The Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) is the highest educational award issued to senior secondary students upon successful completion of their Year 11 and Year 12.
Administered by the Tasmanian Assessments, Standard and Certification body (TASC), the TCE is awarded to all Tasmanian students who have demonstrated a prescribed level of education and training standard as declared by TASC.
At any point in your lifetime, you are allowed to achieve the TCE award by completing the necessary training and education or by undertaking the Everyday Adult Standards safety Net tests. Besides, TCE subjects are typically completed during the final years of a student’s higher secondary education.
What is TCEA and how is it Different from TCE?
The distinction between these denotations is merely in their definition.
TCE, as you know is an award given to ‘all’ students who have succinctly demonstrated higher academic capabilities in their final year examinations, whereas TCEA or Tasmanian Certificate of Educational Achievement is awarded to students whose ‘personal circumstances’ have a direct impact on their learning and training.
The TCEA certificate supports those students with ‘disabilities’ by either providing additional learning options or by facilitating adjustment factors. The TCEA is specifically designed to overcome any limitations of the TCE and other Qualification Certificates that may not adequately account for a student’s achievements in the final schooling years.
In this article, however, we shall target the TCE requirements, TASC exam process and TCE points to ATAR conversion. Let’s jump straight to it!
In order to be eligible for a TCE qualification award, students are required to meet the following TCE defined standards. Your school can help you plan a program of study for you to achieve the TCE. The TCE requirements can be met in different ways and in different settings:
- Participation and Achievement Standard: Achieve 120 credit points with at least 80 credit values in studies at Level 2 and higher.
- Everyday Adult Standards: Reading, Writing and Communication (in English studies), Mathematics, use of computers and internet.
The best way to achieve a good score in your TCE subjects is to seek help from your school teachers or from external mentors on how to maximise the available study resources. Their guidance and approach can help you devise a suitable study plan to meet the requirements under different methods and simulations
What is the TCE Participation and Achievement Standard?
Tasmanian students have to achieve a predefined number of credits to fulfil the ‘participation and Achievement Standard’ and this can be completed by undertaking a diverse set of courses. You are given the choice to enrol in:
- TASC accredited courses
- Vocational education and training (VET) courses
- Nationally recognized or interstate assessed languages
- Recognised formal learning
- UTAS’s University Connections Program and High Achiever Program (for eligible students only)
A combination of the above course types can help design your program of study to finally obtain the TASC Qualifications and Certificates which includes - Tasmanian Qualifications Certificate and Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE).
What is Meant by TASC Accredited Course?
TASC accredited courses include different core subjects with a range of learning options under each subject domain, personally authorised by TASC for students in Years 11 and 12.
From 2022 onwards, five new senior secondary courses have been accredited by TASC as a part of the TCE curriculum. These courses include: Science, Transdisciplinary Science, Engineering Design, Civics and Citizenship, and Enterprise at Work.
TCE: Everyday Adult Standards
The TCE subjects have an underlying purpose to develop core skills, knowledge and the right mindset in students to function in an everyday adult work-life setting. The ‘Everyday Adult Standards’ achievement is, hence, a mandatory requisite for Tasmanian students to complete to ensure they are well-prepared for a future career or degree outside school.
How can a student demonstrate the minimum standard for this achievement?
Well, the following factors can be implemented to meet all the requirements of this prerequisite:
- Successful completion of a course that mainly includes this standard
- Undertaking and passing an Everyday Adult Standard safety net test
- Receiving recognition of use of computers and the internet. This requirement is a part of the TCE standards - the Participation and Achievement Standard, Everyday Adult Standard: Reading, Writing and Communication (in English) and Everyday Adult Standard: Mathematics
What are the TASC Subjects?
The TASC authorised subjects or courses are made up of approximately 173 courses, giving students a variety of learning opportunities in each subject domain. For example, a student opting to study English can choose at least 14 courses, each categorised under levels of complexity (Level 1 - 4, where 4 is the highest on the scale), whereas those choosing ‘Humanities and Social Sciences’ can select from 33 course offerings.
Each course that you undertake and complete, you receive a credit point and TASC assigns a degree of complexity, size value and robustness to these courses, otherwise known as ‘Course Characteristics’ that contribute towards your ATAR calculation.
Levels of Complexity
The levels of complexity are assigned by TASC to describe how hard or demanding a course can be for students. The complexity level ranges from Level 1 - Level 4, and Levels 3 and 4 courses are the primary contributors to deriving your ATAR.
