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Springwood High School

Springwood High School

A School for All

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HSC minimum standard from 2020

What is the HSC minimum standard?

NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) has implemented the HSC minimum standard to help ensure that students have the key literacy and numeracy skills for life after school. Students in New South Wales will need to demonstrate a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy to receive the HSC credential from 2020. 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 standard 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 a ROSA.

  • Receive a HSC minimum standard report.

Students in year 10 do not need to achieve the minimum standard to choose a subject they will study in stage 5 or 6.

Practice tests are available for students to sit at school to help them become familiar with the online test structure and for schools to help determine student readiness to meet the minimum standard.

Students will have two opportunities per year to sit the minimum standard online tests in each area of Reading, Numeracy and Writing, in Year 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.

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: