Why and how do VCE subjects scale?


I heard that some subjects scale by over 10. Why does this happen?


You might already know that subjects are scored out of 50 – but this is a relative measure. Regardless of the subject, the ‘middle student’ will have a raw study score of 30.

However, some subjects have a more competitive cohort than others, and so it will be harder to score in these subjects. Without scaling, the same exact student would score higher in a ‘weaker’ cohort than a ‘difficult’ cohort. As a result, VTAC scales these subjects to try and make it fair.

Subjects are scaled based on the performance of the cohort that are undertaking the subject. Remember that the median study score for a subject is 30. When taken as a collective, if the cohort averages a 32 in the rest of their subjects, then VTAC will scale up a raw study score of 30 to 32.

Some exceptions to this rule include Math subjects and Languages.

Math Subjects (From VTAC)

The order of difficulty for Maths subjects are Specialist, Methods then Further. To make sure that students who undertake the harder Maths subjects aren’t disadvantaged, all Math subjects are scaled against each other as well as being scaled against all other studies (as per usual). The higher of the two scales is used.

Languages (From VTAC)

"As a result of government policy to encourage the study of languages, each Language is adjusted by adding up to five to the initial VTAC Scaled Study Score. All students of a Language receive an adjustment, but it is not a uniform adjustment. For VTAC Scaled Study Scores at or close to the average, the adjustment is 5, but the adjustment decreases as the score moves away from the average. "