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The Senior External Examination consists of 21 individual subject examinations provided across Queensland in October and November each year. Results are based solely on examination performance. Any class tests or assignments completed during the year will not contribute to results. This differs from the system of externally moderated school-based assessment in place in Queensland secondary schools.

The Senior External Examination is for:

  • Year 12 students who are enrolled in a Queensland secondary school and unable to study particular  subjects at their school because the subjects are not taught or there is a timetable clash. These students may sit a maximum of 2 subjects in the Year 12 year of schooling
  • adult students (Queensland residents) less than 17 years of age who have not completed Year 12 and do not hold a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or Senior Statement. These students may sit a maximum of 3 subjects in 1 calendar year
  • adult students (Queensland residents) 17 years and older who are not enrolled at a Queensland secondary school. These students may sit as many subjects as they wish:
    • to meet tertiary entrance or employment requirements
    • for personal interest.

Candidates may be able to use Senior External Examination results to gain a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE).

Each subject examination is held only once each year. Refer to the important date information and the examination timetable for 2018.

Results are reported as one of five levels of achievement:

  • Very High Achievement
  • High Achievement
  • Sound Achievement
  • Limited Achievement
  • Very Limited Achievement.

There are no pass or fail grades, nor are results recorded as numbers, marks or percentages. Results are not published in newspapers or on QCAA's website.

Subject resources

Resources such as syllabuses and past papers are available for all subjects.

Special provision

Special provision may be approved for candidates with a recognised disability, injury or medical condition that could affect their examination performance. For example, extra time may be approved for a candidate with a broken wrist or enlarged examination materials for a candidate with vision impairment.

Information on special provision is in the Senior External Examination handbook. To apply, complete an application form.

Examination rules

Refer to the Senior External Examination handbook.

Updating details/more information

Email externalexams@qcaa.qld.edu.au or phone (07) 3120 6180.

Last updated: 17 April 2018

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