the HSC project

Year 12 Covid-19: Updates to Your HSC 2020 and University Admission

Nourish Education HSC Economics Tutoring

by Benjamin Lam  on 10 June 2020

Year 12 Covid-19: Updates to Your HSC 2020 and University Admission

Nourish Education HSC Economics Tutoring

by Benjamin Lam  on 10 June 2020

It is great news amidst a challenging pandemic that students across NSW have resumed face-to-face learning and returned to the classroom full-time since Monday 25 May. Updates about your HSC 2020 and ATAR have been released by NESA to provide “the certainty that students need”. As well, statements about University Entry for Year 12 students have been made by UAC and individual Universities. New info is regularly being made available to help you navigate these trying times. However, there’s a lot of info and it’s not all in one collected place. If you’re confused and don’t exactly know where to look, we’ve compiled and broken down some essential details as well as answered some questions you may have.

Clarifications about the HSC In 2020 for Year 12 Students

The Essentials about Your HSC 2020 Year

NESA has made it very clear that in NSW there'll be an HSC this year.

NESA COVID-19 Response Committee has confirmed adamantly that the HSC 2020 will continue as it has had historically, albeit with some necessary changes made in light of the “significant disruptions” because of Coronavirus.
Importantly, principals and school authorities have been given by NESA even greater flexibility in making decisions about their school-based assessments. Individual changes made to the nature and weightings of your school’s internal assessments will likely reflect the current learning situation.
HSC 2020 written exams start on Tuesday, 20 October. The date will remain unless progression of the pandemic causes our circumstances to worsen. HSC 2020 results will be released on Friday, 18 December.
Due dates have been extended for major projects in Design and Technology, Industrial Technology, Textiles and Design, and Visual Arts. Previously mandatory group and ensemble tasks in Drama, Music, and Dance have been canceled for this year. Additionally, requirements for mandatory work placement in Vocational Education has also been waived.

The Essentials about keeping Yourself and Others Covid-19 Safe at School

Physical Distancing.

  • Maintain 1.5 metres distance from others;
  • Submit your work electronically where feasible;
  • Avoid physical greetings even with your friends;
  • Practise extra care on public transport;
  • Stay at at home if you are feeling sick or unwell.


  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue;
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
  • Avoid sharing food or drinks with your friends;
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects you use often.

Staying Informed about Covid-19.

  • Psychological and Physical well-being;
  • Maintain healthy eating, exercise, and sleep.
More info about COVID-19 and keeping yourself and others Coronavirus-safe can be found here.

Your HSC Internal Assessments; Weightings and Format

Structure of School-based Assessments

Principals and school authorities have been given greater flexibility in determining the number, type and weighting of school-based assessments.

NESA recognises – especially in these unique conditions we are currently facing – that “teachers are best placed to consider the extent of any disruption experienced by their individual students due to COVID-19 pandemic”. This means that the number and weighting of your remaining internal assessments may change depending on your school.
The majority of students would have completed 1 – 2 assessment tasks that were (each) worth ~20% of their internal marks prior to physical distancing regulations being enforced and schools closing. Subsequently, you probably would have already completed 20-40% of your total internal marks available. Your HSC mark is made up equally of your internal marks and HSC exam marks. This means that you’ve only completed 10-20% of your overall HSC marks, and still have 80-90% of your total HSC marks to go. So, don’t be discouraged by all the chaos that’s been going on and pull up your bootstraps because it’s not too late to start buckling down on your studies now!
In practical exams for science, it may be your teacher who now performs the 1 – 2 assessed experiments for the class to observe and draw data from. This might be the case because disinfecting apparatus after every use whilst also maintaining physical distancing will be difficult.

Hand-in School-based Assessments

Exams and assessments will mostly be in person, with previously mandatory group tasks as hand-ins.

