The General Achievement Test (GAT) is a 3-hour test (including two essays and 70 multiple-choice questions) that is undertaken by all students enrolled in one or more Units 3&4 subject – but do you know why you need to do well in it? ACED has four reasons why the GAT is important.
1. The GAT could help if you’re sick
The GAT is an insurance policy for the end of the year. If you fall seriously ill on the day of your exam (e.g. you trip and break your wrist), VCAA (who run the exams) will use your GAT to calculate a Derived Examination Score (DES). A DES is used when students are ill or affected by other personal circumstances at the time of a VCE exam. This doesn’t mean you can get out of doing your exam (VCAA will probably organise an assessor to be a scribe for you) – you will receive either the predicted DES or your actual exam score, whichever is higher.
2. The GAT may be used to scale your SACs
Not all SACs are created equally across all schools, so VCAA need to statistically moderate your raw SAC scores. The only common scales that VCAA can use to moderate your SACs are the end-of-year exam and the GAT. Basically, if everyone at your school does really well on the end-of-year exam and GAT, your raw SAC score will be adjusted to match these high scores.
3. The GAT is used to double-check your exam scores
If your GAT predicts that you should have received a significantly higher score on your end-of-year exam than what you ended up with, the Chief Assessor will go back and re-mark your exam (remember that all exams are marked by at least two different assessors already!). Your exam score may go up, or stay the same, but it cannot go down as a result of this remarking.
4. Universities offer places based on the GAT
Monash University will consider your GAT scores for ‘middle band selection’, which is when you don’t get the ‘clearly-in’ ATAR required to enter the course. For example, if the clearly-in ATAR for a course was 90, but you get an ATAR of 89, you will be prioritised for middle-band selection (which means you could still be offered a place) over someone who also got an ATAR of 89 but performed poorly on the GAT.
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ACED wishes you the best VCE exam success!