Updated advice for HSC students

Following the NSW Government’s announcement today to extend learning from home in Greater Sydney by two weeks, the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) is reassuring HSC students that arrangements are in place to ensure no student is disadvantaged by COVID restrictions.

14 July 2021

NESA CEO Paul Martin said NESA is supporting HSC students and schools as COVID impacts NSW particularly those in Greater Sydney.

“Right now, our attention is on plans for the HSC oral language exams on 31 July and dance exams which are due to start on 2 August and we will issue further advice about these exams mid next week,” Mr Martin said.

“At this stage, we are planning for the drama, music and written exams and the marking of major works and projects to go ahead on schedule in a COVID safe way.”

NESA is continuing to work closely with NSW Health and the school sectors to plan contingencies for HSC exams, and will always follow the Health advice to prioritise the safety and health of students, exam staff and school communities

While HSC trial exams are a school-based assessment activity that are not conducted by NESA, NESA has made some changes to their rules to help schools respond to the evolving COVID situation.

These changes mean schools can postpone trial exams by a few weeks or provide an alternative assessment task suitable for the learning from home context.

NESA will publish further advice to support schools to determine suitable alternative assessment tasks and to estimate marks should the health advice require rescheduled trial exams to be cancelled.

“I want to say categorically that students will have the opportunity to receive the HSC this year,” Mr Martin said.

“Students should continue to focus on their studies and prioritise looking after their wellbeing.”

Teachers and schools are absolutely focussed on supporting HSC students whether they are learning from home in the Greater Sydney region, or at school in regional NSW.

Current advice for HSC students includes:

  • Your school will advise you about arrangements for trial HSC exams.
  • HSC students in Greater Sydney continue to be able to access school to prepare for the HSC where they cannot do so from home, including to use specialist equipment to work on major projects or rehearse for performance exams.
  • As per broader NSW Health advice, HSC students in Greater Sydney are asked to learn from home where possible.
  • All HSC students must follow COVID safe practices at school, including wearing a mask.
  • The COVID illness/misadventure process is available for students whose ability to work on their major project or performance has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

NESA is regularly updating the advice for HSC students. For more information visit educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/covid-19-advice. Teachers, students and parents can also contact the NESA COVID-19 support team on 1300 138 323 or covid19support@nesa.nsw.edu.au.


  • Latest news
Return to top of page Back to top