Changes to Your HSC External Assessments

Previously mandatory group and ensemble tasks in Drama, Music, and Dance have been canceled for this year. Your final marks for the Major Study will be based on an estimate provided by your school. More info about changes to your creative arts performance and practical exams can be found here.
For the major work in English Extension 2, students no longer need to submit their final film. Instead, they will submit documentation of their shot list, storyboard, script, photo of location(s) and /or sketches and illustrations, and edited soundtrack.
Due dates have been extended by 2 weeks for major projects in Design and Technology, Industrial Technology, Textiles and Design, and Visual Arts.
Requirements for mandatory work placement in Vocational Education has also been waived for this year.

HSC Timetable 2020 and Key Dates


Written exams start on Tuesday 20 October, and finish on Wednesday 11 November.

Internal Ranks will be released via Students Online for 4 weeks after the written exams have finished.

HSC 2020 results will be released on Friday 18 December.

You would have already received your individual HSC exam timetable. In case you wanted to double-check the dates, the full written exam timetable for all subjects is here.

Languages and Oral Exams

The Language Oral Exam Schedule will be made available for viewing on Wednesday 17 June to Tuesday 23 June.

The Language Oral Exam Schedule will be made available for preferences on Wednesday 24 June to Friday 3 July.

The Language Oral Exams start on Saturday 15 August and finish on Saturday 19 September.

If for any reason you have not yet scheduled your preferred session by the 3 July, NESA will allocate an exam time for you.

Likelihood for HSC 2020 Exams to be Cancelled; and Your ATAR

Bottom Line

Every Year 12 Student wil get an ATAR for 2020.

The ATAR is a national system that is fair and consistent for University Entrance. It is the primary basis of admission to University. As in previous years, you will receive an ATAR this year, too. This has been confirmed by the Federal Education Minister, “there will be no year 13, there will be no mass repeating.”
Adjustments such as an ‘artificial ATAR boost’ or lower University entry scores are currently being looked into due to the significant disruptions to learning because of the pandemic.
It is also unlikely that your Year 11 marks will be used given that schools now have greater flexibility in determining the number and weighting of your school-based assessments.

Applying for Special Considerations

Illness and Misadventure

You can apply for special consideration via the NESA website.

In the event that “you get sick, your school and NESA have provisions to ensure you are not disadvantaged.” You can apply for illness and misadventure here.

You also now have more time to provide evidence to support your application for disability provisions.

University Admission and Additional Pathways

Alternative Entry Schemes

Universities are considering alternative entry schemes.

Universities Australia expressed that extracurricular work and Year 11 and 12 assessments may be taken into account by Universities when admitting students. The tertiary education sector is working with state governments, schools, and its own admission centres to ensure Year 12s have a clear pathway to University in 2021.
Macquarie University has announced that they will admit students based on their Year 11 results. This is on top of their already existing but limited Early Entry Schemes.
University of Western Australia has also announced new entry pathways for students into its main undergraduate degrees. An estimated ATAR that is calculated from a student’s Year 11 results, as well as a special tertiary admissions test may be used.
Australian National University will offer admission to undergraduate programs in 2021 based on a student’s Year 11 results in recognition of “all the disruption and challenges Coronavirus has wreaked upon our education systems.” 3000-3500 offers would be made based on a student’s Year 11 results with the condition that they finish Year 12. Separately, a new selection mechanism announced in 2018 is now in motion. It will consider traits such as community service, part-time work, and sporting prowess alongside ATAR scores.
Information about the admission criteria for courses and Universities will be made available on the UAC website by August. Final details of any special COVID-19 admission schemes will be released here.

Our Premium Tutoring For Online and Face-to-Face

Here at TutConnect, we are a small team of friendly tutors who care deeply about our craft and delivering to you the best learning experience we possibly can.
Our goal is to provide the kind of tutoring that we ourselves would have wanted resitting our own HSC!
Our online tutoring includes 1-on-1 time with our top tutors via live video as well as a whiteboard and real-time document editing. Catch up from any missed learning and improve your marks from the comfort of your own home!
If face-to-face tutoring suits you better, our excellent tutors also teach from a dedicated studio in Canley Heights!
Find out more or Book a free, no-obligation trial lesson by easily getting in touch with us!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *