What is HSC in Australia? How does HSC work? How many people do HSC in Australia?

Portrait of Multi-ethnic group of teenager secondary school students and friendly teacher in the classroom of the High School. Cultural Diversity in Education and Society

There are many different qualifications with all manner of acronyms to choose from in Australia, so it’s no wonder why you may be feeling overwhelmed. For example, what does HSC stand for?

In this blog post, we’re going to look at what the HSC is, how it works, the benefits of obtaining an HSC qualification, the number of students who undertake the HSC in Australia every year, and the advantages of hiring a private tutor to support you in your HSC preparation. 

Let’s get right into it…

What is HSC in Australia?

The Higher School Certificate (HSC) is the final credential awarded to students completing their secondary education in most states and territories in Australia.

It is typically undertaken in Year 12, the final year of high school education, and serves as a qualification for entry into further education or the workforce.

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How Does HSC Work?

Now that we know what the HSC is, how does it work? Here’s everything you need to know: 

  • Subject selection: Students choose a range of subjects from various disciplines, including English, mathematics, sciences, humanities, and electives.
  • Coursework and assessments: Throughout the year, students will complete coursework, including assignments, projects, exams, and practical assessments, specific to each subject they choose.
  • External examinations: At the end of Year 12, students sit for external examinations administered by the state or territory education authority. These exams assess students’ knowledge and skills in each subject.
  • Scaling and ATAR: The HSC results are scaled based on performance and used to calculate an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). The ATAR is a ranking that determines a student’s eligibility for university admission.

What is the Purpose of Obtaining an HSC Qualification?

How important is having an HSC qualification? What is the purpose of the document? 

  • Academic achievement: The HSC recognises students’ academic accomplishments and provides a comprehensive assessment of their knowledge and skills.
  • University admission: Obtaining an HSC qualification is a requirement for entry into most undergraduate degree programs at Australian universities.
  • Career opportunities: The HSC serves as a foundation for pursuing various career paths and further education, such as vocational courses or apprenticeships (it’s worth double-checking the various trades available if you would prefer not to pursue further education and would rather get straight into working, such as painting and decorating or driving a freight truck).
  • Personal growth: The HSC journey fosters personal growth, resilience, and important life skills such as time management, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

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How Many People Do HSC in Australia?

On average, how many people complete their HSC per year in Australia? 

  • Each year, a substantial number of students undertake the HSC in Australia. The exact figures vary, but it is estimated that around 60,000 to 80,000 students complete the HSC annually across the country.
  • Naturally, the number of HSC candidates can fluctuate depending on population size, school enrolments, and state-specific variations.

Can an HSC Qualification Help You Get into University?

Is a HSC qualification an essentiality if you wish to apply for university? 

  • Yes, an HSC qualification is a critical requirement for university admission in Australia.
  • Universities consider a student’s ATAR, which is calculated based on their HSC results, as a primary factor in determining eligibility for entry into degree programs.
  • However, it’s important to note that university admission criteria may also consider other factors such as prerequisite subjects, interviews, portfolios, or aptitude tests, depending on the specific university and program.

Portrait of Multi-ethnic group of teenager secondary school students and friendly teacher in the classroom of the High School. Cultural Diversity in Education and Society

What are the Benefits of Hiring a Private Tutor to Help with Your HSC?

Now let’s look at the benefits of hiring a private tutor to assist with your HSC exam preparation: 

  • Personalised attention: Private tutors offer one-on-one support, tailoring their teaching methods to the individual student’s needs, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Subject expertise: Tutors possess in-depth knowledge of specific subjects and can provide insights, explanations, and guidance beyond what is covered in regular classroom settings. An HSC advanced English tutor can help you master your English prep and smash your exams – while other students may need help with Math or Chemistry, for example.  
  • Exam preparation: Tutors can assist students in developing effective study strategies, time management skills, and exam techniques to maximise their performance in HSC exams.
  • Confidence and motivation: Private tutors provide a supportive environment that boosts students’ confidence, motivation, and overall academic self-esteem.
  • Targeted feedback: Tutors can provide constructive feedback on assignments and practice exams, helping students identify areas for improvement and refine their skills.
  • Accountability and consistency: Regular tutoring sessions create a structured learning routine, ensuring students stay on track with their coursework and revision.



Let’s round this off with a quick recap of what we’ve learned about the HSC in Australia:

  • The HSC plays a significant role in the academic journey of Australian students, serving as a qualification for further education and opening doors to various career opportunities.
  • Understanding what the HSC is, how it works, and the benefits of obtaining an HSC qualification is crucial for students, parents, and educators. 
  • Additionally, the number of students undertaking the HSC each year is substantial, reflecting the significance of this educational milestone (some 60 – 70k students per year). 
  • Finally, the option of hiring a private tutor can provide valuable support and enhance a student’s HSC preparation, offering personalised attention, subject expertise, and exam-focused guidance. 

With the right knowledge, resources, and support, students can navigate the HSC successfully and embark on a path towards their desired academic and career goals. 

If you are having difficulty with a specific subject and you are desperate to pass your HSC with flying colours, hiring a private tutor is highly recommended. 

In any case, we hope that you’ve found this article insightful and wish you the very best of luck with your exams and future career trajectory.