Full HSC to go ahead

The NSW Education Standards Authority has released the timetable for this year’s HSC exams.

13 September 2021
A young woman is sitting at her desk studying for exams.
Image: Final stretch: Year 12 students now have certainty over their HSC exams.

All HSC students will get the opportunity to complete their studies in 2021, with the full complement of HSC exams to go ahead from 9 November 2021.

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell announced on Friday that students would be able to sit their HSC exams and receive their results in time for university offers to be made.

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) has issued a revised timetable, with 110 exams taking place over 19 days, ending on 3 December.

Students will receive their ATARs on 20 January 2022, with their HSC results released on 24 January.

Ms Mitchell said that after a disruptive and stressful year, students now had the certainty of the timetable and eight weeks to focus on preparing for their exams.

“Being able to sit all their exams safely is the best and fairest outcome for our HSC students,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Whether our students go on to university, vocational training or take on employment, it is important all of them are able to sit their exams and demonstrate what they know.

“I know that teachers, families and friends are supporting our HSC students every step of the way, and that the whole NSW community is wishing them well after a tough 18 months.”

Chair of the NESA Board, Professor Peter Shergold, said that providing a fair, equitable and safe opportunity for students to receive the HSC in 2021 continued to be at the forefront of every decision made by NESA.

“Revising the timetable to start on 9 November and deliver results on 24 January required the reconfiguration of a massive logistical operation involving more than 100,000 people,” Professor Shergold said.

“I am grateful to the NSW Vice-Chancellors Committee and the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) for their support, and for working with us to deliver an outcome which will see students receive their results and their university offers in a timely way.”

Strict COVID safe protocols supported by NSW Health will be in place to protect students, exam supervisors and school staff when HSC exams start on 9 November 2021.

The protocols for a COVID-safe HSC require exam supervisors to be fully vaccinated and strongly encourage eligible HSC students to receive two vaccine doses before exams start.

Other safety measures include:

  • Mandatory face masks for students and staff, indoors and outdoors
  • Check-in and health screening protocols for students and staff
  • Physical distancing between students and staff at all times
  • Minimising mingling of student groups
  • Keeping exam group sizes as small as possible
  • Desks spaced a minimum of 1.5 metres apart and exam rooms well ventilated
  • Hygiene marshals and regular cleaning of exam rooms.

An illness and misadventure process will be available for students who are unable to attend an exam due to having a positive COVID-19 test result, or being a close contact.

According to the HSC Enrolment Snapshot which will be released by NESA on Monday 68,710 students are on track to receive the HSC in 2021.

You can view the 2021 HSC exam timetable online and COVID-safe protocols are also outlined on the department website.


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