ACT Year 12 Certificate awards on the rise
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ACT Year 12 Certificate awards on the rise

The number of ACT college students receiving a Year 12 Certificate has risen this year, while the percentage of students awarded a tertiary package remains steady at 63 per cent.

According to an analysis of outcomes across ACT colleges by the Board of Senior Secondary Studies, the median Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank in Canberra was 77.45, with 76 per cent of the year 12 cohort receiving an ATAR of 65 or above. These figures are similar to last year, when the median ATAR was 77.8 and 77 per cent of students achieved an ATAR above 65.

Canberra College year 12 student Jiheng Xu and Canberra Girls Grammar School year 12 student Vanessa Ma both received a Certificate of Excellence from the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies.

Canberra College year 12 student Jiheng Xu and Canberra Girls Grammar School year 12 student Vanessa Ma both received a Certificate of Excellence from the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies. Credit: Jeffrey Chan

In total, 4405 ACT students received a Year 12 Certificate this year, up on 4283 last year. Of these, 2788 received a vocational qualification, most commonly in tourism, travel, hospitality and events.

Radford College posted top results, with 93 per cent of students receiving an ATAR and the median ATAR being the highest of any college at 90.80.

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A handful of independent schools with tiny Year 12 cohorts also did well, with 95 per cent of the Orana Steiner School's cohort of 21 receiving an ATAR of 65 or above and 96 per cent of Brindabella Christian College's 23 students awarded an ATAR.

While Canberra Girls' Grammar School produced another top scorer this year, with student Vanessa Ma achieving 99.95 (alongside the Canberra College's Jiheng Xu, also on 99.95), Girls' Grammar's median ATAR fell to 85.7, down from 89.70 last year. The number of Girls' Grammar students achieving 65 or higher also dropped from 89 per cent to 83 per cent this year.

Narrabundah College delivered the highest number of year 12 certificates at 464, and achieved the third highest median ATAR of 85.05.

The lowest performing college based on academic results continued to be Erindale, which achieved a median ATAR of 62, with just 29 per cent of students taking a tertiary package. The college did, however, award one of the highest number of vocational qualifications, with 233 qualifications going to 194 students.

After her recent re-appointment as chairwoman of the Board of Senior Secondary Studies, former ACT Chief Minister Rosemary Follett welcomed changes to next year's formal recognition of achievement.

In 2015, the Year 12 Certificate will be replaced by the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate and students will receive a testamur and an academic transcript, bringing the ACT into line with other states and territories.

All students with an intellectual disability will be eligible for a Statement of Achievement, and external vocational courses -including Australian School Based Apprenticeships - will count towards a major or minor course in the Senior Secondary Certificate.

The Universities Admissions Centre said students applying for tertiary study in 2015 had until Wednesday, January 7, to change their course preferences for consideration in the Main Round of offers on January 21.

Canberra's top performers from each college:

Brindabella Christian College: John Parson

Burgmann Anglican School: Elvin Yip and Mia Huang

Canberra College: Jiheng Xu (Sunny)

Canberra Girls' Grammar School: Vanessa Ma

Canberra Institute of Technology: David Humphrey

Daramalan College: Benjamin Cherian

Dickson College: Harry Dalton

Erindale College: Jordan Smith

Gungahlin College: Christian Fobister

Hawker College: Nicholas Chan

Lake Tuggeranong College: Callum Feint

Marist College: Bradley Pascoe

Melba Copland Secondary School: Michael de Looper

Merici College: Elizabeth Zoneff

Narrabundah College: Prince Sebastian

Orana Steiner School: John Holmes

Radford College: Rosemary Kirk

St Clare's College: Ella Papandrea

St Edmund's College: Jacob Buddee

St Francis Xavier College: Andrew Zeller

St Mary MacKillop College: Claudia Holland

Trinity Christian School: Kyle Steemson

UC Senior Secondary College, Lake Ginninderra: Nathan Elazar

Note: Canberra Grammar School students will receive their HSC results on Wednesday with their ATARs due on Thursday.

Emma Macdonald is a senior reporter for The Canberra Times.