'Best and fairest outcome': Full HSC to start on November 9

Cabramatta High School.
Cabramatta High School.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell has confirmed students will be able to sit their HSC exams and receive their results in time for university offers to be made.

The full complement of 110 HSC exams will start on November 9 and finish on December 3. Students will receive their ATARs on January 20, with their HSC results released on January 24.

"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."

NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) chairman Professor Peter Shergold said the reconfiguration of the timetable was a "massive logistical operation" involving more than 100,000 people.

"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," he said.

Strict COVID safe protocols will be in place to protect students, exam supervisors and school staff for the HSC exams.

The safety measures include:

  • Exam supervisors to be fully vaccinated.
  • Strongly encouraging eligible HSC students to receive two vaccine doses before exams start.
  • 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.

Universities Admissions Centre general manager of marketing and engagement Kim Paino said: "It's great news for students to know that they will be sitting their exams, and that there is certainty about when they will receive their results and when university offers will be made. We know how stressful and demotivating uncertainty can be, and we're all really hopeful that this plan will help students re-focus and finish Year 12 in the best way possible."

The first ATAR-based offer round for Year 12 students will be released at 7.30am on Wednesday, January 26. Students will have until midnight on Friday, January 21 to finalise their university preferences for this offer round.

On Friday, Western Sydney University announced they will offer a range of free online study sessions to assist Year 12 students in their preparations for the HSC.

Qualified senior teachers will deliver 26 sessions across 14 key HSC subject areas between September 29 and 24. Sessions will cover Advanced and Standard English, Chemistry, Economics, Advanced and Standard Maths, Geography, Business Studies, Biology, PDHPE, Legal Studies, Community and Family Studies, Modern History and Physics.