The South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) is a qualification awarded to students who successfully  complete their senior secondary education. The certificate is based on two stages of achievement: Stage 1 (normally undertaken in Year 11) and Stage 2 (normally undertaken in Year 12).

Students will be able to study a wide range of subjects and courses as part of the SACE. As part of the SACE students will:

• receive credits for many different forms of education and training (such as academic subjects, learning a trade, vocational education and training and community service) provided they are recognised by the SACE Board
• receive A – E grades in every Stage 1 and A+ to E– for every Stage 2 SACE subject
• be expected to gain and demonstrate essential skills and knowledge for their future, focusing on communication, citizenship, personal development, literacy, numeracy, work and learning capabilities
• have 30% of their work in every Stage 2 subject externally assessed. This will be done in various ways, including examinations, practical performances and presentations
• have outside moderators confirm the school-assessed parts of Stage 2 subjects to ensure consistent grading across the State and are able to return to their studies at any time in the future to complete the SACE without losing credit for work already undertaken.

To gain the certificate students must earn a minimum of 200 credits.

Some elements of the SACE are compulsory. These are:

• Exploring Identities and Futures (EIF) at Stage 1 (undertaken in Year 10), worth 10 credits
• at least 20 credits towards literacy from a range of English/English as an Additional Language studies
• at least 10 credits towards numeracy from a range of Mathematics studies
• Activating Identities and Futures (AIF) – an in-depth major project – accredited at Stage 2 (undertaken in Year
11), worth 10 credits
• completion of at least 60 additional credits in Stage 2 subjects and courses.

Ten credits are equivalent to one semester or six months’ study in a particular subject or course. The importance of the compulsory elements is reflected in the requirement that students must achieve a passing result of either an A, B, or C in these subjects to complete the SACE successfully. In addition to the compulsory elements, students will choose from a wide range of subjects and courses to earn the remaining 90 credits to gain the SACE. These include subjects and courses from either Stage 1 or Stage 2.