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Students excel in new academic competition

Students excel in new academic competition

ACER news 4 minute read

Nineteen students from schools in NSW, Vic, WA and Qld have been awarded medals for exceptional achievement in the Global Academic Challenge.

More than 2000 students from 75 schools around Australia took part in the Global Academic Challenge – a new initiative designed to stretch high-performing students by applying their skills and knowledge beyond the traditional curriculum – in March 2022.

The competition challenges students in Years 4, 6 and 8 in Mathematics, Reading and Science over three days. There is no barrier to entry and the Global Academic Challenge is open to any school keen to help students measure themselves against national and international performance benchmarks.

According to ACER’s Manager of School Assessment Services, Dr Jarrod Hingston, results exceeded expectations despite recent disruptions to schooling.

‘We were incredibly impressed by the performance of participants given the turbulence of the past two years,’ Dr Hingston said. ‘It was heartening to see such strong results across the board.’

Medal winners

Students who achieved the best result in their year level and learning area were awarded a challenge medal. The most medals awarded to a single school went to four students at Melbourne Girls Grammar.

Other recipients were awarded certificates recognising their achievement at several levels: High Distinction with Honours, High Distinction, Distinction, Credit and Participation.

Global benchmarking

The Global Academic Challenge is based on ACER’s International Schools Assessment (ISA), a progressive achievement assessment used by schools in more than 70 countries to pinpoint student learning and target teaching to meet their needs. Twenty years of ISA administration has resulted in reliable international benchmarks and a longitudinal picture of student achievement trends, allowing participants in the Global Academic Challenge to compare their performance against a worldwide measure.

Many of the high-performing Australian students achieved results that align with the performance of the top 5 per cent of the international comparison group, with the results for Year 6 and Year 8 Reading particularly strong.

Additionally, a detailed report on each student’s results allows teachers to identify potential stretch opportunities for future learning.

Challenge results

ACER Chief Executive Professor Geoff Masters congratulated challenge participants on their performance.

‘We are delighted that so many schools took up the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Global Academic Challenge, especially given the challenges faced by Australian education this year,’ Professor Masters said. ‘We offer our congratulations to every student who participated.’

Registrations for the 2023 challenge open on 30 May 2022.


Year 4

  • Trinity Anglican School, Earlville, Queensland

Year 6

  • Coatesville Primary School, Bentleigh East, Victoria
  • Melbourne Girls Grammar, South Yarra, Victoria
  • Prince of Peace Lutheran College, Everton Park, Queensland

Year 8

  • Melbourne Girls Grammar, South Yarra, Victoria

Year 4

  • Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School, Terranora, New South Wales

Year 6

  • Hammond Park Primary School, Hammond Park, Western Australia
  • Melbourne Girls Grammar, South Yarra, Victoria

Year 8

  • Melbourne Girls Grammar, South Yarra, Victoria (2 medal winners)
  • Our Lady of Sion College, Box Hill, Victoria
  • Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Burwood, Victoria (2 medal winners)
  • St Monica's College, Footscray, Victoria

Year 4

  • St Andrews Christian College, Wantirna South, Victoria
  • St Mary's Primary School, Altona, Victoria

Year 6

  • Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School, Terranora, New South Wales
  • St Columba Anglican School, Port Macquarie, New South Wales

Year 8

  • Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics & Technology, Toowong, Queensland (2 medal winners)

Find out more

Explore the Global Academic Challenge. ■

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