Tips and Tools
Getting ready for your written exams
This information and advice is to help you prepare for and complete the HSC written exams.
1. HSC exam rules and procedures
Read through the 2013 Higher School Certificate Rules and Procedures guide.
2. Study tips and materials
The Study tips and materials section covers a range of tools and materials designed to help you prepare for your written exams.
3. Organising your exam equipment
Ensure you have all necessary equipment before your exam and make sure it is in functioning order - new batteries in calculator, pencils sharpened and new working pens. Remember, you are not permitted to borrow equipment during exams and you cannot submit an appeal on the grounds that your equipment is not working.
- List of equipment for all HSC exams and also specific HSC exams
- List of approved scientific calculators
- Calculators for General Mathematics
- What material is not allowed in the exam room?
Water may be taken into the exam room, but only in a clear bottle. No other food or drink can be taken into the exam room unless approved as a Special Examination Provision.
4. What to expect in the exam paper
Read the What to expect in the exam paper guide to prepare yourself for what your exam paper may look like, how to manage difficult questions and how much to write for the different types of responses.
5. Taking the exam
Read the short Taking the HSC written exams guide on how to prepare for sitting the exam, from understanding what to do if you run out of space to write your answers through to what happens at the end of the exam.
6. Illness/misadventure on exam day
If you become ill or suffer an accident that affects your exam performance, you should submit an illness/misadventure appeal form (available at the exam centre) through the principal and notify the Presiding Officer when entering the exam or as soon as possible.
It is important that you attend the exams where possible even if you believe your performance in the exam will be affected. If you cannot attend an exam because of illness or misadventure, notify your school principal immediately. You should never risk harm in order to attend an exam, or attend an exam against medical advice.
You must obtain documentary evidence generally on the day of the exam to support your illness/misadventure appeal. If you did not sit the exam this evidence must indicate why you were unable to attend. Read more in the 2013 Higher School Certificate Rules and Procedures guide.
Emergency disability provisions
A writer or separate supervision can be arranged if you have an accident or an illness such as a broken arm or chicken pox just before the exam. You should immediately notify your principal or year adviser in such a case.
Arriving late to the exam
If you are late to an exam advise your principal immediately and get to the exam centre as soon as possible.
Misreading the exam timetable
If you miss an exam because you have misread the timetable, you must contact your principal immediately.