SACE (South Australian Certificate of Education)

For more detailed information, visit the SACE Website:


What is it?

Students who successfully complete their senior secondary education are awarded the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). The SACE is an internationally recognised qualification that paves the way for young people to move from school to work or further training and study.

The SACE has been updated and strengthened to ensure it meets the needs of students, families, higher and further education providers, employers and the community.  The SACE helps students develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed – whether they are headed for further education and training, university, an apprenticeship or straight into the workforce.

The certificate is based on two stages of achievement: Stage 1 (normally undertaken in Year 11) and Stage 2 (Year 12).


More detailed information for each stage of the SACE can be found in the SACE Publication ‘Achieve’.

‘Achieve’ for students in Stage 1 2017

‘Achieve’ for students in Stage 2 2017


How do I get the SACE?

To gain the SACE, students usually complete 2 years of full-time study.

There are two stages:

  • Stage 1: which most students do in Year 11, apart from the Personal Learning Plan, which most students are likely to do in Year 10
  • Stage 2: which most students do in Year 12

Each subject or course successfully completed earns ‘credits’ towards the SACE, with a minimum of 200 credits required for students to gain the certificate.

Students will receive a grade from A to E for each subject. For compulsory subjects, they will need to achieve a C grade or better.

The remaining 90 credits can be gained through additional Stage 1 or Stage 2 subjects or Board recognised courses of a student’s choice.  The diagram below shows the SACE requirements as a Pie Chart:

SACE Requirements

At Stage 1 (Year 11) teachers from our school will mark all of your subjects.

At Stage 2 (Year 12), 30 per cent of your work in each subject – such as exams, practical projects and presentations – will be marked by experts outside of the college.  The rest of your work will be assessed by teachers from our school, with the marks double checked by experts outside of the college.  All of this is to make sure everyone is marked according to the same standards.

When you have finished your SACE, you’ll receive a certificate which records your achievements. You’ll be able to access information about your achievements online in both Stage 1 and Stage 2.


Glossary of Terms

Assumed Knowledge: The knowledge that students are assumed to have from previous study, but which is not a prerequisite for admission to university.

Prerequisite: A formal requirement that needs to be met before proceeding to further study at university.

RTO: Registered Training Organisation (RTO’s) are training providers, which deliver nationally recognised qualifications.

SACE Board: The Stage body, independent of either the Education Department or tertiary institutions, with the specific responsibility for the administration of the assessment and issuing of the SACE (formerly SSABSA).

SATAC: South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre – the body who accepts all applications to Universities or TAFE.

Scaled Score: A Stage 2 Subject Achievement Score adjusted for university entrance purposes.

Semester/Credits: Half-year (one semester – roughly 20 Weeks) SACE Stage 1 subjects are designed to occupy 60 hours of programmed school time, which equals 10 credits. A full-year subject equals 20 credits.

Stage 1: The first stage of SACE.  This will typically be completed during Year 11. The PLP is done in Year 10 at Navigator College.

Stage 2: The second stage of SACE.  This will usually be undertaken in Year 12. (The terms Stage 1 and Stage 2 are used rather than Years 11 and 12 because students may complete them over a number of years.