Top tips for Year 10 students choosing their HSC courses

01 Jul 2017

Classroom scene in which students, sitting at desks in rows, are busy working; the female student closest to camera is looking diagonally upwards smiling

It's all about you.

  1. Choose what you’re good at, interested in and which will lay a foundation for your future plans.
  2. Choose HSC courses best suited to your ability. Don’t choose courses just because of scaling or because you think they will give you a better ATAR.
  3. Make the link between your choice now and where you want to go after Year 12.
  4. Check if the uni you want to go to (and/or the course you want to do) has prerequisites and assumed knowledge – the UAC Year 10 booklet has all this info.
  5. If you want to get an ATAR, make sure you will be eligible.
  6. Depending on what you study, marks around 70 in the HSC could lead to an ATAR in the 50s, while marks closer to 80 could lead to an ATAR of 80. 
  7. Lots of students get HSC marks between 70 and 80, so their rankings are really spread out. Getting closer to 80 will make a big difference to your ATAR.
  8. Remember that unis will often increase your selection rank for a uni course if you perform well (usually Band 4 and above) in particular HSC courses related to that course.
  9. If you’re not sure what level maths and English to take, choose the level that suits your ability and future plans. You will not necessarily get a higher ATAR by studying a lower level course, and unis don’t always reward your performance in the lower level courses (ie increase your selection rank), no matter how well you do. Also check prerequisites in case you need to get a certain performance band.
  10. To maximise your ATAR you have to make good choices about what to study, work to the best of your ability and work towards your goals for life after school.