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Megan - Speech

Beginning of the 20th Century

• Did you know that not all students were expected to continue to high school after
completing their primary schooling?
• Primary school students in NSW sat the Qualifying Certificate Examination – to mark
the end of Primary school and to select students best suited for further education
• Selective testing for high school entrance continued until 1943

More Recently
• Selective testing for high school entry is mainly a part of history
• Small number of fully selective, partially selective and agricultural high schools
require students to sit the Selective High School Placement Test designed for
academically gifted students – entry into these schools is very competitive
• Question: Can you think of an academically selective high school in Perth? Did
anyone go to one?
• Perth Modern - students need to sit the Academic Selective Entrance Test
• John Curtin College of the Arts – students need to sit the ASET and
participate in workshops, auditions and interviews
• Most of us would have sat ATAR examinations in order to attend university
• University entry is not universal, so there is a need for a selection process

External Assessments
• As discussed, external assessments have always been part of Australian whether it
be for high school entry or to get into a course at university
• More recently, external examinations have been used to monitor students
throughout their schooling (not just at the end of key periods)
• Newer forms of literacy and numeracy testing began in NSW in 1989 and eventually
all states and territories had their own forms of external assessment for literacy and

National Assessment Plan

• Governments have a stake in producing an educated workforce - they are the main
• Embedded in social/political/economic contexts and not always connected to the
needs of schools and their students
• Broader community interest – parents, business people, politicians – all have an
interest in student performance and seek feedback on school performance
• The NAP will be discussed in more detail later in this presentation

Snowball Discussion
• What external assessments have you had to do throughout your schooling?
• Do you think these assessments were important? Why/why not?

• We have now covered objective 1 and should now be aware of the role external
assessments have played in Australian schools throughout history:
• As a selection tool for university as well as high school entry in some cases
• To monitor student performance across the nation and identify weaknesses
in specific schools as well as in Australia’s education system as a whole