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Published
03 March 2017

Reforming the HSC

​​Last week, the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) released new Stage 6 (Years 11 and 12) syllabus documents for English, Mathematics, Science and History. These new syllabus documents are for implementation from Term 1, 2018 for the Preliminary Course (Year 11) and Term 4, 2018 for the HSC Course (Year 12).

These new documents are part of the government's plan to reform the HSC with the aim being to ensure that students receive a greater depth of understanding of the content prescribed. These plan changes will also see the number of assessment tasks in the Preliminary Course (Year 11) capped to three tasks and four tasks (including the HSC trial examination) for the HSC course. This change is to allow more time for teaching and learning. It is also supported by research that states fewer and more targeted assessment tasks are more effective in providing feedback to teachers about their students' strengths and weaknesses.

The final HSC examinations held every year will continue. They will also continue to form 50 percent of a student's final HSC marks. However, HSC examination questions will be less predictable so students must apply their knowledge and skills in their answers.

Common Scale to be used in mathematics

Similarly to English, mathematics courses will be assessed on a common scale to allow comparison of students doing easier or harder courses. The common scale will allow better recognition of student efforts and encourage them to take a mathematics course that better suits their ability.

Ms Kylie McCullah
Head of Academic Challenge​