HSC to go ahead, exam timetable released

THS captain Lori Webb was feeling positive about the new HSC exam schedule, which gives students an additional week to prepare. She and friends Liam Bell and Georgia Wilson maintain social distancing during lunch.

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) has announced the HSC will go ahead in 2020, releasing the exam timetable last Friday. Written exams have been pushed back by five days and oral exams by seven days.

Key dates are still subject to change if the Covid-19 pandemic worsens.

The 2020 written exams will be held later than originally planned, “to give students more face-to-face time with their teachers to revise, ask questions and seek support.”

On Friday, each student received access to their personalised 2020 HSC written examination timetable, which was released online and Tumut High School (THS) Captain Lori Webb was glad to have some clarity.

“I think it works well, they put the first exam back a week to give us more time to revise, which is good,” said Ms Webb.

Year 12 students returned to THS last week on Monday (May 11), while other students returned for one day each week. Year 11 students at THS resumed full-time classes this week.

Ms Webb’s exams will start October 20 and finish on November 5. The only “issue” on her exam calendar is that Agriculture and Biology have been scheduled on the same day. Each exam will run for three hours with a one-hour break between them. She said having two exams in one day “makes it a bit harder to revise the night before, as you have to study for two courses, not just the one.

“Other than that, I think they have set it out pretty well.”

She described the three hours exams as stressful, but was upbeat about the new schedule.

“At least it gives us that bit of extra time for revision,” she said, hopeful that classroom instruction would wind up early, giving HSC students extra time to revise with their teachers.

Ms Webb had also been taking advantage of online study sessions run for free by the universities, maintaining her studies through the pandemic restrictions.

NESA Chair Peter Shergold was empathetic in a video he recorded to announce the new schedule. 

“It has been a tough year, we know that,” said Mr Shergold. “We’ve constantly had to juggle the educational needs of our students with looking after their health and wellbeing.

“There’s a little bit more time before the exam period, the same period for the exam, and then the HSC results out by December 18. I think that’s the certainty that students need.”

Mr Shergold said the certainty was also important for TAFEs and universities as they determine placements for 2021.

Practical and performance examinations will now take place in August and September for students taking subjects such as Music, Drama, Textiles, Visual Arts, Design and Technology and Industrial Technology. Most of the dates for these performances and submissions have been pushed back by two weeks.  

Showcases of HSC major works will go ahead in 2021.

The new Key Dates include:

23 September 2020 – Submissions due for school assessments

20 October 2020 – HSC written examinations commence

11 November 2020 – HSC written examinations conclude 

18 December 2020 – HSC results released

January 2021 – HSC testamurs mailed