New South Wales

Year 12 in NSW

In New South Wales, students who successfully complete year 12 studies are awarded the Higher School Certificate (HSC). HSC results are the basis for determining which students receive offers of enrolment at tertiary institutions. The HSC program has a long history in NSW education, extending back to the late 1960's, when it was first introduced.

To be awarded an HSC, a student must complete four subjects or more, involving at least ten units of study.

HSC schools offer a wide range of subjects (worth 2 units) and extension courses (worth 1 unit). Each single unit of work is marked out of 50, so the majority of the core HSC subjects involve a mark out of 100. A student's overall HSC result is calculated from their best 2 units of English plus their best 8 additional units.

About HSC Results

HSC results are divided statistically into bands, from 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest) in a standard course, or from E1 to E4 in an extension course.

Students who achieve a band 6 or E4 result are recognised as Distinguished Achievers. This is equivalent to an HSC score of 90% or more.

Administration of the HSC

The NSW Board of Studies is responsible for administering the HSC program. It establishes and manages the curricula used throughout the NSW primary and secondary schools, from Kindergarten through to year 12. It conducts the external HSC examinations each year in November. It also oversees the assessment process and the distribution of exam results.

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