Victoria’s Senior Secondary Students Sit New GAT

06 September 2022

More than 89,000 senior secondary students are expected to undertake the redeveloped General Achievement Test (GAT) today, including all Senior Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) students expected to sit it for the first time.

The revised GAT will now assess a student’s literacy and numeracy skills against new standards, in addition to its important role in quality assuring Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) assessments.

The GAT is now split into two sections: Section A will assess literacy and numeracy skills; and Section B will assess skills in English, mathematics, science, technology, the arts and humanities, with an increased focus on critical and creative thinking skills.

The changes to the GAT are part of major reforms to Victoria’s senior secondary education system that will ensure every Victorian student has access to high-quality senior secondary pathways across the state.

The new standards will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their literacy and numeracy skills, giving them more evidence to show they are work ready with the skills to undertake further education or training, if they choose.

While the new standards will be reported on students’ VCE or VCAL certificates, they will not contribute to a student’s ATAR unless the GAT is required to calculate a score – for example, if a student requires a Derived Examination Score after missing an exam due to illness.

As in all previous years, no special study is required for the GAT. Past study English, mathematics, science and history prepares students for the test by building their knowledge and skills in writing, numeracy and reasoning.

The redeveloped GAT follows a comprehensive review conducted by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, and will see Victoria join other jurisdictions who already incorporate literacy and numeracy standards as part of their senior secondary reporting.

The broader reforms to Victoria’s senior secondary education system will bring together the best of the VCE and VCAL with the introduction of the VCE Vocational Major, a new program replacing Senior VCAL, and the Victorian Pathways Certificate, a new program replacing Intermediate VCAL, from 2023.

The new certificates will give all students better support and flexibility to study what they want, alongside the key academic skills to prepare them for the jobs of the future, further education or training. GAT results will be reported on a student’s GAT Statement of Results, which will be issued as part of the student results package in December.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Natalie Hutchins

The literacy and numeracy skills of students will be assessed for the first time as part of the GAT – which is another important reform to improve learning outcomes for young Victorians.”

“I want to thank all schools and educators who have worked hard to make sure their students can to participate in today’s test – which is just another way we’re supporting students to prove they’re job-ready after finishing school.”

Quote attributable to Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority CEO Stephen Gniel

“The GAT is an important test that ensures VCE assessments are fairly and accurately assessed across the state. Now, with the introduction of the literacy and numeracy skills assessment, it will play an even more important role for more senior secondary students across VCE and VCAL.”

Reviewed 06 September 2022

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