What is Secondary Education in Australia?


High school students studying a secondary education are thinking about going to university after year 12.


Australian secondary education provides excellent pathways to tertiary education with a high-quality learning experience.


In Australia, students build a broad knowledge base because of the balanced cultural and social life, open learning environment and superior academic education.


If you are planning to complete your secondary education overseas, then Australia is the perfect destination. Read this post to learn more about the secondary education system in Australia.  



1. Secondary Education System in Australia


Both non-government and government providers deliver secondary education in Australia. It is available for a period of five to six years, depending on a particular state or territory and the length of primary education. Students who finish their secondary education in Australia have altogether completed a total of twelve years of primary and secondary school education.


The secondary school in Australia begins in year 6 or 7 and consists of two study levels:


  • Secondary school (lasts 3 to 4 years - Years 7 to 10 or 8 to 10)

  • Senior secondary school (lasts for 2 years - Year 11 and Year 12)


Secondary School (Years 7 to 10) - Secondary school students study subjects that improve their understanding of economic, civil and social issues, along with promoting well-being and personal health. At this study level, students learn subjects like economics, mathematics, civics, English, science, business, civics and geography.


The grading system for secondary school students is similar to that of primary school students. It follows a percentage scale versus letter grades system. The registration is also similar to primary school, students need to submit their documentation and be a part of the pre-enrollment interview with the institute they wish to apply.


Senior Secondary School (Years 11 and 12) - It prepares students for future study and employment. At this level, students continue their study in History, mathematics, science, geography and English. It gives students a lot of freedom in choosing the subjects and the level of difficulty of their curriculum. Also, they can add work study as part of their education and even move to vocational training.


The grading system in senior secondary education is similar to grading in previous years. It also follows a grade percentage versus letter grades system. Admission process for Years 11 and 12 requires filling an enrollment form and submission of documents such as passports, visas, birth certificate and address proof. In addition, students are asked to give a pre-enrollment interview and meet administration members before they start their studies.


On the successful completion of Year 12, students get a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. In Australia, each territory and state have different names for this certificate, but they all denote the same level of education. Let’s have a look at the names given to the Year 12 qualification by each state and territory of Australia:


State/Territory Name of Year 12 Certificate
  • Tasmanian Certificate of Education
  • Victorian Certificate of Education
  • Queensland Certificate of Education
Western Australia
  • Western Australian Certificate of Education
South Australia
  • South Australian Certificate of Education
New South Wales
  • Higher School Certificate
Northern Territory
  • Northern Territory Certificate of Education
Australian Capital Territory
  • ACT Senior Secondary Certificate


Some schools in Australia also provide international award programs like the International Baccalaureate (IB) as a substitute for the Year 12 school-leaving certificate. You can visit the International Baccalaureate organisation to get more information. 



2. Teaching and Assessment Methods


There are a variety of teaching and assessment methods used in Australian schools. Teaching methods include e-learning, teacher-directed learning, presentations, interactive classrooms, group projects, visual presentations and student research.


Assessment methods in schools evaluate student outcomes. These may involve group assignments, individual research projects, visual and oral presentations, vodcast, podcast and powerpoint presentations, including other traditional methods like class assignments and tests. National and state testing programs make sure that education standards are met and maintained.



3. Entry Requirements


The entry requirement for secondary education Australia varies, depending on schools and state or territory you’ll be studying in. The application process considers your academic performance, extracurricular achievements, sporting abilities and more.  



4. Average Secondary Education Costs


The average secondary school tuition fees for international students may range between AUD$9,000 to $11,000 and may reach up to AUD$30,000 for an elite private school. The tuition fees may include the following service.


  • Pre-departure information

  • School placement and application processing

  • Welcome and orientation

  • School term and semester reports

  • English language support

  • Student support services including personal and career counselling


It’s important to note that tuition fees may vary depending on the school you choose.


All in all, the Australian school system is one of the best in the world. Regardless of which school you choose, you’ll surely receive an excellent education.



Useful Topics to Explore:

⇒ Types of Education in Australia
⇒ Public and Private High Schools in Australia
⇒ Enligsh Language Courses Overview (ELICOS)
⇒ MBA and Management Education in Australia 
⇒ Vocational Education & Training Courses (VET)
⇒ Technical and Further Education (TAFE)
⇒ Higher Education - Undergraduate Level
⇒ Higher Education - Postgraduate Level
⇒ Foundation Courses
⇒ Study Abroad & Student Exchange
⇒ Online & Distance Education

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