What happens if you fail a VCE exam?

Each senior secondary subject in the VCE curriculum has its own specifications for assessments – which are both internal and external. There is not one single ‘VCE exam’ but a range of assessments in each unit of a course.

Failing an exam does not automatically mean failing the entire course, as the final result is based on the overall assessment across multiple assessments, including school-assessed coursework. Although, assessment scores contribute to the calculation of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR), which is used for university entrance purposes. Failing an exam can potentially lower the study score and impact the overall ATAR, particularly if the exam carries significant weight in the subject’s assessment.

If a student fails one of their exams or assessments, the specific consequences and options available to them can vary. In some cases, students who fail an exam may be offered the opportunity to sit for a supplementary exam or a repeat exam. If a student fails a VCE subject overall, they may have the option to retake the subject in a subsequent study period or year. This allows them to complete the subject requirements and improve their final result. 

It’s essential to remember that failing an exam or subject does not define a student’s abilities or potential for success. VCE offers multiple assessment opportunities, and students have the chance to improve their results through ongoing coursework, other exams, and the overall assessment process. Support and guidance from teachers, counsellors, tutors, and parents can play a vital role in assisting students in navigating challenges, getting support to succeed, and exploring alternative pathways to achieve their educational goals.

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