HSC Standards Material

Student performance in the Higher School Certificate examinations is reported according to standards (or levels of achievement).

This standards material contains links to:

  • general information about the HSC standards material, how the standards are applied following the examination and how the standards material can be used
  • the marking guidelines that show the criteria applied to allocate marks to the student responses in line with the quality of responses
  • performance band descriptions summarising the knowledge, skills and understanding typically demonstrated by students who achieve each band
  • the syllabus
  • the examination papers that show each question students were required to answer or task they were required to perform
  • samples of student responses to all the compulsory questions and some of the optional questions to illustrate the nature and quality of the responses typically produced by students whose marks in the examination placed them at the borderline between bands. The material is organised in such a way that if a particular component or a particular band borderline is selected, you can view or hear a sample of the students’ responses at that borderline. It is possible to refine your search criteria by using keywords or by selecting multiple criteria
  • tables and graphs showing the statistics of how students answered multiple-choice questions. For each group of students with overall marks on the borderline between two bands, the percentage of the group who selected A, B, C and D is given
  • exemplary responses for non-multiple-choice items. The standards material contains an exemplary response for every question and option where a suitable sample is available.

Please note: Files are in Portable Document Format (PDF). To view and print documents in PDF, you will need to have a copy of Adobe Reader. You can download the latest Macintosh, Windows, and other versions of the Adobe Reader, from the Adobe website. Visit the Board of Studies NSW website for more help.