Log in      Register       Shopping cart

Blog header

What are we to make of the New GAT results for 2022

June 06, 2023 by Doug McCurry from BooBook Education

The results of the GAT of 2022 may have been released earlier, but I did not find them until about a month before the test of 2023.

As of a month to the test of 2023 the VCAA has not released the test or the answers of 2022. This is clearly a problem for those wanting to prepare students for the test of 2023.

The following are the results released by VCAA.

This section provides statistical information on the Victorian Literacy and Numeracy Standards Outcomes for 2022. All senior secondary students enrolled in one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3–4 sequence and those undertaking the Senior Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) were tested against the standards when they sat the General Achievement Test (GAT).

1. Students who met the standard

Of the students who attempted the General Achievement Test (GAT):

96.4% (76,747) met the Reading standard

96.3% (75,745) met the Writing standard

96.4% (77,007) met the Numeracy standard

2. Students who met the standard with excellence

Of the students who attempted the General Achievement Test (GAT):

10.7% (8,552) met the Reading standard with excellence

11.3% (8,925) met the Writing standard with excellence

12.1% (9,678) met the Numeracy standard with excellence


These results are remarkable for the information they do and do not carry.

At first glance it seems that the GAT A results have little or no meaning. One might wonder what all the fuss what about when only about 3.5% did not reach the Y12 standards. The VCAA boasts that 99% of candidates reached the standard in at least one Section A component.

For reading, writing and numeracy between 3.6 and 3.7% of those sitting the test did not achieve the Y12 standards. For reading, writing and numeracy between 10.7 and 12.1 exceeded the Y12 standard. These percentages mean that there is no differentiation between 85% of the candidates. They all got the same level.

We cannot be confident about these numbers because we do not know what percentage of students awarded grades for unit 3 and 4 studies in 2022 did the GAT.

It appears from these results that the Y12 standards are either very low or the students of 2022 were very strong. It is hard to draw a conclusion from the Section A results because we do not know what percentage of students who were awarded the VCE and VCAL did the GAT.

There could be substantial numbers of ungraded VCE and VCAL students who did not do the test and would not have reached the Y12 standard.

We do not know who made up the 88 000 students whose results are reported.

How many students were exempted?
How many were EAL?
How many overseas students are included?
How many were VCE and how many were VCAL?

For Vocational Major students the GAT Section A does not seem to mean much. Assuming they don't aspire to being in the top 10% whose excellence exceeds the standard, all Vocational Major students have to do is make sure they are not in the bottom 3.5%. One can imagine them saying: 'Easy! No worries!'

The Section A tests are not easy, and one wonders what scores would be required to reach the Y12 standard. While the Section A standards based assessments do not mean much for Vocational Major students, those results mean a lot for students doing graded assessments and wanting an ATAR.

Some teachers and students might not have noted that the scores (presumably out of 50 for each sub-test) of students doing graded assessments are combined with the appropriate GAT B component to produce a standardised score for each of Writing and Written Communication, Reading and Humanities/Arts/Social Sciences, and Numeracy and Mathematics/Science/Technology.

The scores of students wanting an ATAR will involve an aggregate score of Sections A and B. These will be robust scores based on four hours of testing. These scores have as precise a meaning as the standardised study scores, and some would argue that they have more meaning than individual study scores.

Unlike the three Section A levels, the composite scores based on A and B are norm referenced and will have substance and discrimination. Those who want to use scores in selection procedures will soon work out that the three GAT scores have substantial currency value. For those students wanting an ATAR these standardised, composite GAT scores (unlike the ’standards-based' Section A levels) are discriminating, informative about comparative performance, and high stakes.

Sorry, this website uses features that your browser doesn’t support. Upgrade to a newer version of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge and you’ll be all set.