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Exam advice and resources for students

Help prepare for taking your exams - know what to expect in the exam room and the exam paper, including where to write your answers.

There are certain pieces of equipment you can and can't take into each written exam. You should also write in black pen.

Find advice about these exams specifically:

Make sure you follow the requirements for major projects and performances. If you submit a project that contravenes the rules in terms of size, scope or types of materials used, or submission by the required date, you will not gain full marks.

For each course you are studying, know the rules and requirements, and what to expect in each exam.


To prepare you should read:

  • The syllabus, particularly HSC content and outcomes, to see that you have covered everything you need to learn. 
  • The course assessment and reporting guide.
  • Past exam papers.
  • Exam paper marking guidelines – these can help you to understand the nature and scope of the responses that are expected of students.
  • Exam paper notes from the markers – these contain comments on candidate responses from past HSC exams, indicating the quality of the responses and highlighting their strengths and weaknesses.

Please note that the HSC examination paper booklet front covers now have the NESA branding.

Standards Packages contain examples of real HSC responses from students whose exam performances place them on the borderline between two Performance Bands. They illustrate the level of performance required to achieve these marks. 

The Glossary of Key Words contains some terms commonly used in exam questions. A definition of these terms has been provided to assist you understand what you are required to do in each question. It is a useful guide to question formats, but it is not exhaustive and you must be prepared for many kinds of questions.

Multiple-choice question quizzes – test yourself with questions from some past HSC exam papers to help you better understand the kinds of multiple-choice questions you may be asked. 

You may want to buy HSC exam work books for a range of courses on our online shop. Each workbook includes:

  • exam questions
  • guidelines provided to exam markers to assess student papers
  • real examples of top-scoring student papers that include actual comments by the official marker
  • tips for creating a plan and setting timings during the exam.

Also available to buy: