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Queensland Senior External Examination

The Queensland Senior External Examination gives you a Year 12-level qualification without having to attend high school. You can use the Senior External Examination if:

  • you didn’t complete Year 12
  • you previously completed Year 12 but your results were not high enough for tertiary entry
  • you need to satisfy subject prerequisites for entry to a course.

Senior External Examination subjects meet subject prerequisites for all institutions with admissions through QTAC. Completing two or more subjects can also give you a selection rank. 

Where to study the Senior External Examination

You can study the Senior External Examination at the teaching centres below. Contact a teaching centre to enrol. 

Not all subjects are available at all teaching centres. You should check with the relevant teaching centre which subjects it offers. 

Age requirements

If you are under 17, you must have the QCAA’s permission to enrol. Visit the QCAA website for more information. Institutions do not have age requirements when using the rank for your Senior External Examination results on its own. Age requirements may apply when combining Senior External Examination results with STAT. Check with the relevant institution.


Subjects are based on the QCAA Year 11 and 12 syllabus. You study them over one year. Assessment for each subject is based on a final end of year examination. 

You can study:

  • Accounting
  • Ancient History
  • Arabic
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese
  • English
  • Korean
  • Legal Studies
  • Mathematics A
  • Mathematics B
  • Modern Greek
  • Modern History
  • Philosophy and Reason
  • Physics
  • Polish
  • Punjabi
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese
  • Visual Art.

The number of subjects you choose depends on your tertiary goals, your other qualifications, and in some cases, your age.

For example, if you need to meet subject prerequisites, the subjects you choose would depend on what subject prerequisites you need to meet.

If you need a selection rank, you must study a minimum of two subjects. Generally, the more subjects you study, the better the selection rank, depending on your grades. You may need to study more subjects if you want to apply for a course with a high minimum selection threshold.

How we use your results

We calculate a selection rank based on the number of subjects you complete and your final grade for each subject.

If you studied other Senior External Examination subjects prior to 2014, we may use these subjects to calculate your selection rank. Phone us on 1300 467 822 to check.

Whether the rank for your Senior External Examination study is used depends on institution admission rules. Check with the relevant institution about their rules.

More information

For more information on Senior External Examination, contact the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA)

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