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NSW Curriculum
NSW Education Standards Authority
ACE Rules

NESA has published clarified ACE Rules on the NSW Curriculum website. Stay up to date with the clarified ACE Rules by visiting this website. 

The clarified rules come into effect from 14 October 2024. Schools must not implement the clarified rules before this date. Schools must use the current ACE Rules on Loading... until 14 October 2024.

To learn more about how NESA has clarified the ACE Rules, refer to the information sheets.

Conducting HSC exams

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NESA is authorised under section 20A of the Education Act 1990 (NSW) to:

  • determine rules and procedures for the conduct of the HSC exams
  • prepare and distribute to schools information relating to the conduct of exams for HSC candidates.

Categories

HSC (assessment)HSC credential

About conducting HSC exams

  1. NESA develops and publishes the Loading... each year. The published timetable is final, and individual times and dates of exams are not subject to change to accommodate individual circumstances1.
  2. For HSC exams, schools must:
    1. provide suitable accommodation and equipment
    2. nominate a Presiding Officer
    3. select and appoint HSC exam supervisors (on behalf of NESA)
    4. have a school delegate available for the full duration of each exam session
    5. have appropriate school staff to check exam equipment prior to a scheduled exam
    6. nominate an exam IT coordinator for online exams and audio files (if required), and
    7. receipt and securely store exam answer booklets and other sensitive materials.

Online resources

For further information

For enquiries about conducting HSC exams, including clarification on the eligibility requirements for exam staff, please contact NESA on 1800 200 955 or by email at presidingofficers@nesa.nsw.edu.au.

Footnotes

  1. For example, weddings, holidays or sport. NESA may use its discretion for eligible HSC candidates who have approved disability provisions.

Categories

HSC credentialHSC (assessment)

About provision of accommodation

  1. NESA approves an exam centre based on the number of students sitting an exam in an exam centre, and the proximity of an exam centre to other schools.
  2. Schools must provide accommodation for HSC exams that:
    1. is adequately lit and ventilated
    2. is free from as much external noise as possible
    3. is accessible for all students
    4. caters for the needs of students with approved disability provisions, and
    5. complies with any additional requirements specified by NESA.
  3. Schools should make assembly halls, multipurpose centres and gymnasiums available as exam rooms/centres. Schools may use classrooms or external venues only if this does not increase the number of HSC exam supervisors required and security can be maintained.
  4. Schools should have access to alternative exam centres should they be required.
  5. External disturbances1 need to be kept to a minimum during the exams.
  6. Schools must provide a secure, quiet, dedicated and private space within the school for exams with markers onsite (itinerantly marked courses).
  7. NESA may allocate students to a school’s exam centre, such as students from other schools or self-tuition applicants. NESA must provide the school principal with details of any students allocated to their exam centre.
  8. A student’s home school provides the exam centre for all of their exams, including when the course is studied through an external provider. Students may need to attend an exam centre in another school.
  9. The final decision about approved exam centres and student allocations to exam centres, rests with NESA.

Online resources

For further information

For enquiries about conducting HSC exams, including clarification on the eligibility requirements for exam staff, please contact NESA on 1800 200 955 or by email at presidingofficers@nesa.nsw.edu.au.

Footnotes

  1. External disturbances include, but are not limited to, school bells and noisy playground spaces adjacent to an exam room.

Categories

HSC (assessment)HSC credential

About approved exam equipment

  1. Students must take responsibility for knowing and adhering to what equipment can be taken into an exam room.
  2. A list of Loading... is published on NESA’s website.
  3. Principals must make arrangements for appropriate teaching staff to assist the Presiding Officer in checking exam-specific equipment1 before students are allowed into the exam room.
  4. Presiding Officers must remove unauthorised equipment from the exam room, but are not responsible for its safe keeping.

Online resources

Related ACE Rules

For further information

For enquiries about conducting HSC exams, including clarification on the eligibility requirements for exam staff, please contact NESA on 1800 200 955 or by email at presidingofficers@nesa.nsw.edu.au.

Footnotes

  1. Including calculators and dictionaries.

Categories

HSC (assessment)HSC credential

About Presiding Officers

  1. Principals must nominate one Presiding Officer on behalf of NESA for the HSC exams. One Presiding Officer is appointed for each exam centre, and the role cannot be shared. Principals may choose to withdraw and replace a nomination at any time.
  2. The final decision about approving Presiding Officers rests with NESA.
  3. The Presiding Officer is responsible for the receipt of question papers, the general administration of the exams, the organisation of the work of HSC exam supervisors and the dispatch of worked scripts.

Eligibility requirements for Presiding Officers

  1. Presiding Officers must:
    1. hold a valid Working with Children Check for paid employment prior to commencing work
    2. comply with all other conditions of employment set by NESA and the exam centre.
  2. A person cannot be nominated for the position of Presiding Officer if:
    1. they have a child or near relative (including grandchildren, nieces, nephews or first cousins) sitting the HSC exams this year at any school
    2. they are/were recently employed by the school (paid or volunteer) and may be perceived as a conflict of interest. This may include, but is not limited to, clerical staff, casual, relief, part-time or permanent teachers, canteen volunteers, board members or P&C members
    3. they tutor students sitting the HSC exams this year.

Working with your Presiding Officer for the administration and conduct of exams

  1. The principal (or delegated coordinator) must work with the Presiding Officer to ensure all arrangements for the administration of the exam are made as per the NESA Presiding Officer Handbook, which is published each year in Presiding Officers Online and Loading....
  2. Principals must arrange for the following school staff to assist the Presiding Officer administer these HSC exams:
    1. a music teacher should assist with the aural component of the exam in music
    2. a senior school employee should assist with the aural component of the exams in languages, English EAL/D and music, and
    3. the exam IT coordinator must assist with the setup of any online exams and be available to assist in the resolution of any technical issues that arise during the exam.
  3. Other than these nominated exceptions, no other school staff may be involved in the conduct of the exam.

Online resources

For further information

For enquiries about conducting HSC exams, including clarification on the eligibility requirements for exam staff, please contact NESA on 1800 200 955 or by email at presidingofficers@nesa.nsw.edu.au.

Categories

HSC (assessment)HSC credential

About HSC exam supervisors

  1. Principals must select and appoint HSC exam supervisors on behalf of NESA for the HSC exams. Principals may choose to withdraw and replace a nomination at any time.

Eligibility requirements for HSC exam supervisors

  1. HSC exam supervisors must:
    1. hold a valid Working with Children Check
    2. comply with all other conditions of employment set by NESA and the exam centre
    3. not have a near relative at the same school they wish to work
    4. not tutor HSC students, and
    5. not be employed by the school.

Online resources

For further information

For enquiries about conducting HSC exams, including clarification on the eligibility requirements for exam staff, please contact NESA on 1800 200 955 or by email at presidingofficers@nesa.nsw.edu.au.