What are the HSC Minimum Standards?
NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) has implemented the HSC Minimum Standards to help ensure that students have the key literacy and numeracy skills for life after school. Students in New South Wales need to demonstrate a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy to receive the HSC credential.
The HSC Minimum Standard is set at level 3 of the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF). These skills are essential for everyday tasks and learning after school such as writing a letter for a job application or understanding a mobile phone plan.
The standard is assessed through online tests across three areas: reading, writing and numeracy. The Minimum Standards online tests are 45 minutes long and include a multiple choice reading test, a multiple choice numeracy test and a short writing test based on a choice between a visual or written prompt. Examples of the tests are available on the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) website.
Students who do not meet the HSC minimum standard can still:
- Sit the HSC exams.
- Receive an ATAR for University applications.
- Receive HSC exam results.
- Receive a ROSA.
- Receive a HSC minimum standard report.
But they cannot receive the HSC credential.
Students in Year 10 do not need to achieve the minimum standard to choose a subject they will study in Stage 6.
Practice tests are available for students to sit at school to help them become familiar with the online test structure. There are also online samples of tests and writing specimens that show the standard required. Students can use these to prepare for the tests.
Students will have four opportunities per year to sit the minimum standard online tests in each area of Reading, Numeracy and Writing, in Years 10, 11 and 12. Students will also have up to 5 years from the time they start the HSC courses to sit the minimum standard online tests. The tests must be administered by schools via a lockdown browser.
HSC Success Program
For those students who do not achieve the required standards in their first attempt, TJHS provides individual or small group coaching through the HSC Success Program. We are pleased to report that in 2020 every student in Year 12 received their HSC credential having passed all the Minimum Standards Tests. For some it took a number of attempts and quite a bit of coaching but they got there in the end!
Disability provisions and exemptions: Students with additional learning needs may be eligible for extra provisions for the Minimum Standard online tests or be exempt from meeting the HSC Minimum Standard in order to receive their HSC. Students taking four or more Life Skills courses can be exempt from meeting the HSC Minimum Standard. Students studying Life Skills English will be exempt from the Reading and Writing Minimum Standard tests. Students studying Life Skills Maths will be exempt from the Numeracy Minimum Standard test.
Further Information is available from the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) at: