The first HSC English exam is on the first day, with students now preparing to cap off an academic journey that, for most, began 13 years ago.
For many this is a time of extreme pressure and nervousness while for others, it is recognised as merely being another milestone in young lives that marks the beginning of their adult lives.
This year, 75,006 students are studying one or more HSC courses, making it the most popular school credential in Australia in 2019.
There will be 123 written exams totalling around 350 hours, 96 exam committees and around 300 committee members will develop the written exam papers.
Around 330 students will sit HSC exams overseas.
Each exam is reviewed at least six times before more than 700,000 exam papers are printed.
The 750 exam centres are staffed by over 7,500 supervisors and presiding officers, with 5,500 markers working across NSW in nine marking centres and from home.
Close to 72 per cent (4,000) of HSC markers will mark online, with 83 courses to be marked all or in part online.
Of online markers, 80 per cent (3,200) will work remotely after attending a briefing and practice marking sessions at a marking centre.
Resources to be used include 26km of security wrapping; 51km of security strapping; 7,000 boxes; 17,000 consignments tracked; 35,000 papers quality checked; 40,000 return envelopes; 1,975,000 items to pack; 50 tonnes of steel cabinets; and 8,200,000 exam pages scanned.
If you brought together all this year’s HSC students, markers and exam supervisors, you would fill an Olympic stadium.
And that’s leaving all the classroom teachers outside.
Huge operation offers provisions
for those needing support in test
THE HSC is a huge operation each year, and the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) oversees it.
Disability provisions in the HSC are practical arrangements designed to help students who couldn’t otherwise make a fair attempt to show what they know in an exam room.
The provisions granted are solely determined by how the student’s exam performance is affected.
It is not embarrassing to apply for provisions, and more than 7,000 HSC students apply for provisions each year. Provisions help students to show the markers what they know and can do.
Schools are responsible for determining and approving adjustments for all school-based assessment tasks. NESA determines disability provisions for the Higher School Certificate examinations.
To apply for provisions, schools must submit an online application to NESA. This application tells NESA which provision/s a student is requesting and includes recent evidence. Evidence may include medical reports, reading results, spelling results, writing samples and teacher comments.
Must follow good scholarship rule
‘HSC: All My Own Work’ is a program designed to help HSC students follow the principles and practices of good scholarship.
This includes understanding, valuing and using ethical practices when locating and using information as part of their HSC studies.
Students who have completed the program will also know about penalties for cheating and how to avoid malpractice when preparing their work for assessment.
To be eligible for the HSC, students must complete ‘HSC: All My Own Work’ (or its equivalent) before they submit any work for Preliminary (Year 11) or HSC (Year 12) courses, unless they are only entered for Year 11 and Year 12 Life Skills courses.