Board Developed Courses (Category A/B)

These subjects are set and examined by the NSW Education Standards Authority, and also contribute to the calculation of the ATAR. Note that only one Category B subject can be used for the ATAR calculation.

Board Endorsed Courses (Category BEC)

These courses are developed by schools, TAFE and universities. They count towards your HSC but do not have an HSC examination and do not contribute towards the calculation of the ATAR.

Content Endorsed Course (Category CEC)

The Numeracy course is a Content Endorsed Course developed by NESA.  This course can be included in the achievement of the HSC but does not have an HSC examination and does not contribute towards the calculation of the ATAR.

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

VET courses can be studied either at school or through TAFE NSW and other training providers. You will need to check which courses are available and the requirements of the different courses. For example, all VET courses involve a minimum number of hours in the work place.

VET courses contribute towards your HSC and Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) VET credentials, recognised by industry and employers throughout Australia. Some of the Board Developed VET courses (Category B) have an optional HSC exam so, if you choose to sit the exam, your results can also count towards your ATAR.

What are units?

All courses offered for the Preliminary and HSC subjects have a unit value of either 1 or 2 units. Most courses are 2 units.
Each unit involves class time of approximately 2 hours per week, and a mark value of 50 marks; so a 2-unit course will be studied for approximately 120 hours and worth 100 marks in the HSC.

Extension Courses

Extension study is available in some courses at HSC level. They build upon the content of the 2 unit course and carry an additional value of 1 unit in general.

English and Mathematics extension courses are available at both Preliminary and HSC levels. Students must study the Preliminary extension course before proceeding to the extension course in the HSC.

Extension 2 courses in these subjects require students to work beyond the standard for the extension 1 course.