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Assessment Certification Examination (ACE)
NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA)

Assessment at the end of a Year 11 course – grading student achievement

ACE 5003

Last Updated: 11 October 2021

This rule is affected by changes made to RoSA and HSC rules and requirements in 2021 and 2022.

Find these amendments in our COVID Changes for 2021 and COVID Changes for 2022 ACE rules.

Assessment in a course should relate to the stated objectives and outcomes as described in the syllabus and reflect the NESA school-based assessment requirements as detailed in the Assessment and Reporting document.

NESA's grading system is intended to describe the student’s achievement at the end of each Year 11 course.

Schools are required to award and submit A to E grades to NESA for all students completing any Year 11 Board Developed or Board Endorsed Course, except VET courses and Life Skills courses.

At the completion of the course, teachers make professional on-balance judgements on the basis of all available assessment information to decide which grade description best matches the standards their students have achieved. The grade awarded to each student at the completion of a Year 11 course indicates the student’s overall achievement in relation to the Common Grade Scale for Preliminary courses and with reference to other material produced by NESA to support the consistent awarding of grades.

Students should be given the opportunity to demonstrate their maximum level of achievement relative to the Common Grade Scale for Preliminary courses.

Students with disability may require adjustments to assessment activities to enable access to the task and equitable opportunity to demonstrate what they know and can do. Providing an adjustment does not restrict a student’s access to the full range of grades.

Schools are required to keep student work samples and the associated assessment activities for all Year 11 courses (except VET and Life Skills). If requested, these work samples and assessment activities are to be submitted to NESA for review to ensure there is consistency in the awarding of grades across the state.

A minimum of three work samples, representing the upper, middle and lower range of achievement of the current cohort, should be retained for each course in a format that can be uploaded electronically. Each work sample should demonstrate performance towards the end of the course that is typical of students awarded a particular grade (A to E) by the school. Work samples must be students’ original work, not teachers’ comments on a performance or submitted work. They should relate to assessment activities conducted in the latter half of the course and be labelled with the relevant grade.

Where a school assigns an ‘N’ for a student’s achievement in a course, a Grade A to E will still need to be submitted. This is the grade that will be awarded to the student if they make a successful appeal to NESA against the ‘N’ determination.