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Minimising Covid-19 Impacts To HSC Students

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) COVID-19 Response Committee has today announced a number of changes to the 2021 HSC timetable to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on HSC students and schools.


NESA will make the following changes to upcoming HSC exams:

  • Reschedule the Oral language exams to run from 14 August to 18 September for students in Greater Sydney and regional NSW

  • Reschedule the Dance performance exams to run from:

  • 9 to 13 August in schools in regional NSW

  • 13 to 17 September in schools in Greater Sydney

  • Extend the due date for the Society and Culture Personal Interest Project by two weeks to 9 August

  • Extend the hand in date for all major projects by two weeks. The hand-in date for Industrial Technology has been extended by four weeks

  • Reschedule Drama performance exams to run from 6 to 17 September

  • Music performance exam continue as scheduled, running from 30 August to 10 September

  • Reschedule the written exams to begin one week later on 19 October with HSC results out on 17 December.

More information, including the proposed timetable for the rescheduled oral and dance exams will be provided as soon as possible.

Chair of the Committee Professor Peter Shergold said these decisions reflect the latest health advice and are part of ongoing decisions providing certainty to students.

“We know students, particularly those in Greater Sydney, need as much support as possible as they prepare to hand in their major projects and sit exams.

“Our priority is to limit disruption to HSC students and provide as much clarity as possible to them and their schools.

“This involves working with Health to identify where and when we should make changes to the HSC that allow it to continue with limited disruption.

“This is why we are taking a step by step approach, not rushing any decisions and making sure no changes are unnecessary, while also protecting the safety of students and the integrity and equity of this year’s HSC.”

Strict COVID safety measures will be in place for all HSC exams and students will be required to follow the public health orders at the time of the exam.

To prevent the mixing of students from different schools, NESA will re-program the session dates, times and venues of the oral language exams in Greater Sydney. To avoid unnecessary travel, oral language exams for students in regional NSW will be held online where ever possible.

“We are continuing to work closely with NSW Health and will provide a further update to schools early next week about due dates for the other major projects and Drama and Music performance exams currently scheduled for later in August,” Professor Shergold said.

CEO of NESA Paul Martin said students will obtain their HSC this year.

“My message to students is to continue studying and focus on achieving your best as we work with all schools to ensure the HSC continues with minimal disruptions.

“We are working with all sectors, with Health and the Department of Education to create contingency plans and COVID safe guidelines for running the HSC,” Mr Martin said.

NESA has also released advice to help schools in Greater Sydney with contingency planning for the trial HSC exams.

The physical and mental wellbeing of students remains a priority as they continue studying for upcoming exams.

The Stay Healthy HSC campaign is encouraging students to continue taking care of their health and wellbeing and importantly, asking for help if they need it.

Visit the Stay Healthy HSC hub for tips, resources and study advice for students and their parents. For regularly updated advice about the HSC see NESA’s COVID advice. Teachers, students and parents can also contact the NESA COVID-19 support team on 1300 138 323 or


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