To gain their VCE, students must achieve satisfactory completion of at least sixteen units including at least  three units of English, English (EAL/D) or Literature and at least three other Unit 3 and 4 sequences. A student's programme must include 4 units from the subjects English, English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) or Literature.  This is referred to as the English requirement.  At Geelong Grammar School, students in Year 11 undertake 6 subjects and 5 subjects in Year 12, with any alteration to this only in exceptional circumstances after approval from the VCE Co-ordinator.  There are no other VCAA requirements although GGS recommends that students consider the tertiary implications of their subject selections.


The Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR)  is important for selection into most tertiary courses. It is a percentile ranking based on performance in assessment in Units 3 and 4. Scores in the English requirement, plus the next best three subjects plus ten percent of the score in up to two more subjects are included in the calculation.  An ATAR is not calculated unless, as well as being awarded a VCE, the student has satisfactorily completed three units from the English group, including a Unit 3 and Unit 4 sequence.
Note: No more than two Mathematics scores can be counted in the top four scores.

Important Consideration In Subject Choice
- The student thinks that they might enjoy the subject and therefore will be prepared to work hard at it.
- There is some evidence to show that the student may be able to do the subject well.
- Some of the student’s subjects should be relevant to their future.

Entry Into Units 3 and 4
In some subjects, students must have completed Units 1 and 2; in other subjects it is possible to complete Units 3 and 4 without Units 1 and 2 although extensive pre-reading may be required.

Students who have not completed Unit 1 and Unit 2 in a subject and who wish to select a Unit 3 and 4 subject for the following year will need to seek permission from the relevant Head of Department. The student’s academic record and work ethic will be considered before permission is granted. 

Units 3 and 4 at Year 11
Some students may be interested in the possibility of taking one Unit 3 and 4 sequence during Year 11. While it is accepted that this possibility is appropriate in some circumstances it may be a disadvantage in others.

Units 3 and 4 work is based on the development of skills, knowledge and intellectual maturity that Units 1 and 2 studied at Year 11 encourage. While it is no doubt possible to undertake some Units 3 and 4 without this preparation, and to do so with success, the overall picture must be kept in mind before any decision is made. For some Year 11 students, the commitment necessary to succeed at one sequence of Unit 3 and 4 could undermine the proper foundation for Year 12 in other subjects. Moreover, it could mean that participation in the wider life of the School may be hampered. As a result the seeming advantage of an extra final year subject and the bonus points that might be involved is overshadowed by the eventual loss of more points across an entire academic programme and limitation of the wider education of the student. Consequently, some students do not take a Year 12 subject during Year 11.

Year 11 students wishing to select a Unit 3 and 4 sequence need to be achieving an overall B average in Year 10 and a B+ in the required prerequisite subject. Students would also need to gain a recommendation from their subject teacher and the relevant Head of Department which would largely be based on the student’s Attitude and Effort grades from Year 10.

Entry to a Unit 3 and 4 sequence at Year 11 will only be possible if it can be arranged within the timetable.

Subject selection decisions should be discussed with the parents, Tutor, the Head of House, the Head of Careers and the VCE Coordinator.

Availability of subjects
At the completion of the subject selection process a subject may not proceed if there is an insufficient number of students choosing that subject. The students involved would be informed of the changes as soon as possible.

Special Provision
Students with a significant learning difficulty may be eligible for Special Provision. Advice can be sought from the Director of Inclusive Learning or VCE Coordinator early in Year 11 so that appropriate testing and documentation can be put into place, although the final decision rests with VCAA.

Exchanges for Year 11 and Year 12
Long term Language exchanges are not supported during term time. The Language Faculty offers shorter language tours in some languages, subject to student interest and availability.

VET Equine Studies
In the past, some students have completed a two year course with an external provider. This course is completed on weekends and in holiday periods, generally at an external venue such as Glenormiston Agricultural College. This course incurs an additional cost. Any interested students should contact the VCE Coordinator. Students undertaking this course are expected to be able to work without supervision.