Preliminary Assessment Booklet 2017 table of contents

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Preliminary Assessment Booklet 2017


Preliminary Assessment Guidelines 2017 2

NSW Education Standards Authority/School Requirements 2

School Based Assessment 4

Section V: Appendices 17

Assessment Notification – Common Cover Sheet 20

Student Appeal Form 22




Preliminary 2017 Line Pattern 33

Ancient History 34

Biology 36

Business Studies 39

Chemistry 41

Community and Family Studies 44

Construction (VET) 47

Drama 48

Earth and Environmental Science 49

Engineering Studies 51

English (Advanced) 53

English – English Studies – CEC 55

English Extension 1 57

English Standard 58

Exploring Early Childhood 59

Food Technology 61

Hospitality Operations –Kitchen Operations VET 64

Hospitality Operations – Food and Beverage Stream VET 65

Industrial Technology: Timber Products and Furniture Technologies 66

Legal Studies 68


Mathematics 70

Mathematics Extension 1 72

Mathematics General 74

Modern History 76

Music 1 77

Music 2 79

PD/H/PE 80

Physics 81

Primary Industries – Certificate II (240 hour Course) 84

Senior Science 85

Society and Culture 87

Software Design & Development 88

Sport Lifestyle and Recreation 90

Visual Arts 91

Work Studies 93

Preliminary Assessment Guidelines 2017

1. What is the Preliminary Certificate?
The Preliminary Certificate is awarded by the NSW Education Standards Authority () to eligible students at the end of the Preliminary Course, which concludes at the end of term 3, Year 11.

The Preliminary Certificate is a pre-requisite for the Higher School Certificate. Students cannot progress to the HSC, unless they have achieved their Preliminary Certificate.

The main types of courses are outline below:

  • Board Developed Courses have HSC exams (except for Life Skills) and may contribute to the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank).

-Category A: Based on academic rigour, knowledge and understanding

-Category B: Based on competency, knowledge and understanding e.g. VET Curriculum Frameworks which provide both VET qualifications and HSC unit credit.

  • Vocational Education Training (VET) and External Delivered Vet Courses (EVET) Curriculum Frameworks can be learnt at school or through TAFE or other providers. Examples include Business Services, Construction, Hospitality, Information Technology and Automotive. VET subjects are based on competency based assessment, where evidence is collected to determine competency has been achieved. The purpose of assessment is to confirm that an individual can perform to the standard expected in the workplace, as expressed in the relevant endorsed industry or enterprise competency standards.

  • Board Endorsed Courses count towards the HSC, though there are no HSC exams. Results are based on school assessment marks. Board Endorsed courses cannot contribute to the ATAR (university admission)

NSW Education Standards Authority/School Requirements

The required pattern of study for full time students is a minimum of 12 units of Preliminary Year 11 courses and 10 units of HSC courses in Year 12. Some students may choose to study more than 12 units in Year 11.
Students must study

    • At least 2 units of English

    • At least 4 subjects

    • At least 6 of the mandatory 12 units must be Board Developed Courses

    • At least 3 of the courses must be of 2 units or greater value

    • No more than 6 units of Science courses may count towards Preliminary or Higher School Certificate.

The Record of Student Achievement (or RoSA)

The RoSA will be awarded to eligible students who commence Preliminary/HSC courses, but choose to leave school prior to receiving their HSC. Students will also be able to view and download a transcript of their achievements when applying for jobs or further education or training.

The RoSA is an electronic record of student achievements and includes:

  • Grades for all the courses a student has completed up until the point they leave school – including those completed in Year 10, Year 11 or even Year 12

  • Vocational courses and students’ vocational experiences

  • Citizenship and leadership achievements such as First Aid courses, community languages courses and Duke of Edinburgh awards

  • Results from optional on-line literacy and numeracy tests, with particular emphasis on work readiness, that students will be able to undertake twice a year

Students will be required to submit assessment tasks as delivered by their schools. Teachers will then use marks from those assessments to allocate a grade for each student at the end of the course. Teachers will submit those grades to the NSW ESA for inclusion on the RoSA.
Student grades are based on the assessment tasks outlined in this document. These grades are based on the A - E Grade Scale and Course Performance Descriptors developed by the ESA. Grades are given for individual achievement and are determined by the depth of knowledge and understanding and the range of skills that students demonstrate.


The student has an extensive knowledge and understanding of the content and can readily apply this knowledge. In addition, the student has achieved a very high level of competence in the processes and skills and can apply these skills to new situations.


The student has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the content and a high level of competence in the processes and skills. In addition, the student is able to apply this knowledge and these skills to most situations.


The student has a sound knowledge and understanding of the main areas of content and has achieved an adequate level of competence in the processes and skills.


The student has a basic knowledge and understanding of the content and has achieved a limited level of competence in the processes and skills.


The student has an elementary knowledge and understanding in few areas of the content and has achieved very limited competence in some of the processes and skills.

ATAR – Requirements
Completion of at least 10 units of Board Developed Courses including at least:

    • 8 units from Category A courses (no more than two units of Category B or VET courses)

    • 2 units of English

    • 3 Board Developed courses of two units or greater

    • 4 subjects.

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