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Practical exams are underway at John Curtin dance students Sophie Mackin and Madeleine Carter. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

Final exams started at the weekend for thousands of Year 12 students who study courses that include marks for a practical performance.

Over the next few weeks students will overcome nerves to perform solos in dance, drama and music, display their sporting prowess, be interviewed in foreign languages or operate a flight simulator in front of about 500 examiners at 40 centres around the State.

Their marks in the practical tests will be combined with results from the written exams to count towards their WA Certificate of Education.

The School Curriculum and Standards Authority said there were 10,443 enrolments for practical exams. Many students would do more than one practical exam.

The exams started on Saturday, with music and drama and will end on October 28.

Physical education studies had the most students, with 2325 being examined across 17 sports, including equestrian, golf and badminton.

The lowest enrolments were for foreign languages, with just one student enrolled in each of the oral exams for Portuguese, heritage Chinese Mandarin, heritage Japanese and modern Greek.

Acting authority chief executive Robyn Smith said results of at least one practical exam would also play an important part in determining WACE scores for many Year 12s.

"Managing practical examinations safely and fairly is a huge logistical task for the authority but there is little doubt that it makes an important contribution to assessment of student achievement in appropriate courses," she said.

"The small number of students studying some languages across Australia provides a challenge for all States and we support each other by sharing examinations."