Levels 3 and 4 are designed to provide broad factual and practical knowledge as well as specialised skills to undertake further learning/employment opportunities. The courses specific to these levels of complexity prepare students to become self-guided learners who can apply their learned knowledge, judgement and autonomy to form logical decisions in the long-run.
Size Value and Design
Size value indicates how big a specific course is or in other words, the amount of class time the majority of students require to finish the course and obtain the credit points.
The size value is based on the nature of the content and measurable outcomes of the course, amount of information covered as well as its position in comparison to other TASC courses.
Each course is assigned a 5, 10 or 15 hours of design time, which basically means 1 size value is equal to 10 hours of prescribed, not actual delivery time.
NOTE: The size value is determined by the ‘majority’ of students and their duration to finish a course, however, it may not apply to individual students who will have different learning needs and hours to complete the course upto the required standard.
To meet the ‘Participation and Achievement’ standard for the TCE recognition, you will need to gain 120 credit points in education and training (at the deemed levels of complexity), with 80 credits and more in studies rated at complexity level 2 and above.
Robustness of the Course
The robustness or the quality of TASC courses range on a scale from Level 1 - 5, where Level 5 defines the highest level of robustness.
This five-grade scale is used to reflect the degree of validity and reliability of the TCE results achieved by students in a TASC course.
TASC Exams and Assessments
Tasmanian schools encourage students to undertake external assessments as part of their TASC Level 3 and Level 4 courses.
Organised by TASC, these external assessments can be delivered in any format, including written, oral, practical, a folio submission or a final year project.
The 2022 TCE exam timetable is yet to be finalised and released to students.
How to Prepare for TCE Exams?
Your high school is an exciting part of your school life as you close this part of your chapter to begin the journey of tertiary education into medicine or dentistry. It is important to be on top of your TASC course curriculum and to maximise on the available study resources as well as taking advice from your teachers or other reliable mentors with the right background knowledge.
Our free study materials give you deeper insights into how juggling between high school and UCAT can be fairly simple with the right preparation plan in place.
But, most importantly, you have to take up initiative and familiarise yourself with the up-to-the-minute information on the TASC exam format, exam timetable and the marking scheme to receive your ATAR.
Finally, make correct use of previous year TCE exam papers for all current TASC courses. You also get access to ‘Supporting documents including external assessment material’ to have a streamlined plan of attack to achieve a high score in all selected subjects. As TASC courses are accredited for a give-year period, you receive up to 5 sample papers to implement your trial-and-tested measures.
TCE to ATAR Scaling
ATAR or the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank is an accurate measurement of your overall academic achievement in a given academic year in relation to your peers’ academic performance.
Preparing for university entrance usually involves looking into your ATAR and whether or not it meets the expected threshold set by a specific university.
In general, universities that offer undergraduate medicine take into account various factors when making their decision on offering places to deserving students:
- Completion of pre-requisite subjects
- Performance in UCAT and/or in other aptitude tests
- Relevant work experience and other educational qualifications
- A minimum ATAR rank depending upon individual university requirements
As you can see, ATAR is a crucial part of tertiary education admissions and in Tasmania, University of Tasmania (UTAS) is responsible for calculating the ATAR. To be eligible for an ATAR in Tasmania, you must complete two years of post-Year 10 studies and during these years, you must:
- Meet the minimum standards to achieve TCE
- Achieve at least a Satisfactory Achievement or higher in at least 4 TASC Level 3 or 4 courses (a minimum of 60 TCE credit values)
- For the previous achievement, ensure that at least 3 of these courses are completed in your final year (45 TCE credit points).
How is Your ATAR Scaled?
You will receive a course score upon completing one TASC Level 3 and Level 4, selected High Achiever Program and University Connections Program courses.
Course scores are calculated through the method of ‘scaling’. These course scores are then used at the end of your Year 12 to calculate what they call the Tertiary Entrance Score (TES).
The TES is converted to derive your ATAR. Basically, the TES is a measure of your academic record in Years 11 and 12 and the higher your TE score, higher your ATAR as well. Remember that your ATAR will depend on how your TE score compares with the secured TE scores by your peers.
We have now come to the end of this article and we hope that this guide was filled with relevant information for you to commence your tertiary education.
If you have any questions or doubts regarding the medical pathway after Year 12, our UCAT mentors are ready to lend a helping hand and can jump on a quick one-on-one chat at your convenience, free of charge.
For those aiming to pursue undergraduate medicine, we have our UCAT strategy weekend program designed to help high school students, like yourself, to get a head start in your UCAT study.