational Qualifications are returned to the Office of the Board of Senior Secondary Studies by the end of February of the following year.  Contact the Office of the BSSS for more details.

I completed my secondary education overseas, how do my qualifications compare to the ACT qualifications?
If you completed secondary educational qualifications (Year 11 and 12) overseas you may apply to the Office of the Board of Senior Secondary Studies to have your qualifications assessed.  You are issued with a statement giving the equivalent Australian Capital Territory standard of your educational qualifications.  See Overseas Educational Equivalence for more information.