South Australia's formal qualification for secondary students is the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). The SACE is an internationally recognised credential that opens pathways leading to vocations and careers, further studies and employment. The SACE also ensures that students leave school with a strong general education.
To meet the requirements of the certificate, students need to take a balanced range of studies, generally over two years, although no particular time limit is specified. Stage 1 of the SACE is usually studied in Year 11 and Stage 2 of the SACE is usually studied in Year 12. Students may negotiate alterations to this schedule. The studies include English or English as Second Language, Australian Studies, and Mathematics at Stage 1 (Year 11), as well as a selection from other subject groups.