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Which Certificate level is the right one to start at?

We recommend all students start at Level 1 in Mathematics and/or Reading. The ACER Certificates are open to all students in Australia, typically in Year 3 onwards. Students start at Level 1 and progress through the five levels at their own pace.

When can students sit the ACER Certificate tests?

In 2017, the testing window will open in early November. ACER will liaise with schools to identify suitable dates.Alternatively, please contact us to arrange testing outside of the testing period.

What do you get for doing the test?

All students who participate receive a digital report on their results with detailed performance feedback and resources to help guide skill development. If successful, students are awarded a formal ACER Certificate along with a lapel badge to recognise their achievement.

Is there a Participation Award (Certificate) for students who don’t qualify for an ‘Achieved Certificate’?

No, there is no participation certificate; however every student who sits an ACER Certificate test will get a personal report on their results to inform their learning plans and progress toward higher levels of achievement.

What is the 'Pass / Achieved' mark?

To achieve an ACER Certificate, a candidate needs to achieve a minimum required scale score for the particular Certificate level test completed. Test questions/items in an ACER Certificate test have varying levels of difficulty and contribute differently to a candidate’s final test score. The ACER Certificate scale scores are based on Rasch scaling methodologies.

Are there sample questions available?

Yes, there is a 20 question sample test available here. The sample test is designed to give you an idea of the style of questions and level of difficulty of the ACER Certificates. The sample tests showcase questions from Levels 1-3 of ACER Certificate tests and increase in difficulty as you progress through.

How should students prepare for the ACER Certificate tests?

The ACER Certificate tests assess skills in mathematics and reading, they do not just test curriculum content. Instead, the tests are constructed to give students an opportunity to demonstrate skills they have learned over time, but with the application of these skills to increasingly complex and difficult situations or contexts.

It is useful to familiarise students with the test formats, skill descriptions and illustrations of the different Certificate levels for Mathematics and Reading. Students can also complete the sample tests.

How long is the test?

Each test is designed to be completed in around an hour; however, up to 90 minutes is allowed. There are 50 questions in total for each test.

Where can students take the test?

The Certificate tests are online tests that are conducted under supervised test conditions in schools all over Australia. If schools are unable to supervise the test, students can sit the test directly with ACER. Simply contact ACER for more information.

Are the tests aligned to the Australian Curriculum?

Yes and no. ACER Certificate tests cover learning areas addressed within the Australian Curriculum. The tests are designed to assess skills at a progressive level of difficulty and complexity. The requirement for curriculum content knowledge is minimised through the application of earlier curriculum content access.

Are calculators allowed?

Calculators are not allowed for the completion of ACER Certificate test questions in Certificate in Mathematics test levels 1, 2 or 3. For levels 4 and 5, calculators are permitted and students should use their standard class calculator. A formula sheet is available within the test.

How much does it cost?

Enrol for the November Certificate tests to take advantage of the introductory offer of $25 per ACER Certificate test or both Mathematics and Reading Certificate tests for $40. Or you can purchase all Mathematics and Reading levels upfront (10 tests in total) for only $195.

Who is ACER?

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is one of the world’s leading and most trusted educational research centres. We are an independent, not-for-profit research organisation established in Australia in 1930. Our mission is to create and promote research-based knowledge, products and services that can be used to improve learning across the lifespan. ACER undertakes commissioned research and development and develops and distributes a wide range of products and services.

What special pricing is available to schools/will ACER sponsor our students to enrol in the ACER Certificates tests?

Schools that would like to apply for special pricing or seek to have their students sponsored by ACER are encouraged to contact us.