Have You Ever Been Wondering What The VCE is? Here’s Your Answer!

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In Victoria, Australia, the 11th and 12th years of secondary education are called the Victorian Certificate of Education or VCE. However, some schools allow students to appear for this examination in their 10th year of secondary school. VCE acts as the foundation for all future learning pursuits and thus makes up the crucial segment in the academic journey of children. This is also the stage where children prepare themselves to take on an intensely competitive world and examine a range of options for career building. Over hundred streams of learning including humanities, science, technology, language, mathematics, arts and vocational studies are offered under VCE.

The two years of VCE education lays the foundation for all future academic achievements of the child

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The majority of VCE programs consist of 4 units which can be completed across 2 years (one unit is equal to half year work or one semester). Typically, units 1 and 2 are completed in the 11th year while the units 3 and 4 are taken in the 12th year. Many schools, however, provide students with the opportunity to study the 1st and 2nd units of certain VCE studies in the 10th year and the 3rd and 4th units in the 11th year. Units 3 and 4 are required to be taken in sequence in one year while units 1 and 2 need not be taken in a sequence and need not continue into the 3rd and 4th units. Students are often advised to complete the 1st and 2nd units representing foundational courses to acquire knowledge ahead of progressing to the 3rd and 4th units. Similarly, students are also encouraged to start with VET studies at the 1st and 2nd unit level in the 11th year before progressing to the 3rd and 4th units in the 12th year.

While 20 to 24 units constitute the general norm for graduation with VCE, at the minimum students are required to complete 16 units satisfactorily. Regardless of the number of units completed, students must complete at least 3 units from English group to qualify for graduation. These 3 are:-

  • Foundation English (Unit 1 and 2)
  • English (Units 1-4)
  • English as additional language (Unit 3 n 4)
  • English Language (Units 1 to 4)
  • Literature (Unit 1 to 4)

Of this, at least one English unit must be unit 3 or 4

Satisfactory completion of unit 3 as well as unit 4 sequences is also essential. While the students are at liberty to draw any sequence from VET, only some of them will qualify for study score under VCE VET unit will qualify for the ATAR needed for university entrance and other sequences will be counted for ATAR via an increment. Some more restrictions on combining certain VET and VCE studies also apply affecting the ATAR calculation for students. To qualify under ATAR, students should complete 4 sequences of Unit 3 and 4 which should include one such sequence from English group.

VCE assessment


Based on the course work students are assessed under Unit 1 and 2 of VCE studies and awarded ‘satisfactory completion’ when all requirements under each unit are met. Formal graded assessments are employed for the Unit 3 and 4 studies and will include school-based coursework as well as one examination by VCAA. Assessments are internal as well as external. For unit 1 and 2, the assessment is internal while it would be a combination of internal and external for units 3 and 4. Students who are taking up units 3 and 4 should also take up the GAT test that is integral to the external assessment under VCE. It is often a great idea to get professional help to prepare for this assessment such as from tutoring schools or private tutors. For example, VCE tutors at Edu-Kingdom College have years of experience and skills behind them and are capable of preparing you in the best possible way for this hurdle, with minimal stress on your part.

VCE Study Designs and resources

VCE offers over 100 study designs, and a detailed list of options can be accessed here.

VCE Awards

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The VCE awards cover excellence in different streams of learning with the exception of ‘season of excellence’ which is an annual festival involving work that is created by the VCE students in design, technology, cinematic and multimedia, visual as well as performing arts. Details of the other awards offered can be found here.

The core of VCE studies is to prepare children to explore various study streams and choose those that align with their personal preferences and career objectives. The amount of focus and effort that students put in at this stage will significantly impact how their career objectives shape up when they are out in the cold to face a highly competitive world.

How a psychologist can help the growing problem of depression and anxiety in the younger generation

Today’s generation, or what most of us call as ‘generation next’ live in an environment of fierce competition to succeed in life. Businesses have dramatically changed the way they function, and the digital world had made most businesses mobile, rather than the old ways when people were more mobile and businesses stayed where they were. To tune into the modern day needs of employers, our youngsters are expected to be more well-rounded individuals rather than being specialists in any one chosen area. In turn, this has also impacted methods of knowledge acquisition and knowledge management.

Balanced mind comes only with age

As can be expected, in a race, not everyone wins. There can be more attempts made, but some people still fail to make it to the goal post. Alongside the disillusionment caused by failure to succeed in the rat race, there are social issues which would further impact the young minds. Experience from hard lessons that life teaches across decades will aid the elders to confront problems with a balanced mind. However, youngsters lack this all-important lesson and end up with anxiety and depression, particularly when their efforts fail to deliver the desired results.

Youngsters should be trained to share their concern with elders

What is depression? These feelings of depression, anxiety or sadness are not rare as one would want to believe. Many people and more so, the youngsters conceal them burning continuously inside. When these feelings become overbearing, the mind refuses to look at the positive side of life. For instance, if someone could not make it pursue medical education, he/she can explore the world of pharmaceuticals. Within the world of medicine, there are any number of branches that are as good as or better than a surgeon or a specialist doctor. Unfortunately, mental abilities fail to flourish in a depressed state.

Human mind can be programmed to overcome stress and anxiety

In the first place, youngsters must be encouraged to understand that anxiety and depression are akin to the seasons. Just like the season does change, depression and anxiety will bloom and eventually wilt. But, with appropriate guidance and help from elders or psychologists, the human mind can be trained to conquer depression, anxiety, sadness or other associated ills.
To overcome the problem of anxiety, depression or grief in the youngsters, they must be encouraged to accept in the first place, that they do have a problem and need help to overcome the problem. Although elders at home can play a stellar role in observing subtle changes in the behavioural pattern of the youngsters, professional help such as from a psychologist can often be significantly more beneficial. Psychologists can use their specific education and training to fathom the problem through an array of methods. The probing techniques employed by them may not be available to many of the elders.

Teenagers experience sporadic change in feelings and mood swings

For teenagers still in school/college, an occasional change in feelings with continuing stress can add up quickly even before any symptoms of depression or anxiety set in. It is happening inside, but no visible expression helps others to take note. There are many simple mechanisms to prevent stress from overpowering the individual. But, as we said earlier, the person must first admit that he/she has a problem. Getting more socially engaged, participating in extracurricular activities, deep breathing exercises, volunteering, theatre are some of these measures that can potentially bring beneficial outcomes pretty quickly.

Teenagers should be more vocal within the family

Another factor for teenage depression/anxiety is teenagers distancing themselves from parents and the rest of the household. When parents come back from work, the children are gone for tuitions or some other outdoor activities, etc. By the time they return home, parents are exhausted and ready to hit the bed. This cycle goes on and even on holidays, children tend to avoid the company of parents consciously. This is especially true with kids who do have a problem but somehow do not want to take their parents into confidence.

The value of togetherness

Have you ever pondered why some households insist on every member eating their meal together? Instead of each carrying his/her plate to a corner or crouch before the Television, if all members assemble around a table, everyone gets to see each other several times across the meal time. As parents, don’t you think, this is the best opportunity to take stock of the mood swings in our kids. You simply have to lay down a rule that every member should be present at dinner time and be the first to follow that both in letter and spirit.

Remember that with today’s fast-paced lifestyle, stress and anxiety have kind of become integral parts of life. You are never alone, and psychologists can be of tremendous help because they know how to get to the fathom.