At KIS, our mission is to help you understand the inner workings of VCE and all its elusive components. Subject scaling is one of those confusing constituents that is often not well understood, which is why we’re breaking it down for you today! If you want to have a read of how scaling operates under the VCE system, check out our blog that breaks down the ATAR. You can also read our 2019 Scaling Report, which explains how to analyse the scaling report.
Here is the scaling for the most popular subjects of VCE for 2020:
What subject(s) scaled up the most in 2020?
Unsurprisingly, Latin was the subject that scaled up the most in 2020, as it tends to do in most years. If you scored a 35 in Latin in 2020, that would have turned into a 50 study score after scaling. A 30 in Latin would have gotten you 47 points added to your aggregate. It’s not an easy subject, and doesn’t have a huge number of candidates each year, which all contribute to how highly it scaled!
What subject(s) scaled down the most in 2020?
In 2020, Industry and Enterprise and Product Design and Technology both scaled down by 8 if you scored a 30, meaning that your scaled score would have dropped to a 22. Similarly, a score of 35 would have scaled down by 7 to a 28!
How do your subjects compare?
In 2020, the scaling of English was consistent with other years, with a score of 30 scaling down to 28. In order to have an unaffected study score in English, you pretty much had to get a 45 or above!
Compared to English, English Language scaled up, but only by a bit. A raw score of 30 would have been bumped up to a 32, and a 35 into a 38.
Literature scaling was extremely similar to that of English Language in 2020, scaling up by 2 for scores between 30-40.
As per usual, Further Mathematics was the only maths subject to be scaled down. This is to ensure that there is no disadvantage for students doing more difficult mathematics subjects (which you can read about here). If you scored a 30 in Further, this would have been scaled down to 27, unfortunately. Similarly, a 35 would have scaled down to 33.
Mathematical Methods generally scales up by a decent 4-5 points every year. 2020 was no different, bringing a 30 up to a 34. If you scored a raw 35 or 40, these both scaled up by 5!
As indicated by its name, Specialist Mathematics is the most difficult VCE mathematics subject, and its scaling is reflected by this! You’d be pretty happy getting a 30 bumped up to 41, or your 35 becoming a pretty 47. In fact, a 40 would have pushed you over the raw marks to get you to a whopping 51. If you stumbled upon a raw 50 in Spesh, you’ll be deservingly rewarded with a 55 scaled score, which I don’t think anyone would be complaining about!
Biology traditionally has never been the most high-scaling science subject, and last year was no different. If you happened to score a 30, this would have disappointingly stayed at 30. From 35 onwards, you were pretty much expected to scale up by 1.
Like in 2019, Chemistry was also scaled up by 4 points in 2020. Not much else to report here!
In 2020, Physics scaled up by 1-2 points. From a 30 onwards, you could pretty much expect that your score would have been bumped up by 2!
Unfortunately, Legal Studies was a subject that tended to either scale down by 2 or stay the same. For the inspiring lawyers out there, you needed to score a raw 40 in order to have your score unchanged!
Physical Education scaled down by an average of 2-3 scores in 2020. A raw score of 30 became a 27, whilst a score of 35 brought you down to a 33.
Health and Human Development
If you were a HHD student in 2020, you would’ve found that your score was scaled down by around 3-4 points, so if you scored a 30, this would’ve been bumped down to 26.