HSC Minimum Standard


From 2020, students in NSW need to meet a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy to receive the Higher School Certificate. It is a standard most students are expected to achieve by the end of Year 12 when they sit their HSC.

To show they meet the HSC minimum standard, students need to achieve Level 3 or 4 in short online reading, writing and numeracy tests of skills for everyday life.

2020 key dates


  • 10 February: Updated practice minimum standard tests open with new student feedback reports for reading and numeracy and new sample questions
  • 17 February – 30 November (on school days): Students may sit the reading, writing and numeracy minimum standard test
  • 30 November: Deadline to sit each test and receive the HSC credential by results day

Who needs to sit the HSC minimum standard tests?


2020 HSC

To show they meet the standard, students need to:

  • Achieve Level 3 or 4 in the online reading test or have achieved Band 8 or above in reading in Year 9 NAPLAN in 2017 and
  • Achieve Level 3 or 4 in the online writing test or have achieved Band 8 or above in writing in Year 9 NAPLAN in 2017 and
  • Achieve Level 3 or 4 in the online numeracy test or have achieved Band 8 or above in numeracy in Year 9 NAPLAN in 2017.

30 November 2020 is the deadline to sit each test and receive the HSC credential by results day.

2021 HSC and after

To show they meet the standard, students need to:

  • Achieve Level 3 or 4 in the online reading test and
  • Achieve Level 3 or 4 in the online writing test and
  • Achieve Level 3 or 4 in the online numeracy test.

Online Tests


Students will have a number of opportunities to meet the HSC minimum standard. This includes four opportunities each year from Year 10 up to five years after starting their first HSC course. At least 30 calendar days are required before re-attempting a test in the same domain. Students have to meet the HSC minimum standard in reading, writing and numeracy only once.

There are three 45 minute online tests:

  • an adaptive, multiple choice reading test
  • an adaptive, multiple choice numeracy test
  • a test for writing based on a written or visual prompt

The online tests will be administered by schools. Schools will help students to decide when they are ready to take each test.

Timetable


Students do not need to meet the HSC minimum standard to:

  • study HSC courses
  • sit HSC exams
  • receive HSC assessment and exam results
  • receive an ATAR
  • receive a Record of School Achievement

Only students who meet the HSC minimum standard will receive a Higher School Certificate testamur.

Links and resources


NESA

The NESA website has information and resources available, including details about:

  • timeframes
  • online tests
  • demonstration tests and sample questions
  • disability provisions and exemptions
  • resources for students, parents and teachers.

AISNSW

Information about professional learning can be accessed via the Courses and Events page of the AISNSW website.

AISNSW Student Services team provides tailored in-school consultancy support.

Email litnumstrategy@aisnsw.edu.au for further support.