Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A certificate is an official document affirming some fact. For example, a birth certificate or death certificate testifies to basic facts regarding a person's birth or death. A certificate may also certify that a person has received specific education or has passed a test.
As an academic award
A certificate, in addition to certifying that someone has passed a test or reached a specific standard of knowledge may also be the name of an actual award.
In many countries, certificate is a qualification attained in secondary education. For instance students in the Republic of Ireland sit the Junior Certificate and follow it with the Leaving Certificate. Similarly other countries have awards, for instance, in Australia the Higher School Certificate (HSC) in New South Wales, the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) in Victoria, etc., is the examination taken on completion of secondary education.
In many countries, certificates are qualifications in higher education. For example, in Ireland, the National Certificate, which is soon to be replaced by the "Higher Certificate". In Australia, a certificate is a qualification offered by a university or other higher education provider which is shorter than a degree or diploma. These have the titles Certificate (at an undergraduate level), Graduate Certificate (at an undergraduate level, but requiring the completion of a prior undergraduate degree for admission) and Postgraduate Certificate (at a postgraduate level). In Hong Kong, form five students take the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination. Certificate is below the standard of the associate degree and higher diploma, which are below the bachelor degree. Postgraduate certificate are taken after the bachelor degree and are more vocational oriented than master's degree.
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