More time to prepare for HSC exams

NSW Education Standards Authority

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) COVID-19 Response Committee has announced additional changes to the 2021 HSC timetable to give students additional time to prepare for upcoming HSC exams.

In recognition of the evolving COVID-19 situation and in line with health advice, NESA will:

  • Extend the hand in date for all major projects by two weeks. The hand-in date for Industrial Technology has been extended by four weeks
  • Reschedule Drama performance exams to run from 6 to 17 September
  • Music performance exam continue as scheduled, running from 30 August to 10 September
  • Reschedule the written exams to begin one week later on 19 October with HSC results out on 17 December.

Chair of the Committee Professor Peter Shergold said students could still receive their results, ATAR and university offers this year despite written exams being delayed by a week.

“We know students want certainty about their exams, our priority is to limit disruption to HSC students.

“Our aim is to give students as much clarity as possible so they can focus on their studies, their goals and their personal wellbeing.

“We recognise that students and schools across the state are operating under a variety of different circumstances. We will outline a special illness and misadventure process and any other contingency arrangements needed to ensure equity and fairness for all students,” Professor Shergold said.

CEO of NESA Paul Martin said the priority for NESA and the school sectors, is providing considered advice to students that aligns with the health advice and is fair to the whole cohort.

“The changes to the exam timetables mean all students have some additional time to prepare for exams or complete their project.

“We learnt a lot about our processes in the HSC last year and I am confident that we can apply those lessons this year,” Mr Martin said.

Earlier this week, oral language exams were rescheduled to start on 14 August.

COVID safe exam practices, including minimising school groups mixing, mandatory masks for everyone except the student during the exam, and Perspex screens will be in place at the oral language exams.

“Markers, many of whom are teachers, have an enormous undertaking ahead of them. I want to thank the teaching profession for all that they have done this year to support students.

“I can assure markers and exam supervisors that their safety, as well as the students, is our priority,” Mr Martin said.

For regularly updated advice about the HSC see NESA’s COVID advice. Teachers, students and parents can also contact the NESA COVID-19 support team on 1300 138 323 or

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