Students entering Year 11 must choose to take either the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) for their final two years of schooling.

Each of these programmes has its own particular features and merits and each is described in considerable detail on the following pages. Either is capable of being a suitable qualification for further study at university either in Australia or abroad.

The VCE is designed to cater for students of all abilities and to provide a suitable pathway for either direct entry into the workforce or for further study at universities, TAFE Colleges or private institutions. The programme provides for a wide range of possibilities from narrow specialisation to a broad general education. Those who wish to concentrate their study on, for example, the Arts or the business subjects or the Mathematics/Science subjects, may do so.

The International Baccalaureate is an international curriculum designed to cater for students who wish to prepare themselves for further study at a university. The programme requires students to be able to work effectively across a broad cross-section of subjects and does not allow for much specialisation. All IB students must study English, a foreign modern language, a Humanities subject, a Science and Mathematics. The sixth subject offers further choice. Of their six subjects, three must be taken at the Higher Level which is more advanced than the corresponding VCE subject (at Year 12). The other three IB subjects chosen by students in Year 12 are taken at the Standard Level. The standard is approximately the same as the corresponding VCE course in most subjects. One of the chief benefits of the Diploma is that its candidates can expect to manage university expectations successfully. As well as their six Academic subjects all IB students must undertake three core requirements, Theory of Knowledge, the CAS Programme and the Extended Essay.

As a rough guide, about 55% of Geelong Grammar School students would be capable of achieving the minimum score necessary to be awarded the IB Diploma. It would therefore be advisable that students who attempted the IB Diploma were achieving the sort of grades in Year 10 that would place them in the top 55% of the year group. Historically, this is equivalent to about a B average.

International Baccalaureate students need to be motivated, organised and self-disciplined students capable of getting on with their work without continual prompting from teachers, parents, Heads of Houses and Tutors. They also need to have a love of reading and a capacity to critically analyse what they have read. Of course VCE students with these same attributes will achieve considerable success although tasks tend to be less open-ended in the VCE.

The critical difference is that all students are capable of achieving the VCE provided they make a reasonable attempt to do what they are asked to do, but not all students are capable of achieving an IB Diploma. It would be unwise to undertake the IB programme without a reasonable expectation of being able to achieve the Diploma.

Contact with Parents

There is regular contact with parents, through Parent Teacher interviews and a comprehensive reporting system. Informal contact with parents is also encouraged via the telephone or email with the student’s Head of House or Tutor. The student’s Head of House is the first point of contact on any issue.

In Years 11 and 12, students are strongly encouraged to attend Parent Teacher Interviews with their parents or guardians as each student is responsible for his/her own learning.

In Year 12 the reporting process is slightly different from Year 11.

Formal assessment occurs twice each term and these grades can be accessed through the Portal in Online Reports. (For further information see Website).

Term 1
- Mid-term Progress Report
- Interim Report

Term 2
- Parent Student Teacher Conversations
- Mid-term Interim Report
- Reports for each subject and Head of House Report

Term 3
Parent Student Teacher Conversations
- Mid-term Interim Report
- Interim Report

Term 4
- Mid-term Interim Report
- Reports for each subject and Head of House Report

Term 1
- Mid-term Progress Report

Term 2
- Parent Student Teacher Conversations
- Reports for each subject and Head of House Report
- Interim Report

Term 3
Parent Student Teacher Conversations
- Mid-term Interim Report
- Reports for each subject

Term 4
- Head of House Report
- Valete Report

Students who need specific English and Maths Tutoring help are able to request this through their Head of House and make an application on the Portal. Tutorials operate after school and during evening prep sessions. Allocation of tutors is dependent on a student’s ability to demonstrate a commitment to their own learning. Tutoring in other subjects is not organised by the School.


Choosing subjects demands some awareness of the requirements of tertiary institutions in regard to prerequisites.

A prerequisite subject is one that is required by a particular tertiary institution before application for entry to that course will be considered.

Not all institutions have the same prerequisites for similarly named courses. This will allow students some flexibility in their subject choices, but students should check carefully the requirements of the institutes of greatest interest.

