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The NSW School Certificate

The School Certificate is awarded by the Board of Studies NSW to eligible students at the end of Year 10. It prepares students for success in HSC study, training and apprenticeships or in the workplace. It also provides a detailed picture of a student’s strengths and achievements at the end of Year 10 of schooling.

School Certificate Courses

To receive the School Certificate, students are required to study courses in each year in Years 7-10 in English, Mathematics, Science, Human Society and its Environment (HSIE) and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE). At some time during Years 7-10, students are also required to study courses in Creative Arts, Technology and Applied Studies and Languages. Read more about School Certificate syllabuses.

School Certificate Grades

Students are awarded a grade for each of the courses they have studied in Years 9 and 10. The grades are based on a set of Course Performance Descriptors developed by the Board. They indicate a student's full range of achievements in each course, providing a detailed report of the student's overall performance. The Assessment Resource Centre website describes this aspect of the School Certificate in more detail.

School Certificate Tests

All students in Year 10 sit for statewide tests in November in English-literacy; Mathematics; Science; Australian History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship; and Computing Skills. The tests assess students' achievement in the foundation knowledge and skills needed to successfully undertake subjects in Years 11 and 12 and to participate effectively in the wider community.

School Certificate Credential

All students successfully completing the School Certificate receive a portfolio with two documents, a School Certificate Testamur and a Record of Achievement. Read more about what details are included on each document and see sample images on School Certificate Credentials.

Statistics

Approximately 80,000 students receive the School Certificate credential each year, and approximately 60,000 go on to achieve a Higher School Certificate. Visit the Statistics Archive section of the Board’s website for more data.


Guide to the 2011 School Certificate: Rules and Procedures for Students

Guide to the 2011 School Certificate cover
Guide to the 2011 School Certificate – Rules and Procedures for Students (PDF)
Published 7 March 2011

This guide covers important information for all students undertaking the School Certificate.

Studying for the NSW Higher School Certificate

Studying for the NSW HSC guide cover
Studying for the NSW HSC
Published August 2012

This guide is for Year 10 students and anyone planning their Year 11 and Year 12 studies. The information contained in this guide is accurate at the time of publication. Schools will be notified of any changes to the rules and requirements.

Guide to the 2011 School Certificate: Rules and Procedures for Students

Guide to the 2011 School Certificate cover
Guide to the 2011 School Certificate – Rules and Procedures for Students (PDF)
Published 7 March 2011

This guide covers important information for all students undertaking the School Certificate.

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