How are SACE examinations run?

For many SACE subjects, exams are used to test your knowledge of all the information you have learned in the past year. SACE exams can be in multiple formats, whether that be online or on paper.

4 months ago   •   4 min read

By KIS Academics
Photo by Green Chameleon / Unsplash

For many SACE subjects, exams are used to test your knowledge of all the
information you have learned in the past year. SACE exams can be in multiple
formats, whether that be online or on paper. For subjects including maths and
physics, you can expect a paper exam. For subjects such as biology and
psychology, you can expect an online exam. In this article, we will be diving into what to expect on exam day and how to prepare for it.


So where can I find my exam information?

The SACE website is your go-to for finding all your exam information. If you search for your subject, you should be able to find a link to a page explaining which format your exam will be in, and how long you will have to complete it. If you still have any questions, you should ask your subject teacher or SACE school coordinator. Having a solid understanding of what to expect will make it much easier to relax on the day, trust me!


But what if I have to arrange special provisions?

If you have to arrange special provisions, you should first contact your school. You
should speak to your subject teacher, school SACE coordinator or school counsellor.
Being specific about your needs will enable your school to determine the best special provision available to you. These provisions may vary from subject to subject depending on the assessments you have to complete in each. You will then need to gather evidence, including results, reports, or teacher observations. Your school will then make a decision based on these events and notify SACE so that you can complete the exam according to your special provisions.


Where can I find past exams and practice questions?

The best way to prepare for exams is to do as many practice questions as possible.
Each subject has a link to last year's exam on the SACE website so you can get a
grasp of how the exam will work, especially if yours is online. Despite this, it is
important to keep in mind that the SACE board does not release standard answers
for these past exams. However, SATAC put together a book containing a tonne of
practice questions from past papers which I highly recommend getting a hold of.
These can be purchased online on their website. These books are really useful for
subjects such as biology, chemistry, maths and physics and they do provide
recommended answers. If you need more targeted exam preparation, you can find
your best local tutor at: https://kisacademics.com/find-a-tutor

Before your exam, your teacher should organise a trial exam where you will most likely complete last year's subject exam so that you can get used to how the exam will work.


What should I expect on the big day?

Your teacher should notify you of the exam start time and what time to arrive at the exam location before the day. As you walk in, the tables should be separated (just like good old subject tests!) and you should have a designated spot to sit with your SACE identification number on the desk. If your exam is to be completed on paper, your papers should be handed out by the exam facilitator. If your exam is online, make sure you bring a charged device to compete it on. Typically, your school will install the SACE online exam browser onto your school’s device. If you are unsure about this, seek guidance from your SACE school coordinator. Keep in mind that the exam facilitator will not be your subject teacher as they are not allowed in the exam room. In the unlikely case of an emergency, your exam facilitator will direct you to the nearest exit and your exam will cease, do not continue doing the exam!


So how does exam moderation work?

Once the exam has been completed by everyone in the subject, the SACE board will
moderate and mark each exam. Your exam will be looked at by more than one
moderator. This ensures that each exam is marked relatively and correctly among all students. No one exam will be marked more harshly than another. Firstly, one
moderator will look at your answers and mark them according to the mark scheme.
Once this process is completed, another moderator will look at your answers and
mark your exam. If there is a large disagreement between the two marks, a third
moderator will look at your exam until a consensus is made.


How will I be notified of my results?

You will be able to find out your exam results the day your ATAR is released.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to find out how you scored on each question, but rather, you will receive a grade mark solely under your subject grade. You will later be sent your exam results on paper in the post with your ATAR.


But what do I do if I encounter a big issue during my exam?

If you run into an issue while completing your exam, you should raise your hand
asap to get the attention of the exam facilitator and seek guidance from them. Things can go wrong during the exam, especially when it's completed on a device. As SACE are well aware of this, they have set your timer on the SACE online browser to pause at a technical issue so that everyone in the room has an equal amount of time to complete the exam. You cannot get your answers checked by the exam facilitator but they are allowed to read out the questions. They are there to help you and make exam day run as smoothly as possible!


Written by KIS Academics Tutor for SACE English, Biology and Psychology,
Charlotte Kenning. Charlotte is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Speech Pathology at Flinders University and has received stellar reviews from her past KIS Academics students. You can view Charlotte's profile here and request her as a tutor.

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