Runcorn State High School Year 11 students Jemimah Hunt, 16, Natalija Bradic 16, and Jerry Zhu, 15, will be part of the first group of Queensland students to sit external exams in almost 50 years. Picture: Adam Head
Runcorn State High School Year 11 students Jemimah Hunt, 16, Natalija Bradic 16, and Jerry Zhu, 15, will be part of the first group of Queensland students to sit external exams in almost 50 years. Picture: Adam Head

First look at new Year 12 exams

QUEENSLAND students will this weekend get a first glimpse at what their Year 12 external exams will look like from next year.

Sample exam papers for more than 50 senior subjects have been revealed by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA), complete with questions and answers.

From 2020 the state's current system including OP scores will be scrapped in favour of a new Queensland Certificate of Education system.

It will mean next year's crop of Year 12 students will be the first in almost 50 years to sit subject-based external exams, and will receive an ATAR rather than an OP.

Education Minister Grace Grace said students sitting external exams was a "major change for Queensland", and a lot of effort was being put in to ensure schools were ready.

Education Minister Grace Grace described the new QCE system as a “major change” for the state. Picture: Annette Dew
Education Minister Grace Grace described the new QCE system as a “major change” for the state. Picture: Annette Dew

"The public release of sample exam papers is the latest milestone in our preparation effort," Ms Grace said.

"The samples have the same purpose as past exam papers used in states such as New South Wales and Victoria. They are about helping schools and students prepare for the real thing.

"Samples familiarise students with the type of questions that might be asked and the expected length of responses.

"I'm confident that teachers and students have all the resources and support they need to thrive in the new QCE system."

For the majority of subjects, the external exams will contribute 25 per cent of a student's final result.

The exceptions are maths and science subjects, with exams contributing 50 per cent.

Runcorn State High School is one of hundreds of schools across the state preparing their Year 11 students, who have begun the new QCE system this year, through the change.

"Preparation is key to any exam and the more we can support our students in the lead up to their senior assessments, the more ready they will be to perform at their best," Principal Jo Soothill said.

"We are all grateful to be getting a head start on seeing what the new system looks like."

Runcorn State High School Year 11 students Jemimah Hunt, 16, Natalija Bradic 16, and Jerry Zhu, 15, will be part of the first group of Queensland students to sit external exams in almost 50 years. Picture: Adam Head
Runcorn State High School Year 11 students Jemimah Hunt, 16, Natalija Bradic 16, and Jerry Zhu, 15, will be part of the first group of Queensland students to sit external exams in almost 50 years. Picture: Adam Head

QCAA chief executive Chris Rider said the organisation had been working closely with its education partners to ensure schools were ready to implement the new QCE system from the beginning of this year.

"We continue to hold regular statewide forums for principals and curriculum leaders," he said.

"A further round of forums for heads of departments is on now.

"The sample exam papers are among the topics being discussed there."

Mr Rider also said teachers had access to online training modules as well as hundreds of teaching resources in relation to the new system.



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