Twelfth grade

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Twelfth grade or Senior year, or Grade Twelve, are the North American names for the final year of secondary school. In most countries students then graduate at age 17 or 18. In some countries, there is a thirteenth grade, while other countries do not have a 12th grade/year at all. Twelfth grade is typically the last and senior year of high school.


In Australia, the twelfth grade is referred to as Year 12. In New South Wales, students are usually 16 or 17 years old when they enter Year 12. Students in Year 12 work towards getting an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank), VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education, which applies only to students in the state of Victoria), or OP (Overall Position, which applies only to students in the state of Queensland), which will allow them access to courses at university. Students are required to satisfactorily complete at least 10 units of study in ATAR courses which must include:
  • eight units from Category A courses
  • two units of English
  • three Board Developed courses of two units or greater
  • four subjects

Students can leave school at the age of 15 only if they have a full-time job or are doing a TAFE course.

Year 12s also usually receive a Year 12 Jersey. Schools choose the design, colours and writing which are printed or stitched onto the jersey. Generally the last two digits of the year they are graduating are printed on the back, for example "10" for 2010 school leavers and above is a personalised nickname....
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