BENDIGO principals say they are unsurprised that the General Achievement Test has been postponed for a second time.
The GAT - a three-hour assessment used to create a derived examination score for students who have had an interrupted year - was due to take place on July 29.
But the state government on Friday confirmed it would be pushed back to August 12 as a result of the state's fifth coronavirus lockdown.
Bendigo Senior Secondary College principal Dale Pearce said the decision was "sensible and logical".
"There is some degree of uncertainty," Mr Pearce said. "Schools would have only had one day prior to the GAT to prepare, which would have been challenging.
"In addition, we have students in some schools around the state who are in isolation. A number of schools - Bacchus Marsh Grammar, Trinity College - have been affected by this.
"Rescheduling the date improves the chances of more students being able to sit the GAT and it gives schools more time to prepare."
But Marist College Bendigo principal Darren McGregor said he was concerned about the impact on students.
"If kids were back at school on Wednesday, our preference would be to have it on the Thursday," Mr McGregor said. "It keeps being this cumulating effect of uncertainty.
"We need to give these kids some certainty, so that element is disappointing."
Catherine McAuley College learning and teaching director Matthew Angove said postponing the GAT was the correct decision.
"The GAT is important as an emergency result if students miss out on other exams," Mr Angove said.
"We don't know what the end of the year will look like. With the environment we're in, it's more important than usual that the GAT happens properly."
The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority on Friday also confirmed the Consideration of Educational Disadvantage process would continue in 2021.
The CED process ensures that every student is assessed fairly, with any disruptions to learning throughout the year factored into their results.
Mr Pearce said people needed to remember that the process was comparative.
"What the process is seeking to do is identify students who have been affected above and beyond," he said.
"The baseline is that we have all been affected, but it's about who has been affected more.
"We found it a challenging process last year. We are relying on what we do know, but part of the process is about seeking out what might not normally come to our attention.
"We hope that as part of the process, they will provide enough scope to draw in a range of information beyond what we see. But we will have to wait for those guidelines."
Mr McGregor said he was concerned about the overall wellbeing of his students.
"They're struggling," he said. "They say lockdown has impacted on their wellbeing, which has therefore had an impact on their learning.
"These kids are missing out on that really important social interaction in what is already a really challenging year. It's certainly impacting them."
Mr Angove said all students viewed lockdown and remote learning differently.
"It's probably not fair to treat all of the students as having the one particular experience," he said. "Education can be a real equaliser, but lockdown is one of those challenges that removes that equalisation.
"Some have a home environment that is really conducive to remote learning, while others don't.
"So some students seem to be going well, but I know a number of students who are finding it challenging."
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