The students didn’t fail VCE, VCE failed them.
There are many flaws within our education system here in Victoria, but I will focus on one part of it. Our VCE exams.
VCE exams’ standards are set by what a group of people in the educational department thinks that we should have achieved by year 12, it is all clearly outlined and everything. But the problem is that if we get another group of people to do it, the result could be completely different from the one that we have now because they could have different expectations compared to the first group. It is unreasonable that one small group of people can set the standard for what every single student in Vitoria must do. VCE tries to rank us students with a score between 0 to 99.95, we get the average for the our four best subject and then the rest will have 10% added to the final score, what they are doing is completely unfair and shows how screwed up this system really is. They are basically comparing two completely different subject and trying to rank them in the same ladder. Which is like have three guys racing, but one have to swim and the other can run, then the last guy can use a car. Fair right? The scaling system is even worst, it’s like the officials making it fair by putting the guy 25m back, or the one with a car have to wait 5 seconds before he starts. Scaling in VCE is a process wherein certain ranking scales are adjusted for different subjects in order to make some equality amongst subjects based on their difficulty as observed by performance in those subjects, which is so flawed that i won’t even bother going into it.
The subjects and scores are even worst then the scaling system. Let’s say student A have excellent memory and a passing for Art and history, but he is bad at math and physics. Say our student A wanted to be an engineer because engineers have high employment rate and generally have a higher pay rate than historians and he also has a little passion for field in engineering that doesn’t require a lot of mathematics or physics. Most engineering courses have ENTER score requirement pretty high, from 80 to 90+, and in addition to that they ask you to have completed VCE units 3&4 in Mathematics and Physics and sometimes they require study scores of 20–25. He knows that it would be impossible for him to be able to get a score higher then 80 with two subjects that he is bad at. So instead he choose a few units which he can excel at, such as History and Biology. In addition, Math. Methods, Math. Specialist, Physics and the compulsory English. If this student obtains study scores of 25 for all of the units then his ENTER score would be roughly around 65 — insufficient for entrance. However, since this student excels at History and Biology and he can confidently attain 45 for History and say 40 for Biology and maybe 35 for English, with 20 for Math. Methods, 10 for a harder math subject Specialist Math and say 25 for Physics. He would get a score of roughly 85. Which is enough of him to enter this engineering course. Student A is now fully prepared and ready to embark on an engineering course, because the engineering course will start from the basics — like any course at university — and everything can be learned if one just follows the lectures and reading materials. It can be seen how a student can obtain the necessary ENTER to enter into an engineering course without paying much attention to the actual units that are prerequisites and relevant for engineering.
With a flawed system like this, I truly hope that this system will be changed before I reach year 12.