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Thread: AUSTRALIAN Culture and Language Help!

  1. #121
    That depends largely on what state you're in. NSW has HSCs in Year 12, and I think they have some kind of exam in Year 10 as well, but you might want to check that.

    QLD doesn't have major exams, because we're awesome. We have QCS (Queensland Core Skill) but it doesn't actually count to anything, it's just a way for the Queensland Board of Education to compare different schools. You have to do a writing task in response to stimulus, two multiple choice exams on English, Maths and Science, and one Short Response task with slightly harder questions on English, Maths and a little bit of Science. These tests are sat over the same two days, usually a Tuesday and a Wednesday, at the same time in every school in QLD. They are very very easy, unless you get a bad topic for your writing task. My year got circles, the year before got essence which is way harder.

    I just realised that I'm not entirely right about the no exams thing - I should have said that we have no standarised testing for the entire state - our teachers set the exams.

    If I remember correctly, however, your fic isn't actually set in QLD so I'm going to stop now.

    Oh, and in primary school they have the Three Five Seven tests, which I think might be nation wide. As you can tell from the name which I don't think is the correct name, they're taken in years 3, 5 and 7.

    I highly doubt any of this helped, but whatever.

  2. #122
    ms. leading
    In NSW we have the year 10 School Certificate, and once you have this you have the opportunity to leave school and get a job. Others who stay on (most people) are eligible for the Higher School Certificate. Year 11 Students do Preliminary Exams to prepare them for year 12, when the HSC occurs. The HSC is a huge thing for most year 12s in NSW.

    Your fic is set in Victoria, correct? I think they call their final examinations VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) in Vic, which is their equivalent of the HSC. Google might help you better than I can here. I think a portion of the year 12 final mark is made up of work during the year, rather than just the exam mark. I assume there is one exam per subject at the end of the year.

    I'm sure your own research could be a lot of help here. Some Australian education websites would probably be useful.

    - Cassie

  3. #123
    Third Year Ravenclaw
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    Okay, I'm Victorian and in the middle of my year twelve year, so I'm an expert

    So, like Cassie said, Victorians do VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education). This begins in year eleven and is controlled by the governing body VCAA (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority). At the end of year ten, you pick your elective subjects and these are classified as Units One and Two eg. Physcial Education Unit 1 & 2. Most students do one 3 & 4 subject in year eleven (a year twelve subject, in other words) and some do two. Year elevens are given exams by teachers, not VCAA.

    In Year twelve, students do six subjects, unless they did a 3 & 4 subject in year eleven, in which case they do five. If they did two in year eleven, then they have the option of doing only four subjects in year twelve. They can choose to do more, if they want. Some subjects are compulsory - every student in the state must do English or Literature. Most catholic schools have compulsory Religion, though at year twelve it is usually school based RE (and therefore not assessed by VCAA). There is a religious subject called Text and Traditions, which is assessed.

    Over the year, students complete certain SATs (School Assessed Tasks) and SACs (School Assessed Coursework). SACs are work for the year, SATs are specific tasks - tests, prac's in Biology, Chem etc. SATs and SACs are assessed by the school, but SATs can be called up by VCAA at any time - usually if they believe there are some inconsistencies and stuff like that. These SATs and SACs usually make up around 33% of the students final score.

    Exams make up the other percent. Only the sciences - Bio, Chem, Physics, Pysch and strangely, Accounting - have mid year exams, and these are in early June. Every single subject has an end of year exam in early - mid November. These exams are strictly regulated - only VCAA Assessors and students are permitted in the exam rooms, and there is list of banned items about a kilometre long - things like mobile phones, electronic planners, blah blah. We're not even allowed drink bottles with labels on them.

    Scores from SATs etc and exams are then combined in an extremely complicated way, that you probably don't need to know, to derive an ENTER (Equivalent National Tertiary Entrance Rank) score - this is what determines what University courses you can get into. The highest score is 99.95, I believe. They're basically telling us that we'll never be perfect, which is why we'll never get 100. Oh and by the way, we receive results for each subject out of 50 - this is a study score that is the combination of both SATs and exams. For example, someone might recieve 41 for Health and Human Development, 23 for Maths Methods and so on.

