Greater Shepparton students relieved as VCE exam dates confirmed

By Charmayne Allison

Year 12 students are breathing a sigh of relief as weeks of uncertainty come to a close, following the announcement VCE exams will be completed by December 2.

Many students were concerned exams would roll into 2021 due to COVID-19, disrupting tertiary study plans.

But the Victorian Government announced on Thursday final exams will kick off on November 9, wrapping up a fortnight later than scheduled before the rise of the pandemic.

Which means students will receive their ATAR score before the end of 2020.

Greater Shepparton Secondary College's Wanganui campus principal Ken Murray said it was welcome news for students and teachers after weeks of disruption.

“It's terrific to have confirmation as there's been a lot of uncertainty,” he said.

“Now we have a date, staff and students can work back from there to be ready in time for exams.”

Local schools will be restructuring their VCE curriculums to ensure they are completed in a "reasonable way".

“The new structure will enable appropriate revision and preparation time,” Mr Murray said.

“We've essentially gone through with the teachers and said, ‘What are the most important aspects of the study design?'

“We're aware of the pressures Year 12 students will be under on return. So while we will still be offering meaningful courses with no essentials removed, it will be more streamlined.”

With exam dates finally confirmed, Goulburn Valley Grammar School student Sam Brown feels one step closer to his dream of studying psychology in Melbourne next year.

“When we started remote learning, I was concerned because everyone was very unsure what was happening and there were so many rumours going around,” he said.

Although his last day of school will be postponed, Mr Brown believed it was essential.

“We need that extra time to be properly prepared,” he said.

“I'm relieved the study design is changing as well, it should relieve a lot of the stress.

“And thankfully GV Grammar has supported us to keep on top of our workload, so I feel like I'm in a really fortunate position.”

Mr Murray reassured local students these six weeks of remote learning would not leave them at a disadvantage.

"For some students, remote learning was no issue, but for others it had its challenges,” he said.

"But we do have ample time to prepare. And for those who feel they have fallen behind, there will be plenty of support.

"We'll be making the details of the new study design really clear to parents and students in coming weeks, so if they have any questions, we can answer those.”