Which students must take the exam?
The HSC is one of two year 12 high school qualifications offered in NSW.
Each school in NSW can decide to offer the HSC and/or the IB (International Baccalaureate). Which one is taught is totally dependant on the school, though the very vast majority offer the HSC. It is mandatory to complete one of these two final certificates to graduate high school in year 12 in NSW.
There are also some schools in Canberra that offer the HSC.
Each year, around 70,000 students sit the HSC from 13 locations around the world, though most students come from NSW. The marks from these exams are ‘scaled’ and then converted into an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) which is then used for university admissions.