What is Secondary Education (High School) in Australia?


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


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


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


Australia is the perfect destination if you are a student considering completing your secondary education overseas. Read this post to learn more about the secondary education system in Australia.



1. Secondary Education System (High School) in Australia


Both non-government and government providers deliver secondary education in Australia. It is available for five to six years, depending on the state or territory and the length of primary education.


Students who finish their secondary education in Australia have completed twelve years of primary and secondary school education. 


Secondary school (High 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 (High School) students study subjects that improve their understanding of economic, civil and social issues and promote well-being and personal health.


Students learn subjects like economics, mathematics, civics, English, sciencebusiness, civics and geography at this study level. 


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 identical to primary school.


Students need to submit their documentation and be a part of the pre-enrollment interview with the institute if they wish to apply.



Senior Secondary School - (Years 11 and 12)


The senior secondary school prepares students for future study and employment. Students continue studying history, mathematics, science, geography and English at this level.


It gives students a lot of freedom in choosing the subjects and the difficulty level 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. The admission process for Years 11 and 12 requires filling out an enrollment form and submitting documents such as passports, visas, birth certificates and address proof.


In addition, students are asked to give a pre-enrollment interview and meet administration members before they start their studies. 


Upon completing Year 12, students get a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. In Australia, each territory and state have different names for this certificate. Still, 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, vodcasts, podcasts and PowerPoint presentations, including other traditional methods like class assignments and tests.


National and state testing programs ensure that education standards are met and maintained. 



3. Entry Requirements


The entry requirement for secondary education in Australia varies, depending on the 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 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. 


Overall, the Australian school system is one of the best in the world. You’ll receive an excellent education regardless of which school you choose. 


Useful Topics to Explore:

⇒ Types of Education in Australia
⇒ Public and Private High Schools in Australia
⇒ Australian Grading System Explained: A Complete Guide
⇒ Top 14 Courses That Can Lead to PR in Australia 
⇒ Top 18 Ways To Make Money Online In Australia
⇒ Top 24 + Student Discounts in Australia
⇒ Higher Education - Undergraduate Level
⇒ Higher Education - Postgraduate Level
⇒ Foundation Courses
⇒ Study Abroad & Student Exchange
⇒ Online & Distance Education

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