Toormina High School Careers

HSC Information

HSC Information

HSC study can be particularly daunting. All the rules and requirements as well as the huge range of subjects can scare and confuse you. It doesn't have to be that way. On this page you will find information and links to more information about HSC rules and requirements as well as lots of helpful subject specific material.

HSC Study Requirements:

All courses that are studied as part of the Higher School Certificate are actually divided into two courses - the Preliminary Course and the HSC course. The Preliminary Course in a given subject (eg; Biology) is normally studied in Year 11, while the HSC Course is normally studied in Year 12.
You must satisfactorily complete the Preliminary Course in a subject before being eligible to study the HSC Course. It is on the HSC Course that you will be examined in the Higher School Certificate exams.

The NSW Education Standards Authority - NESA - (the organisation which oversees the whole HSC and its awarding to students) specifies that you must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 12 Units in the Preliminary Course (normally Year 11) and 10 Units in the HSC Course (normally Year 12).

NESA requires that you must study a range of subjects that fit
the following pattern:
You must study:
  1. at least 12 Preliminary and 10 HSC units of study
  2. at least 2 units of English
  3. at least 4 subjects
  4. at least 6 Board Developed units
  5. at least 3 courses of 2 unit value or greater
  6. no more that 6 units of Science can be used to contribute to the HSC

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR):

The ATAR is a ranking given to HSC students who apply for one. It is calculated by the Universities (through UAC) and is used to rank students for the purpose of offering them a place in University courses.
It is simply a number between 0 and 99.95 and ranks you relative to the other students who sat for the HSC in the same year as you.
It is calculated on your best 10 Board Developed Units.
You only need a ATAR if you are intending to go to university once you leave school.

The video below was produced by The Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) to explain all about the ATAR.

Study Strategies:

Effective study habits and techniques are the key to success in the HSC.
Click here to find out more about how to study effectively.

Exam Techniques: 

While you might be able to study effectively, you also need to know the best ways to approach exams.
Click here to get information on how to develop good exam techniques.