Higher School Certificate school-based assessment

ACE 8069

Last Updated: 1 April 2019

The school-based assessment marks submitted by a school for each course are intended to indicate students' achievements at the end of the HSC course.

The school-based assessment marks are based on:

  • a wider range of syllabus outcomes than can be measured by the external examination
  • multiple measures and observations made throughout the HSC course rather than a single assessment event.

Measuring achievement at several points during the course can provide a better indication of student achievement than a single, final assessment event.


Multiple measures also cater for any knowledge and skills outcomes that are better assessed in specific settings or at specific times (eg research, fieldwork or practical skills).

The assessment marks submitted by the school reflect the knowledge and skills objectives of the course and the related outcomes. Schools should not include measures of objectives and outcomes from the affective domain (ie values and attitudes) in their assessments. Assessments should not be influenced by factors such as student conduct.

Students with disability may require adjustments to assessment activities to enable access to the task and equitable opportunity to demonstrate what they know and can do. Providing an adjustment does not restrict a student’s access to the full range of grades.

Honesty in HSC Assessment: the Standard sets out NESA’s requirements concerning students submitting their own work in HSC assessment. Candidates for the Higher School Certificate, as well as their teachers and others who may guide them, are required to comply with the standard. Students who engage in malpractice in school-based assessment tasks will be recorded on the NESA malpractice register by their school.

HSC VET courses
The submission of school-based assessment marks is not required for VET courses. However, schools are required to submit estimated examination marks for students enrolled in HSC VET examinations (ACE 8097). For specific advice on assessment of VET courses see: ACE 8093 HSC assessment of VET courses.

HSC Life Skills Courses                                                                                       

The submission of school-based assessment marks is not required for Life Skills courses. For specific advice on assessment of these courses see: ACE 7008 Assessment of Life Skills outcomes in Stage 6.