Higher School Certificate

HSC Course - Assessment

The HSC Course commences in Term 3 of the Year 11 calendar year and concludes at the end of Term 3 Year 12.

Assessment in the HSC Course is described in each Board of Studies course syllabus document – these can be found at http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_hsc/

The Board of Studies requires that schools develop an assessment schedule for each course which clearly outlines the outcomes being assessed, the nature of the task (examination, oral, research, essay etc) the weighting of the task and the timing eg Term 1 Week 4.

At St Francis Xavier’s College, students will be required to sit for formal examinations during two blocks – the Mid-Course Examinations which commence in Week 8 of Term 1 (in the case of a 10 Week Term) and the Trial HSC Examinations which commence in Week 3 of Term 3 (in the case of a 10 Week Term). The Trial HSC Examinations are set (in most cases) externally by the Catholic Secondary Schools Association and provide students with a HSC ‘like experience’.

Students are provided with an Assessment Notification at least two weeks prior to each scheduled task. The Notification usually includes a description of the task, the outcomes, and marking criteria. In most cases Assessment Notifications are given in hard copy, are emailed to students and lodged in the Virtual Classroom for each course.

Many HSC courses split the assessment between a theory and practical component. The practical component usually involves the production of a major work, performance, research task or oral – examples include –


Community & Family Studies

Individual Research Project - IRP



Design & Technology

Major Project

Music 1 & 2




Individual & Group Performance

Society & Culture

Personal Interest Project (PIP)

English Extension 2

Major Work

Textiles & Design

Major Project

Industrial Technology

Major Project

Visual Arts

Body of Work


These practical components are usually due for submission to the Board of Studies in August of the HSC
(at about the same time that the Trial Examinations occur).


At the conclusion of the HSC Course schools are required to determine an Internal HSC Mark based on the tasks undertaken throughout the year and submit the mark to the Board of Studies. Students are not permitted to know their mark but are provided with their rank prior to commencing the HSC Examinations. On the HSC Credential posted to students in December of the HSC year students are notified of their Internal and Examination Marks.


Further information can be found at http://ace.bos.nsw.edu.au/ace-8069