ATAR courses

There are many HSC courses but not all will contribute to an ATAR. Courses that do contribute to the ATAR are Board Developed courses – courses developed by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) – for which there are formal examinations that yield graded assessments. These are termed ATAR courses.

ATAR courses are classified as either Category A or Category B courses.

Category A courses

The criteria for Category A courses are academic rigour, depth of knowledge, the degree to which the course contributes to assumed knowledge for tertiary studies, and the coherence with other courses included in the ATAR calculations.

Category B courses

Category B courses are those for which the level of cognitive and performance demands are not regarded as satisfactory in themselves, though their contribution to a selection index is regarded as adequate if the other courses included in the aggregate are more academically demanding.

Satisfactory completion of a course

You'll be considered to have satisfactorily completed a course if, in the principal’s view, there is sufficient evidence that you have:

  • followed the course developed or endorsed by NESA
  • applied yourself with diligence and sustained effort to the set tasks and experiences provided in the course by the school
  • achieved some or all of the course outcomes
  • made a genuine attempt at assessment tasks that total more than 50% of the available school assessment marks for that course.

You also need to make a serious attempt at the examination for the course. For more information about HSC eligibility requirements, visit the NESA website.

Failure to satisfactorily complete a course will result in that course not contributing to the eligibility requirements. If the course is a 2-unit course with an associated extension course, failure to satisfactorily complete the 2-unit course will result in neither the 2-unit nor the extension course contributing towards your ATAR.