ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies System Overview

The ACT senior secondary system caters for students in years 11 and 12. The ACT operates a system of school based curriculum and assessment within the policy and procedures of the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS)

The BSSS is a statutory authority responsible for the certification of senior secondary school studies in government and non-government schools in the ACT. Colleges determine the courses (and units) that they offer to the students. English is the only compulsory course. Assessment in the ACT is continuous school based assessment. There are no subject examinations set by a central authority.

Courses are taught and assessed unit by unit. A course consists of a combination of units with coherence of purpose. Courses (and units) have different classifications. They can be classified as either T, A, M, R, H, C or E, A/T/M and may also be accredited as a 'vocational' program (V).

A unit's value is based on time. One standard unit of study represents a minimum of 55 hours of a structured program in a subject generally over one semester.

There are different course types depending on the number of standard units studied in that course:

  • Minor: a minimum 2 standard units (110+ hours)
  • Major: a minimum 3.5 standard units (192.5+ hours)
  • Major Minor: a minimum 5.5 standard units (302.5+ hours)
  • Double Major: a minimum 7 standard units (385+ hours)

The maximum number of standard units that one course area can contribute to the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate is 8.

The Board of Senior Secondary Studies updates their policy and procedures on a regular basis. The latest and most accurate information can be found on the Board’s website at http://www.bsss.act.edu.au.