Southern Cross School of Distance Education logo

Southern Cross School of Distance Education

Southern Cross School of Distance Education

Providing quality distance education since 1995

Knowing the syllabus

Have you looked at the syllabus for each of your courses recently?

How often do you look at the syllabuses?

Better still, how often do you read them and refer to them when studying?

A syllabus contains all the information that you need to know about the course you are studying. It provides a description of the course and the structure of a course, including the compulsory and optional topics or modules of study as well as what percentage of the course they represent. In addition to outlining what you will learn about and what you will learn to do, the syllabus will also detail the objectives and outcomes of the course; the skills and knowledge you will gain through your participation in the course.

The specific information that you will learn in the course is the section of the syllabus that you should be referring to regularly. Exam questions will come from the syllabus. Often a question will cover multiple dot points from the syllabus, so it is imperative that you know and understand the syllabus to allow you to identify and make connections between the relevant content required in your answer.

The better your knowledge of the syllabus, the better your results in the exam.

There are many ways that you can use the syllabus:

·       Read the relevant section of the syllabus preferably before learning about it in class, and again after learning it to help you make connections and process the information

·       Write the date in your copy of the syllabus indicating when each point was covered in class. This will ensure that don’t miss any sections of the syllabus and give you a quick reference if you need to go back to your notes to check a particular topic

·       Link the content you are learning to the syllabus learn about and learn to points. Add your notes to a table which includes headings such as the syllabus point, appropriate content and examples

·       Create a syllabus jigsaw for each course. Cut up the learn about, learn to, dot and dash points for each topic, mix them up and then re-assemble the syllabus. Challenge yourself even further and do this with all topics from the course mixed up

·       Read questions from past HSC exam papers and write down the relevant syllabus points that the questions relate to

More information

Access the NESA website to view and download a syllabus for any Stage 6 subject taught in NSW.

Read an article by a past HSC student about how he used the syllabus to achieve success:

How to use the Syllabus for success | Kush's Hacks (