If you have any questions about your journey towards the HSC, reach out to the careers advisor, transition adviser, year advisor or your favourite teacher at school to help you and your family plan your future.

Year 10: Choose a pathway

I want to finish High School


All students in NSW public schools with a secondary enrolment can actively seek support with their informed, planned and quality transitions through school.

Careers advisers help students explore their education and career options. They liaise with parents, teachers, employers, community agencies, as well as education and training providers to deliver career education programs and activities for groups of students or individuals.

If you want to finish high school and set yourself up for a bright future, but you’re not sure what your dream job is, the HSC is your best option.

· Find out more about what subjects to choose

What does this look like in practice?

Jirrah Nelson HSC pathway

I want to get practical skills

HSC + Vocational Education and Training (VET)

This pathway allows you to get your HSC while also gaining practical skills for your dream job. Choosing subjects that lead to a HSC but will also get you out of the classroom and into the real world.

VET courses are either delivered at your school, through TAFE NSW or other training providers. This might mean that you do a few days at school, and a few days at TAFE.

Taking VET courses as part of your HSC means you will work towards both a HSC qualification, and a nationally recognised VET qualification.

Studying for a VET qualification at school will help you succeed in further VET studies after school, and help you in getting an apprenticeship and a job after school.

I need to work while I am studying

HSC + School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship (SBAT)

If you need to earn money while gaining practical skills, this is a great way to set yourself up for a career at the same time.

SBATS combine paid work, training, and school. You can get credit towards your HSC, and a nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) credential while getting paid work experience.

· The Aboriginal Employment Strategy can help you find the perfect job during your SBAT.

Talk to your careers advisor, transition advisers or Vocational Education and Training (VET) Coordinator to find out more.

I want to go to university


The ATAR is a score that ranks your Year 12 results against all other final year students. Universities use ATARs to help them select students for their courses.

This is a great way to set yourself up for entry into university. Remember that although there may be lots of pressure to get a great ATAR score, it’s not the only way to get into university.

To follow this path, make sure you’ve only selected Board-Developed Courses as subjects. Board Developed courses are the large number of courses set and examined by Education Standards that also contribute to the calculation of the ATAR.

To find out more about what Board endorsed courses are available at your school speak to your year advisor.

What does this look like in practice?

Sarah O'Brien HSC + ATAR pathway

Life Skills

If you are impacted by disability, Life Skills may be a great option for Year 11 and 12. Talk to your school for more information.

Remember you may also be able to access disability provisions to help make the HSC work for you.

What subjects can I study?

Select your subjects

What you need to do before starting Year 11

Complete All My Own Work

What is the HSC Minimum Standard?

Year 11 and 12: Prepare to meet the Minimum Standard

Career planning decisions

Career Planning

Where to get help during your HSC journey

Getting help

Left school? We want you back!

You can take up to five years to finish your HSC, starting from the first year you complete an HSC course. This is called ‘accumulation’. What it really means is that taking a break from school doesn’t have to be the end of your HSC journey. Students should talk to the principal or careers advisor in the school to discuss this further.

Moved between school and TAFE, but still want an HSC?

If you’ve completed some HSC subjects or other courses at a different school, or even TAFE, you might be able to count these towards your HSC without having to repeat them. This is called a ‘credit transfer’ or ‘recognition of prior learning.

For example, if you did Year 11 in another State or Territory, or you left school to do a TAFE course before deciding to come back for your HSC, you might be able to show that you’ve met some requirements, and skip right past them onto the other parts of your HSC journey.

Repeating an HSC subject

If you didn’t quite pass an HSC subject, it’s not the end of the world - you can repeat one or more courses within five years, without penalty.

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