✈ Your SAC mark & ATAR – Fully Explained

 

Your SAC mark means less than you think… While the SAC (School Assessed Coursework) makes up 34% of the total mark you receive for Methods, the mark you just got back for your SAC might be a bit misleading! I touched on this a couple of a weeks ago but now I'm giving you the full explanation. 

But quickly before I get into that, there is only 1.5 weeks left to register for the Maths Methods Workshop, so click below if you’d like to come:

https://mathsmethods.com.au/workshop

 

Now that’s out of the way, this is why your current SAC mark isn't 100% reliable yet:

 

1) Each school and teacher marks differently

2) Each school has their own unique SACs

 

The same student who got 80% at one school could get 30% if they decided to do their SAC at a different school. This seems totally unfair, but it isn’t. In fact, while your SAC mark means very little, your RANKING means a lot more.

Here’s a simplified version of what happens (unfortunately it’s still confusing, so don’t feel bad if I lose you along the way).

Let’s say we have a class of 3 students who got the following SAC marks:

 

Jamie SAC 80% – RANK 1

Sally SAC 60% – RANK 2

David SAC 30% – RANK 3

 

Now, we don’t know whether these marks themselves are good or bad. For all we know, the SAC was impossibly hard and David is a genius and Jamie is just a super genius. But we do know that Jamie>Sally>David in terms of marks.

We way in which we turn this ranking into an actual mark after the EXAMS. Let’s say these are the 3 Exam marks:

 

EXAM 90%

EXAM 50%

EXAM 40%

 

This now becomes the SAC marks for each student:

 

Jamie SAC 80% 90%

Sally SAC 60% 50%

David SAC 30% 40%

 

Now, the strange thing is that (in terms of the SAC mark), it doesn’t matter who got the Exam marks. Jamie is #1 in the SAC so she gets the #1 Exam mark for her SAC mark. David is #3 in the SAC, so he gets the number #3 Exam mark for his SAC.

In fact, these may have been the Exam marks:

 

Sally EXAM 90%

Jamie EXAM 50%

David EXAM 40%

 

This means that Jamie’s SAC mark is Sally’s Exam mark! Weird, I know, but this is the way in which the marks are made standard across the state.

Of course, each student keeps their own Exam marks – so your performance in the Exam is important. The only thing that changes is your SAC mark.

What do we learn from this? Your class and school is a team, and the better everyone does on the Exam, the better study score you will get. Support each other, help each other and work together.

It also means that you can’t judge your ATAR on your SAC marks. I get so many questions about this and without knowing your school, unfortunately I simply don't know! If you want an idea of what sort of ATAR you are on track to getting, you need to find out who got similar SAC marks at your school last year and what sort of study score they achieved. This is no guarantee because your class might be stronger or weaker academically, but it’ll give you some idea of what to expect.

This is all well and fine, but to perform well on your SACs and Exams, they key is to spend time on practicing exam and SAC style questions.

Don’t fall into the trap of wasting too much time on your bound reference, because it is practice that will get you the results.

If you need more exam-style questions or a ready made bound reference with space for extra notes, check out my books:



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