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Schools' exam scores slip

The median Australian Tertiary Admission Rank for ACT students has slipped in 2011 and more than half the territory's colleges achieved lower medians than in 2010.

According to analysis to be issued today by the Board of Senior Secondary Studies, no colleges in the ACT achieved a median ATAR above 90 and only three attained a result in the 80s.

It's a drop from 2010 when ACT colleges achieved one median ATAR in the 90s and six ranging between 82 and 85.80.

But Board of Senior Secondary Studies executive officer Helen Strauch said the drop could be attributed to a greater push for higher learning.

''The decrease in the median is the result of the greater proportion of Year 12 students now attaining an ATAR,'' she said. ''This may indicate that more ACT Year 12 students are considering entering university.''

The median ACT ATAR for 2011 was 78.20 - down slightly from 78.45 in 2010 - and 77 per cent of students eligible for a tertiary entrance statement achieved an ATAR of 65 or above.


Radford College outperformed other ACT colleges by achieving the capital's highest median ATAR, despite being less than its 2010 result.

The private school has a median ATAR of 89.10, and its top graduate Ned Lis-Clarke achieved an ATAR of 99.90.

Radford also achieved the highest percentage of students with an ATAR of 65 or above, at 94 per cent.

Canberra Girls' Grammar School followed closely with a median ATAR of 86.90, four points above its 2010 median.

The private college also boasted one of the capital's top students, Georgia Behrens, who achieved an ATAR of 99.95.

Burgmann Anglican College graduate Thomas Pearson also achieved an ATAR of 99.95, helping boost his college's median to 78.20.

It was the fourth highest median ATAR in the capital, about six points behind Narrabundah College at 84.40.

However, the Orana Steiner School was not reported in the analysis of median ATARs, because of its small cohort of only nine tertiary entrance statement students.

Results from Canberra Grammar School are not included in the analysis as its students sit the NSW Higher School Certificate.

Vocational certificates were awarded to 1273 ACT Year 12 students and a total of 4212 graduates received Year 12 certificates.

Ms Strauch said the results showed two significant improvements, with the percentage of ACT students enrolled in Year 12 achieving a Year 12 certificate rising 1per cent from the 2010 figure of 91 per cent. Additionally, the proportion of ACT students enrolled in Year 12 who achieved an ATAR increased from 60per cent in 2010 to 61 per cent in 2011.

This reporter is on Twitter: @stephanieando