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VCE Exam-Setting Process Set For Improvement

19 March 2024

The process for setting Victoria’s 2024 maths and chemistry VCE examinations will change, following an independent expert panel handing down its report into errors in a small number of last year’s exams.

Minister for Education Ben Carroll welcomed the report from the panel, setting a clear expectation that the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) moves quickly to implement all the recommendations to give VCE students, teachers and assessors certainty in this year’s examinations.

A three-member panel was established following errors in the General Mathematics, Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics and Chemistry examinations last year, and a small distribution error with the Chinese Second Language exam.

Chaired by Dr John Bennett, the panel found the VCAA already has comprehensive policies and procedures for developing, reviewing and distributing external examinations – and made six recommendations for improvement.

The recommendations include increasing the representation of qualified academics on the Mathematics Examination Development Panels, steps to strengthening the examination-setting process for the Mathematics examination papers, as well as the review process for Mathematics and Chemistry exams.

Other recommendations include updating training and guidance for the VCAA’s editors and desktop publishers, updating guidance for staff at examination centres and publishing examination reports in a shorter timeframe.

All students who sat the compromised exams in 2023 were awarded a correct score for the questions, to ensure no student was disadvantaged and the assessment process remained fair, valid and reliable.

To see the Executive Summary and recommendations of the report, visit vic.gov.au/independent-review-vcaa-vce-examinationExternal Link .

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Ben Carroll

We support all the recommendations from this independent review, and will work to implement as many as possible before the 2024 examination period – so students and schools can have faith in the integrity of the VCE.”

“We thank Dr Bennett and the panel for their hard work and recommendations as we work to reduce the risk of any errors on VCE exams.”

Quotes attributable to Panel Chair Dr John Bennett

“I thank the VCAA and all those the panel spoke with for their full cooperation and constructive input to our report.

“Overall, I was impressed with the processes that the VCAA have in place for the setting of the VCE examinations. I trust the panel’s recommendations will assist the VCAA to strengthen its policies and procedures even further.”

Reviewed 19 March 2024

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