WACE Requirements and VET Qualifications

Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) requirements

Achievement of a WACE signifies that a student has successfully met the requirements for breadth and depth, the achievement standard, and the literacy and numeracy standard in their senior secondary schooling.

Breadth and depth

  • Completion of a minimum of 10 year long courses (20 units) or the equivalent with a VET qualification or endorsed program. This requirement must include at least:
    • five courses (10 units) or the equivalent at Year 12
    • one Year 11 English course (two units) and one Year 12 English course (pair of units)
    • one course completed in Year 12 from each of List A and List B

Achievement standard 

  • Achievement of at least seven C grades or higher (or equivalent) in Year 11 and 12 with a minimum of three C grades or equivalent at Year 12
  • Completion of at least four Year 12 ATAR courses and/or completion of a Certificate II (or higher) VET qualification

Literacy and numeracy standard

  • Completion of at least two English courses post Year 10 and studied over at least two years
  • Demonstration of the minimum standard of literacy and numeracy either through the Online Numeracy and Literacy Assessment (OLNA) or by achieving Band 8 or above in Year 9 NAPLAN

Explanatory notes relating to WACE requirements:

  1. Of the 10 year long courses required for a WACE, up to a maximum of two Year 11 courses and two Year 12 courses may be substituted by completed VET qualifications and/or endorsed programs and indirectly contribute to the achievement standard.
  2. A grade of A, B, C, D or E is assigned when a course is completed. For a VET Qualification to be completed all units within the certificate must be deemed competent. 
  3. Students enrolled in a Year 12 ATAR course must sit the external examination in that course and make a genuine attempt.
  4. Year 12 students enrolled in a Year 12 General or Foundation course must sit the Externally Set Task (EST) in that course. 
  5. Students can achieve credit towards the WACE for a maximum of two courses (four units) in a subject. These two courses may be from a combination of ATAR, General or Foundation courses.

Information on Courses and Assessment

It is advisable to refer to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority website for detailed information on senior school courses, their structure and manner of assessment. The function of the School Curriculum and Standards Authority is to set and monitor educational standards in Western Australia by providing:

  • Curriculum policy and guidelines for Kindergarten to Year 12 schooling
  • An equitable and rigorous student assessment and examination system for the senior secondary years  
  • Certification of student achievement in senior secondary schooling

For further information on senior secondary schooling, please follow this link to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority.