BlogStudyHow to Interpret and Understand Your HSC Results

How to Interpret and Understand Your HSC Results

HSC Results 2020 - Featured Image

Five years ago I set my alarm clock for 5.55am. I ran downstairs and sat in the kitchen, with my Nokia E65 on the table, waiting in anticipation for my HSC Results.

Then it buzzed. I looked at the screen and found a jumble of numbers. Being a girl used to marks in the high 90s and somewhat of a perfectionist, when I saw my HSC Results in the mid-90s, I was understandably upset.

Looking back, I was unnecessarily worried. Why? Because I didn’t understand how to interpret my HSC Results.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of everything you need to know about Interpreting and Understanding your HSC Results!

What are HSC Results?
What kind of results does NESA issue?
What are HSC Marks made up from?
The Difference Between Raw Marks and Scaled Marks

What are HSC Results?

During the HSC, you take a variety of courses. Each subject has different courses.

For example, the subject of English has FIVE different courses: ESL, Standard English, Advanced English, Extension 1 English, Extension 2 English.

HSC Results provide information about how well you have done in each of your completed courses. They are respective of the courses, and are not the overall mark of all of your courses.

For example, I took the following courses:

    • Advanced English
    • Extension 1 English
    • Extension 2 English
    • Latin Continuers
    • Latin Extension
    • Modern History
    • Ancient History
    • Extension History
    • Studies of Religion II

I completed all of these courses, so I received an individual HSC Result for each individual course.

What kind of results does NESA issue?

NESA issues THREE different kind of results: Assessment Marks, Examination Marks and Performance Bands. 

1. Assessment Marks

During the HSC, your school will have issued you assessments in addition to exams. These may include tests, written assignments, practicals or projects.

Your school submits an assessment mark based on your marks for each assessment. 

Each assessment mark is moderated to allow for fairness across all schools.

2. Examination Marks

During the HSC, you will have sat many examinations. These typically comprise of a written paper, and with some courses, listen, speaking and/or practical examinations, and/or major works.

For each examination, you will have been assessed according to set standards or criteria.

This means that your marks are objective, and are respective to your performance against the standard, irrespective of how well your classmates and cohort performed.

3. Performance Bands

NESA measures student performance against a typical criteria which describes the typical performance of students who attained a mark within that range. These are then divided into bands. These bands describe that mark range and provides a features of the marks.

The bands are divided below. Band 6 is the highest. Band 1 indicates that not enough of the course outcomes have been met.

Band 6 = 90 – 100 marks

Band 5 = 80 – 89 marks

Band 4 = 70 – 79 marks

Band 3 = 60 – 69 marks

Band 2 = 50 – 59 marks

Band 1 = 0 – 49 marks

For Extension courses, the bands are divided below:

Band E4 = 45 – 50 marks

Band E3 = 35 – 44 marks

Band E2 = 25 – 34 marks

Band E1 = 0 – 24 marks

What are HSC Marks made up from?

Each HSC Result is comprised of the following:

    • 50% Assessment Mark
    • 50% Examination Mark

Thus, for Advanced English, your HSC Result will be 50% of your Assessment Mark (tests, projects) , and 50% of your Examination Mark (major works, written exams).

HSC Results 2020 - Marks Explained

The HSC Mark you have received is an average of the examination mark and the assessment mark. So for example:

    • Assessment Mark = 77
    • Examination Mark = 82
    • HSC Mark = 80 (79.5 rounded up)

Half-marks are rounded up to the nearest whole number, which is why the HSC Mark would then be 80.

What is the difference between raw marks and scaled marks?

Raw Mark

raw mark is the average of your moderated Assessment Marks and your raw Examination Marks before it is aligned to Performance Bands or adjusted by UAC. 

You will never know what your raw marks are – they are not made public to you.

Scaled Mark

Courses cannot be compared. Advanced English is not the same to Biology.

scaled mark is the adjustment of marks to match other courses. Essentially, scaling allows a comparison between you and someone who studied a different course, and provides an approximation of your marks if you had taken all other courses.

Are you looking for some extra help with your HSC subjects?

We have an incredible team of HSC tutors and mentors!

We can help you master your HSC subject and ace your upcoming HSC assessments with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at our state of the art campus in Hornsby or the Hills!

We’ve supported over 8,000 students over the last 11 years, and on average our students score mark improvements of over 20%!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational HSC tutor and mentor, get in touch today or give us a ring on 1300 267 888!


Elizabeth Goh isn’t a fan of writing about herself in third person, even if she loves writing. Elizabeth decided she didn’t get enough English, History or Legal Studies at Abbotsleigh School for her own HSC in 2010 so she came back to help others survive it with Art of Smart Education. She’s since done a mish-mash of things with her life which includes studying a Bachelor of Arts (Politics and International Relations) with a Bachelor of Laws at Macquarie University, working for NSW Parliament, and coming up with new things for her bio for every article.

 

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