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Stage 6 assessment

Assessment is an essential component of the teaching and learning cycle. The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) continues to promote a standards-referenced approach to assessing and reporting student achievement. Assessment for, assessment as and assessment of learning are approaches that enable teachers to gather evidence and make judgements about student achievement. These are not necessarily discrete approaches and may be used individually or together and formally or informally.

Changes to school-based assessment requirements

School-based assessment requirements for all Stage 6 Board Developed Courses (excluding VET, Life Skills and Content Endorsed Courses) are changing.

The new requirements reflect the Stronger HSC Standards reforms announced in July 2016 and will provide a consistent approach to school-based assessment for all Stage 6 courses.

New requirements for all Stage 6 courses include:

  • mandatory components and weightings for both Year 11 and Year 12 courses
  • capping the maximum number of formal assessment tasks to three in Year 11 and four in Year 12
  • capping the number of formal written examination tasks that mimic the HSC examination to one per course, with a maximum weighting of 30% for the Year 12 course.

A formal written examination is defined as a task such as a Half Yearly, Yearly or Trial HSC Examination completed during a designated examination period. It is undertaken individually, under supervised examination conditions and includes one or more unseen questions or items. A formal written examination is used to gather evidence about student achievement of a range of syllabus outcomes, at a point in time. A formal written examination is often in the format of an HSC examination and typically draws from most or all content areas or topics or modules completed at that point in time. Schools are able to schedule more than one written examination to provide opportunities for students to prepare for and experience examination conditions. However, only one formal written examination can contribute to a formal assessment schedule.

Tests of limited scope (ie include a small number of content areas or topics or modules) will continue to be relevant and appropriate methods of formal assessment. These types of tasks are not considered as formal written examinations.

New syllabuses

The new requirements for school-based assessment for the new Stage 6 English, Mathematics Standard, Science and History courses are available with each syllabus.

Current syllabuses

New school-based assessment requirements will also apply for the current Mathematics, Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics Extension 2 courses, and for current courses in the Creative Arts, HSIE, Languages, PDHPE and Technologies key learning areas. Consultation on proposed components and weightings and mandatory assessment tasks was conducted from April to June 2017.

There has been no amendment to the current syllabuses or HSC Examination Specifications.

New assessment and reporting materials and sample assessment schedules for Year 11 and Year 12 courses are now available on the NESA website.

The draft components and weightings and survey statements for consultation, and Consultation Reports are available by learning area below.

Draft components and weightings Consultation Reports
Creative Arts Creative Arts Consultation Report
HSIE HSIE Consultation Report
Languages Languages Consultation Report
Mathematics
Mathematics Consultation Report
PDHPE PDHPE Consultation Report
Technologies Technologies Consultation Report

Implementation

Schools will implement new school-based assessment requirements for all Stage 6 Board Developed Courses (excluding Life Skills, VET and Content Endorsed Courses) with Year 11 from 2018 and Year 12 from Term 4, 2018.

Useful information

Further information regarding Changes to Stage 6 Assessment and Principles of Assessment for Stage 6 is available on the NESA website.

Examination specifications for English, Mathematics Standard, Science and History

Consultation on the draft HSC Examination Specifications for the new Stage 6 English, Mathematics Standard, Science and History courses occurred from May to June 2017.

The final HSC Examination Specifications will be published during Term 3, 2017 with materials including sample examination questions, sample answers, sample marking guidelines and revised performance band descriptions. New Stage 6 English, Mathematics Standard, Science and History courses will be examined for the first time for the HSC in 2019.

Consultation on draft HSC Examination Specifications for Science Extension, Mathematics Advanced, Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics Extension 2 courses will occur following the release of the new syllabuses.