Pattern of Studies

Having carefully chosen pathways in the past two years, Year 12 is the year in which gateways to the world beyond school are opened. It is therefore essential that students continue on a pathway that will lead them to a career or course that they have chosen.

SACE Completion

To be awarded the SACE, students completing Stage 2 must:

  • complete 200 credits of subjects (Stage 1 and Stage 2)
  • achieve a grade of C or better in the PLP , 20 credits of literacy, 10 credits of numeracy and the Research Project at Stage 2 
  • achieve a grade of C or better in an additional 60 credits at Stage 2

All students also take part in compulsory Year 12 CRAVE Seminars, which includes the Year 12 Retreat, and they have the opportunity to hear a number of nationally acclaimed speakers. Further details of these events will be forthcoming each year.

Students should be focussing on one of the following pathways:

University entrance for students starting university in 2019 onwards

Please note that SATAC (not the SACE Board) determine the rules and processes for university entrance. The following is a brief summary from the SATAC Tertiary Entrance booklet. Further details are also available online at: To be eligible for selection into a university course students must:

  • complete the SACE
  • obtain an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR)
  • To obtain an ATAR, students must complete at least 90 credits of study (the equivalent of 4 x 20 credit Stage 2 subjects plus the Research Project)
  • comply with the university rules regarding precluded combinations and counting restrictions
  • meet any prerequisite subject requirements for the course.

*Note: Stage 2 Community Studies is not recognised as a Tertiary Admissions Subject and therefore cannot contribute to the 90 credits required for an ATAR.

Prior to choosing Stage 2 subjects students should check prerequisites and teacher recommendations, assumed knowledge and counting restrictions for their chosen course. Students choosing a university pathway should be academically able, and capable of performing well under examination conditions.

Some subjects are precluded combinations and cannot both be counted in the calculation of the ATAR or TAFE Selection Score. For example, students cannot study:

  • Literary Studies, English and Essential English 
  • General Maths and Essential Maths
  • General Maths and Maths Methods
  • General Maths and Specialist Maths
  • Essential Maths and Maths Methods
  • Essential Maths and Specialist Maths
  • CAD, Digital Photography (Communication Products) and Material Products

The above precluded combinations do not apply to students who wish to attain their SACE only.

There are also some subjects in which a counting restriction is applied to the ATAR.

For example:

  • no more than 20 credits (one subject only) can count towards an ATAR from CAD, Digital Photography, Furniture Construction, Metals Engineering and Electronics Systems
  • no more than 40 credits from the range of Music subjects can count towards an ATAR.

For further detail on any of the above information relating to university entrance, please consult the SATAC Tertiary Entrance booklet (or online

TAFE Entrance

For entry into competitive TAFE courses, requirements vary and may include any of the following:

  • satisfactory completion of SACE
  • any completed award at Certificate III level or higher
  • satisfactory achievement in the TAFE SA Assessment of Basic Skills (TABS)

Information about specific course admission requirements is available at

Where there are more eligible applicants than places available, applicants are ranked in merit order for selection. The TAFE SA Selection Score is used for this purpose. It is calculated from the scaled scores of the best 40 Stage 2 credits of Tertiary Admissions Subjects (TAS) plus the best outcome from either:

  • the score of a third 20 credit TAS or Recognised Studies
  • or a range of other combinations to achieve another 20 credits

Please note:

  • TAFE SA does not use counting restrictions.
  • There is no limit to the number of 10 credit TAS that can contribute to the TAFE SA Selection Score.

For further details refer to either the SATAC Tertiary Entrance booklet or online at


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