Sample questions are now available for teachers, students and their families to view ahead of the new-look General Achievement Test (GAT) to be held this year as part of the Victorian Government’s reform of the VCE and VCAL system.
Minister for Education James Merlino released example questions for the new Part A of the reformed GAT, which will explicitly report students’ literacy and numeracy scores against new standards to bring the Victorian GAT in line with similar tests in other states and territories.
Students will now also receive information about whether they have demonstrated literacy and numeracy skills expected of someone completing secondary school – giving another indication of their readiness to move onto further education, training or employment.
While the new standards will be reported on students’ VCE or VCAL certificates, they will not contribute to a student’s ATAR unless the GAT is required to calculate a score – for example, if a student requires a Derived Examination Score after missing an exam due to illness.
The GAT, which this year will be held on Wednesday 7 September, will be split into two sections: Section A will assess literacy and numeracy skills; and Section B will look similar to the old GAT content: assessing skills in English, maths, science, technology, the arts and humanities – with an increased focus on critical and creative thinking skills.
Section A will include 15 minutes reading time and two hours writing time, with students asked to respond to one writing task with two parts, 50 numeracy multiple-choice questions, and 50 reading multiple-choice questions.
Section B will comprise 15 minutes reading time and 90 minutes writing time, and students will respond to another extended writing task; 25 maths, science, and technology multiple-choice questions; and 25 arts and humanities multiple-choice questions.
All students enrolled in one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3–4 sequence are required to sit Sections A and B of the GAT – and for the first time, Senior VCAL students will sit the GAT – required to complete Section A only.
As in all previous years, no special study will be required for the GAT. Past study of subjects like English, maths, science and history prepares students for the test by building their general knowledge and skills in writing, numeracy and reasoning.
The change comes as Victoria prepares to transition to a new integrated senior secondary certificate from 2023, which will bring together VCE and VCAL within the VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate options.
The new certificates will give all students better support and flexibility to study what they want, alongside the key academic skills to prepare them for the jobs of the future, further education or training.
Source: Vic Government