Designed by the globally-renowned educational research centre that created PAT, the Global Academic Challenge is a unique academic competition for Australian students. 

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Rewarding student achievement

High-performing students receive medals and certificates that reward exceptional achievement and recognise participation.

Valuable objective insights into student performance

Quickly see how your students compare to students across Australia and around the world with reports that offer objective insights, including unique comparative data.

International comparisons

Challenge your students to apply their knowledge and skills beyond the curriculum

Available for years 4, 6 and 8

Online & multiple-choice




See how your students perform internationally

The Global Academic Challenge provides reliable international benchmarks to help you see how your students’ results compare to students around the world.

We can provide this valuable comparative data because the challenge draws upon ACER’s decades of international assessment experience as well as the widely-respected International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) program, undertaken by 90,000 students each year. This program is based on the frameworks of OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and focuses on assessing complex, higher-order thinking skills.*

* Note that the ISA is not part of PISA and is not endorsed by the OECD.

Relevant for your students and classroom

The Global Academic Challenge is designed for an Australian classroom context, with special emphasis on how to stretch your high-achieving students appropriately. The competition draws upon decades of experience within the Australian Council for Educational Research, creators of the highly-regarded PAT assessments that are used by more than half of Australian schools.

The 2021 challenge

All Australian schools are eligible to participate in the Global Academic Challenge. Students who wish to participate must be part of a school that is registered for the challenge.


Registrations for the challenge will open on 31 May 2021.

The challenge costs $15 per student for each subject.


Preparing for the challenge is easy - simply upload student details to your ACER online account and assign the challenge. Our helpful team provide guidance throughout and will quickly respond to any queries.


The challenge is taken online through ACER’s online assessment and reporting platform.

Competition dates

Monday, 30 August

Tuesday, 31 August

Wednesday, 1 September

Designed by world leaders in education

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is globally renowned for its work in assessment and educational research.

ACER has been involved in the development and adminstiration of large-scale international surveys such as PISA and TIMSS and brings this vast experience in international assessment to the Global Academic Challenge.

Download our information pack

Includes printable materials to share with colleagues and parents 

Download information pack

Stay up to date

Join the Global Academic Challenge 2021 mailing list to be kept updated with news, developments, key dates and competition guidance. 

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