Higher School Certificate

The Higher School Certificate (HSC) is the culmination of your school career and the highest educational award you can achieve at secondary school in New South Wales. Study for the HSC begins with the Preliminary year, usually studied in Year 11, after completing Year 10.

The HSC caters for:

  • Students who want an ATAR, enabling direct entry to Australian universities.
  • Students who do not want an ATAR, but do want a recognised finishing credential.
  • Students who want an HSC that includes nationally recognised qualifications through vocational education and training (VET) and TAFE courses. Eligible VET courses can count toward an ATAR.

HSC Course Requirements

Year 11

To progress to Year 12, students must successfully complete:

  • A minimum 12 units of study.
  • A minimum of 2 units of English.

HSC Course (Year 12)

To qualify for the award of the HSC, students must successfully complete:

  • A minimum 10 units of study.
  • A minimum of 4 subjects must be completed.
  • At least 3 courses at a minimum of 2 units.

The College strongly recommends students complete 11 or 12 units to maximise their results. Students with exceptional or extenuating circumstances may apply to complete only 10 units of study in Year 12.

Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR)

To qualify for an ATAR for university entry, UAC processes a student’s HSC results:

  • Based on scaled marks of 10 units of Board Developed Courses.
  • Including 2 units of English (ESL, Standard, Advanced or Extension).
  • Including the 8 highest scoring remaining units.
  • Including a maximum of 2 units of Category B courses.

For more information contact: 

Helen Foster 

Head of Academic Administration

P  (02) 6933 1811

E  Helen.Foster@trac.nsw.edu.au