Senior Secondary

This final phase of a student's Secondary journey is both challenging and exciting.

It's when they focus on preparing for summative assessments, after which they will leave the College to enter tertiary studies or vocational fields, traineeships and apprenticeships. At the same time, they are cultivating their talents, developing leadership skills, and learning how to establish mature, healthy relationships in their community.

Wellbeing and support

The wellbeing of senior students is critical at this time when they are faced with important life choices and looming dates for exams and assignments. Students are supported by a pastoral care team that includes their year level coordinator, form teacher, school chaplains, school counsellor and class teachers.

Technology in the classroom

Every student on the Secondary campus has a school supplied laptop to enhance the delivery of the curriculum and meet the needs of a broad range of learning styles.


Queensland's senior assessment system, the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE), began for students entering Year 11 in 2019 and requires them to undergo an assessment system that includes both internal and external assessments:

  1. External exams: For most subjects, results from external exams will comprise 25% of a student's final grade. In science and maths subjects, this will be 50% of their final grade.
  2. Internal assessments: For most subjects this will be 75% of a student's final grade. In maths and science subjects, this will be 50% of their final grade.

To obtain a QCE, students must accrue 20 credit points. Our usual pathway involves studying six subjects each, which, if completed, contribute four points per subject. As we are a Christian school, students are also required to attend Encounter classes where they learn more about the Bible and spiritual principles.

For more detail about the QCE and tertiary entrance requirements, please see the end of this page.

BAC Distinctives

Brisbane Adventist College encourages students to be involved in the following types of activities designed for the development of the whole person.

Spiritual enhancement
  • Weekly chapel programs
  • Week of Worship
  • Daily morning devotionals
Personal development and social inclusion
  • Class socials (each term)
  • Year 12 Sydney trip (March)
  • Year 11 class camp (March)
  • Year 11 and 12 road safety program
  • Careers Expo, TAFE and university open days
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
  • New Zealand snow skiing trip (every second year)
  • BAC Study Tour
Leadership and service
  • Leadership development program (pastoral care program for student leaders)
  • Mentoring opportunities i.e. Year 11s in Junior Secondary STARS program
  • StormCo community service for outback Australian towns (post exam activity)
  • Sonship international service trip to Solomon Islands
  • Community service option during school sport
  • Participation in ANZAC Day ceremony, NAIDOC Week Assembly and Diversity Day
  • The Kokoda Challenge team fundraising and endurance event
Talent development
  • Secondary musical productions (every second year)
  • Ensemble (highly successful at QUOTA Beenleigh International Eisteddfod)
  • Sporting Excellence Program, involving competitions with neighbouring district schools and sister schools in Australia and New Zealand, and providing opportunities for state and national progression
  • Worship band
  • Music and drama evenings Applaud and Recital (senior music and music extension performances)
  • Private music lessons

Careers advice

Not yet decided on a course after school? Take the personality test to learn more about your strengths and find out about specific careers.

BAC Careers also offers information about any changes (including COVID-19 adjustments) to the QCE and job vacancies. Make an appointment with Careers advisor Mrs Tooley to seek more personalised help (parents/guardians welcome also).

BAC pathways

With 60% of Australian students choosing not to pursue a university/tertiary pathway, we offer a range of pathways to support our students as they prepare for life after school. One is a university/tertiary entrance pathway and two offer work or vocational study pathways for study during Years 11 and 12.

Please keep in mind that should a child choose to go to university at a later date and they have not received an ATAR score during Year 11 and 12, there are still several non-ATAR methods of entry.

University/Tertiary (ATAR)

If a student wishes to pursue tertiary studies at university or TAFE, they can work towards an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). To be eligible for an ATAR, the student must complete 5 General subjects or 4 General subjects plus 1 Applied subject. The ATAR is calculated from the best 5 subjects, with many students at BAC completing Year 12 with 6 subjects. There are other variations to receiving an ATAR, including completing 4 General subjects and participating in a Tertiary Enhanced Studies Program.

Mix (may include ATAR)

If a student is uncertain about their future study/career goals, they may wish to pursue a combination of both General and Applied subjects over the course of their QCE (Year 11 and 12). They will still be ATAR-eligible if they choose four General subjects and one Applied subject. Note: We always suggest that students choose subjects that are interesting and aligned with their talents rather than subjects they find uninteresting or demotivating, especially when they are uncertain about the future, because they will achieve better results studying subjects they enjoy.

Early Start (Vocational Education)

If a student's aspirations lie in the direction of vocational education and training, they can get a head start on their career by enrolling in an external course of study. This contributes to the QCE and is recognised by industry across Australia under the Australian Qualifications Framework. Talk to the College career advisor about pursuing TAFE or a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship and choose Applied subjects on each line.

Tertiary entrance requirements

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a number between 0.00 and 99.95, increasing in increments of 0.05. It will be calculated by the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) using student results and a process of inter-subject scaling. An ATAR will be calculated from an eligible student's best five subject results, one of which may be an Applied Subject or competency based VET certificate at a level III or above. Students must satisfactorily complete a QCAA English subject (C or better) to be eligible for an ATAR. However, a student's result in English will only contribute to their ATAR if it is one of their five best subjects.

ATAR or not?