    We have to attend 80% of our classes, or we may fail the Units. I think 80% is about three absences a semester. These are non-approved absences ie. the student didn't have a doctors certificate. Every student enrolled in a 3 & 4 subject also has to sit the GAT (General Acheivement Test, better known as 'Three hours of my life that I'll never get back') which they use when a student applies for a Derived Exam Score. This happens when a student is really sick - say with glandular fever, and misses a term of school. Or maybe they have some personal issues that come up at exam time - maybe a grandparent is sick or dying etc. They still sit exams, but VCAA then looks at their GAT result and their exam results. If they believe that the student did worse in their exam than they would have normally done, then they calculate a derived score, based on school work through the year and GAT results. If the student did better than expected, then their score does not change.

    Phew. I hope that helped a bit. I recommend getting onto the VCAA website if you want more information.

  4. #124
    I find myself coming across a certain plot point in my story where I again need help from the Australian Culture thread.

    What are the breaks that students get from school? Like for boarding school that you could go home for. I find myself needing to know when a family of wizard chldren would be home from school.

  5. #125
    I find myself needing more information on Australian culture!

    This is a question I have been stalking the British threads with, but I need to have an answer from the Australian end as well. What are some scholastic-based school competitions that you have in Australia? I have learned that there aren't very many in British schools.

    Let me explain. In the United States, we have spelling bees, geography bees, math competitions, reading competitions, art exhibitions, but do Australian schools have anything like this, or would I be better off looking to the community for such things?

    Also, I will raise the question that I posted in my last post as well.

    What are the breaks that students get from school? Like for boarding school that you could go home for. I find myself needing to know when a family of wizard chldren would be home from school.

  6. #126
    Fourth Year Ravenclaw
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    What are the breaks that students get from school? Like for boarding school that you could go home for. I find myself needing to know when a family of wizard children would be home from school.
    The school year is broken up into four terms, with two weeks breaks after terms 1,2 and 3 and a longer 7 or 8 week break after term four.

    In 2009 in Victoria the term dates ere.

    1st Term - 28 January - 3 April
    Holidays - 4 April - 19 April
    2nd Term - 20 April - 26 June
    Holidays - 27 June - 12 July
    3rd Term 13 July - 18 September
    Holidays 19 September - 4 October
    4th Term 5 October - 18 December
    Holidays 19 December - 26 January

    Note, that year 12 students finish in early October, have about a week and a half of private study and their exams go for the first three weeks of November. I'm assuming students at a boarding school would remain at school during this period.

    What are some scholastic-based school competitions that you have in Australia?

    There are a few academic competitions. We do have spelling bees, essay competitions. There is the National History competition. Wespac Maths Competition. Depends what you are after.

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  7. #127
    With competitions, it also seems to depend on the particular school. My school has a few maths, science and sport competitions/events, but not many English and 'the arts' competitions (the arts being music, drama, art and so on). However, one of my friends goes to a school which has heaps of English-style competitions, but not much in the sport or maths department.

    So it's pretty varied. I suppose private schools would have more competition-type things, though... but I go to a public school, so I don't know for sure.

  8. #128
    Thank you for the break dates, as well as the information on school competitions. Both are extremely helpful for the story I'm writing.

    But now I have another question regarding contests. I learned on the British threads that school competitions are rare, but something that might be possible is for the library to have a summer reading program to see who could read the most books during the summer holidays. Sounds like something Hermione would win at, doesn't it?

    Anyway, does this sound like something that could exist in Australia as well? What about this type of contest in schools. At many American elementary schools, there is a nationwide contest called Accelorated Reader that has much the same premise. Do Australian schools have anything like this?

  9. #129
    Honigkuchenpferd Hufflepuff
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    I have a question concerning a medical practise register in Australia. In Germany, there's the so called "Ärztekammer" and in Great Britain it's the GMC (General Medical Council) where doctors have to register before being allowed to practise medicine legally. Is there something like this in Australia? If so, what's it called? Is it possible to get access to it via the internet?

    I need that information for a story I write about Hermione and her parents.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
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  10. #130
    Are you looking for medical accreditation or dental accreditation? (I'm pretty sure I've posted that link before.)

    Bine: Thanks for the link (though off-site links aren't actually allowed). That helps already, however. Thank you.

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