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Assessment Certification Examination (ACE)
NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA)

Honesty in HSC assessment: what constitutes malpractice

ACE 9023

Last Updated: 20 October 2011

All work presented in assessment tasks and external examinations (including submitted works and practical examinations) must be a student’s own or must be acknowledged appropriately. Malpractice, including plagiarism, could lead to students receiving zero marks and will jeopardise their Higher School Certificate results.

Malpractice is any activity that allows students to gain an unfair advantage over other students. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • copying someone else’s work in part or in whole, and presenting it as their own
  • using material directly from books, journals, CDs or the internet without reference to the source
  • building on the ideas of another person without reference to the source
  • buying, stealing or borrowing another person’s work and presenting it as their own
  • submitting work to which another person, such as a parent, coach or subject expert, has contributed substantially
  • using words, ideas, designs or the workmanship of others in practical and performance tasks without appropriate acknowledgement
  • paying someone to write or prepare material
  • breaching school examination rules
  • using non-approved aids during an assessment task
  • contriving false explanations to explain work not handed in by the due date
  • assisting another student to engage in malpractice.

In the case of suspected plagiarism, students will be required to provide evidence that all unacknowledged work is entirely their own. Such evidence might include but is not limited to the student:

  • providing evidence of and explaining the process of their work, which might include diaries, journals or notes, working plans or sketches, and progressive drafts to show the development of their ideas
  • answering questions regarding the assessment task, examination or submitted work under investigation, to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills.