Study Score Calculator
When you take your SACs (School Assessment Coursework) at the end of years 11 and 12 in Australia, you receive your respective study score which is scaled according to the performance of your school’s students in that subject- this is the SAC’s moderation. It is not a raw score so it only reflects your competency in that subject compared to other students. Higher education and TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutions use this score to assess students for admission but it is not the only criteria for admission.
As a student, you must remember that this calculator uses last year’s performance through the grade distribution data to estimate your score so it is not an absolute prediction of your achievement.
The format and tasks for each subject in the SACs are set by the VCAA (Victorian Curriculum And Assessment Authority). This includes tests, projects, investigation tasks, oral presentations, practical tasks, etc.
How to use a study score calculator
There are two kinds of study score calculators. One is your individual subject score which is calculated on the basis of your score in the different assessments that you have undergone at your school. For example, if you choose Australian History in the VCE calculator, you will be asked to enter your score for Unit 3 Coursework, Unit 4 Coursework and the Written Examination. The weightage of these three would be as follows:
- Unit 3 Coursework: 25% of total subject score
- Unit 4 Coursework: 25% of total subject score
- Written Examination: 50% of total subject score
This information is taken from the Deakin study score calculator. The weights and types of the assessments will vary for each subject but the VCE study score calculator has all this information stored in its algorithm already so you don’t have to look at other sources of information to calculate the score of your subject. All you have to do is select your respective subject and the calculator will give you the raw and scaled score in that subject.
Now let’s see what the VCE ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) calculator is. You need to understand the difference between a score and a rank. A percentile rank is your placement among all the year 12 students in that given year which is set by a government administrative body called the VTAC (Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre). This helps the selection committees in universities in choosing candidates for admission. As each student has a different combination of subjects that they took in their VCEs, the education board needs a uniform system to analyze the potential of each student. Hence, this ranking system was created to take into account the carrying competitiveness of each subject when different students are assessed. Maths and science are scaled up while arts subjects are scaled down. Do not worry though, an ATAR rank is not a reflection of you as a person but just criteria that suggest your university options. You can check out the VCE ATAR calculator here.
Factors that influence your study score
In order to understand how your study score is influenced, you need to have a good understanding of how VCE subject scores are scaled. You might be wondering why scaling is so important. It is performed to ensure that there is consistency within all subjects- a 30 in one subject reflects a 30 in other subjects as well. Each member of the selection committee can have different opinions about the subject’s difficulty level and might become biased when selecting one student over another. When they have an objective and standardized rank in front of them- it removes the need for subjective assumptions. VCAA uses a lot of accurate data and statistics to come up with this scaling system.
Visualize a bell curve with raw scores (raw scores are calculated after you complete your assessments for that subject) on the x-axis and a number of students on the y-axis. The median score is 30- this is where the majority of the year 12 students in that subject will lie. However, a raw score of 45 will mean that your score was better than 98% of the students.
If you’re still confused about how a study score works, you can watch the videos here.
Tips for improving your study scores
There are many myths about scaling that make students think that a certain choice of subject will increase their study scores. This is not true. How much you like the subject and how good you are at it will affect your performance more than how much that subject is scaled up.
You can increase your score by studying smarter:
- Start spending more time recalling information rather than absorbing it
- Plan ahead and distribute your time wisely
- Time yourself and practice mock exams at home
- Do not be afraid of your mistakes and learn from them instead.
If this still seems like an extremely difficult task and you want to boost your confidence in a shorter time, then you can hire a tutor to quicken your progress.
Alternatives to study score calculators
If you do not want to use study score calculators to estimate your performance, you can have a talk with your subject teacher about what they predict about your admission chances.
Apart from teachers, tutors can also give you a good prediction about your future and will give you a realistic goal to aim for.