Assessment at the end of a Stage 6 Preliminary course – grading student achievement

ACE 5003

Last Updated: 25 July 2018

Changes to ACE rules and procedures are occurring to reflect the Stronger HSC Standards reforms.

NESA strongly encourages all ACE users to review the Summary of Changes that may impact the below.

Schools are required to submit grades for all students completing any Stage 6 Preliminary Board Developed or Board Endorsed Course, except VET courses and Life Skills courses.

The grade awarded to each student at the completion of a Stage 6 Preliminary course should indicate the student’s overall achievement in relation to the Common Grade Scale for Preliminary courses. Assessment in a course should relate to the stated objectives and outcomes as described in the syllabus.

No specific allocation of marks is required for any syllabus objective or outcome.

The grades awarded should reflect the relative emphasis placed on the assessable objectives of school programs and the syllabus. For example, where a school has placed considerable emphasis on the development of research skills, that emphasis should be reflected in the assessment program. For the purpose of awarding grades, assessment of values and attitudes must not be included.

NESA recommends that for a 2-unit course, 3–5 assessment activities are sufficient to gain an adequate picture of student achievement.

NESA's grading system is intended to describe the student’s achievement at the end of each Stage 6 Preliminary course. Teachers will make the final judgement of the grade deserved on the basis of available assessment information and with reference to the Common Grade Scale for Preliminary Courses and other material produced by NESA to support the consistent awarding of grades. In applying the Common Grade Scale for Preliminary Courses, teachers should interpret them in terms of standards that can be achieved by Stage 6 Preliminary students within the bounds of the course.

Earlier performance in a course should be used only as a means of increasing the accuracy of the final assessment. The choice of a particular grade should be made on the basis that it provides the best overall description of the student’s achievement of the Stage 6 Preliminary syllabus outcomes.

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

Schools are required to retain samples of student work and corresponding assessment tasks in Stage 6 Preliminary courses specified each year by NESA. The samples retained should be work completed towards the end of the Stage 6 Preliminary course and at various points in the distribution of A to E grades. Schools should consult the BOSTES website for further information on retaining student work samples.

Where a school wishes to assign an ‘N’ for a student’s achievement in a course, a Grade A to E should still be submitted so that, if the student appeals successfully to NESA, the grade can be reinstated.

See ACE 8070 Preliminary course assessment – areas, tasks, programs and disability provisions and ACE 5004 Preliminary courses – allocation and submission of grades for further information.