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Southern Cross School of Distance Education

Southern Cross School of Distance Education

Providing quality distance education since 1995

Past HSC exams

Completing past exam papers are a great way to help you prepare for your HSC examinations.

You will become familiar with the exam format and can start to plan approximate timings for completing the different sections in the exam. Past HSC exam papers can be attempted in sections, allowing you to refine your skills, such as writing concisely for short answer questions or eliminating the distractors in multi-choice questions. Working up to completing an entire past HSC exam paper within the timeframes allowed will help you to develop your exam fitness. Being able to concentrate and write for a 3-hour exam takes practice.

You can access past HSC exam papers for each course on the NESA website. In addition to being able to download the HSC exam paper, you can also access the marking guidelines used by markers to guide their marking of a student’s work. Using the marking guidelines will allow you to assess your responses after completing a past HSC exam paper and will improve your understanding of how your exams will be marked.

General feedback from the HSC markers is also included, providing an overview of the qualities of the better responses from students, as well as suggested areas for students to improve. Using this feedback can help guide your preparations for your HSC exams.

HSC Standards

The NESA website provides examples of student responses to HSC exam questions for some subject areas. This can be particularly useful in showing you what the typical standard of work looks like at different performance bands. Remember that performance bands (a statement summarising required, knowledge, skills and understanding typically demonstrated for that standard) are used to determine the marks that students receive. The responses provided focus on those placed close to the borderline between each pair of bands.

Please visit the ‘HSC Standards Materials’ section on the NESA website for examples of the nature and quality of student responses (available for some subjects only).