It is very important that students check these statements carefully, with the correct source. For example, if the year of tertiary entrance is 2023 (Year 12, 2022), then the VICTER (Victorian Tertiary Entrance Requirements) 2023 should be used. This is best accessed online via the VTAC (Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre) Website as there regularly amendments and updates.

While the VTAC Guide, which predominantly covers entry to Victorian tertiary institutions, is a valuable document, it is only relevant as a source of prerequisite data for the listed year of tertiary entry. This is why the VICTER for the year after graduation should be used.

Entry requirements for interstate institutions may also differ from their Victorian counterparts. Details should be checked through the relevant documents, or websites for each state.

Adjustment Factors, (previously called subject bonus points): Some Institutions offer Adjustment points for certain Undergraduate Degrees. Additional points are added to the aggregate score when specific VCE or IB subjects are deemed highly relevant to a Degree. For example:

• RMIT Engineering will make an adjustment for a study score of 25 in Maths: Specialist Mathematics equals 1 aggregate point. A study score of 25 in one but no more than one of Chemistry or Physics equals 1 aggregate point per study.

• Deakin Architecture will make an adjustment for a study score of 35 in any English, any History or any Science equals 2 aggregate points per study. A study score of 35 in one but no more than one of Art, Product Design And Technology, Studio Arts or Visual Communication Design equals 2 aggregate points per study. Overall maximum of 8 points.

Below are listed Victorian tertiary institutional requirements, in general terms, over a limited range of course areas. There are some minor differences between requirements for VCE students and those taking the IB, with these differences being most commonly associated with IB requirements for satisfactory completion of their Diploma. IB students should check individual university statements thoroughly.

Please note that the following examples of tertiary requirements are not intended to be definitive. Rather, this information should be used merely as a guide to the kinds of subjects needed for some areas of study. Students must check details with individual institutions, for their correct year of entry.

Prerequisites are given as Year 12 requirements unless otherwise stated. There is general parity between VCE and IB subjects, with IB Mathematics Analysis and Approaches SL equating to VCE Mathematical Methods. There have been recent changes to IB Mathematics so is important, especially for interstate prerequisite subjects, to clarify specific requirements.  

Key VCE and IB Subject Prerequisites

• English / EAL / Literature required for almost every course.
• Chemistry required for many Health Sciences, Biomedicine, and Veterinary Science
• Chemistry / Biology / Physics (one or more) required for Science
• VCE Mathematical Methods / IB Mathematics Analysis and Approaches SL required for Engineering, Commerce and Science
• VCE Further Mathematics / IB Mathematics Applications and Interpretations SL required for Education, Science and Business

Year 10 students undertake significant course exploration during Careers Classes using search tools on the site.

At the time of printing, the VICTER 2023 had not been published, but it will now be available from VTAC Publications

Interstate Prerequisites

They will be similar to Victorian Courses, but they must be checked with individual Tertiary Admission Centres. Some States refer to assumed knowledge of a subject, and whilst not a prerequisite as such, it is an important consideration. Finding the equivalent interstate prerequisite subject is best done on the VTAC site.

Selecting a study programme for the final years of schooling is a balancing act between:
- What subjects do you enjoy?
- What subjects are you likely to have success in?
- What subjects do you need to access specific courses?
- What subjects will keep your options open?

VTAC Course requirements and prerequisites can be easily accessed at:

Similar programmes are available at all interstate Tertiary Admissions Centres.

Year 11 and 12 - VCAL


VCAL aims to provide the skills, knowledge and attributes to empower students to make informed choices about pathways to employment and further education. The VCAL program is underpinned by personal development, students’ interests, and pathways for Senior School students, in the context of applied learning.

VCAL will become integrated into the VCE from 2023. This change is designed to enable all students to develop their vocational and academic skills rather than be compelled to choose between them. Because of this impending change, GGS will only be offering a select few places in the VCAL course for 2022.

VCAL is offered at three different levels; foundational, intermediate and senior. The levels differ in the level of independence students need to demonstrate in each skill in order to be awared the certificate. GGS offers the Senior VCAL Certificate. This is a demanding and rewarding certificate that asks students to develop their skills to a high level of independence. This means that students often need to practice a skill many times in order to perform it well without support.