Choosing HSC subjects and exam support

Aside from the school’s support in the lead up to the HSC, your child may also be eligible for disability provisions for the exams themselves.

Support leading up to the HSC

The school should help your child choose the best subjects to meet their overall goals for their life after school. Your child’s interests and ambitions should be at the centre of these goals.

This decision-making process around what your child will study is called collaborative curriculum planning.

This collaborative curriculum planning decides:

  • the most appropriate content and outcomes for your child in each learning area
  • any adjustments or support they might need to access particular learning opportunities or assessments
  • your child’s learning goals
  • what pattern of study is most appropriate for your child.

You can find out more about the way this collaborative curriculum planning happens at the NESA website.

This planning should be part of the ongoing planning process the school has in place to help make sure your child has the skills they need to do the studies that they want. The school should also be helping your child develop useful strategies to complete their assessments and sit their exams.

HSC pathways

Your child can complete their HSC over two years during Years 11 or 12, but there are also other pathways available to all students depending on their needs.

These include:

  • spreading HSC studies over five consecutive years
  • including studies that your child completes at other educational institutions, such as TAFE,
  • studying some courses more quickly, in a shorter time period,
  • studying during an apprenticeship or traineeship.

These are options that you and your child can discuss with the school. You can find out more about alternate pathways to the HSC at the NESA website.

Disability provisions for the HSC exams

Disability provisions for the HSC exams are practical adjustments aimed at the specific impacts your child’s learning, medical, vision or hearing needs might have when they are sitting an exam.

These provisions only apply to students whose disability or additional needs might affect their reading and responding to questions in an exam situation. Your child may not be given the same adjustments in an HSC exam as they would be in a regular school assessment task.

Your child's needs can be identified by your child, a health professional working with your child, you, or the school, and the school will discuss with you both how they can apply and your child's eligibility.

If it is appropriate, the school will apply for HSC disability provisions to the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). Applications will need to be supported with evidence such as medical reports, reading test results or writing samples.

Your school can make this application from Term 4 in the year before, until the end of Term 1 of the year of your child's HSC exams. In some cases, if the impact of your child’s disability is not going to change, the school can apply for HSC disability provisions when your child is in Year 10.

Emergency provisions can be applied for up to and during the HSC exam period.

NESA will assess all the applications and will get advice from a panel of specialists as they need it. Schools can appeal NESA's decision within 14 days of receiving it.

Your child’s school will be able to tell you more about the application process, and you can also refer to the NESA website and the HSC Disability Provisions Guide for teachers and parents.


  • After school


  • Additional needs

Business Unit:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
Return to top of page Back to top