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Impact on 2021 HSC

Frequently asked questions
You may have some questions related to the recent announcement of the changes to the High School Certificate (HSC). Read our frequently asked questions below.

Explore our list of frequently asked questions related to:

University of Sydney FAQs

We understand that the past two years have been challenging, and we value the commitment and hard work students and teachers are putting into their studies this year.

The University recognises the importance of the HSC (and IB and other qualifications) and is not looking at making any significant changes to entry assessment.

We are reviewing how we can best support Year 12 students who may be disadvantaged by the disruption to their HSC studies and the COVID-19 lockdown.

UAC has confirmed the following dates will change:

  • ATARs for NSW HSC students will now be released at 9am on Thursday 20 January 2022.
  • January Round 2 will now be the first ATAR-based offer round. The deadline for changing preferences for January Round 2 will be midnight on Friday 21 January 2022.

January Round 2 offers will be released at 7.30am on Wednesday 26 January 2022.

UAC is currently reviewing the remaining offer dates for 2022 admissions. Once these have been finalised, students will be advised of when they can expect to receive an offer to their course.

At this stage, the following offer rounds have been confirmed for 2022 admissions:

  • November Round 1: conditional offers made to students eligible for the Early Offer Year 12 (E12) Scheme on Friday 12 November 2021.
  • January Round 2: the first ATAR-based offer round with offers made to students on Wednesday 26 January 2022.

UAC is currently reviewing the remaining offer dates for 2022 admissions. Once these have been finalised, the University will advise students which offer rounds it will be participating in, and when they can expect to receive an offer to their course.

No, if there is a reduced number of offer rounds it will not impact the number of offers made to students. The University will be making the same number of offers as previous years.

We will be making a similar number of offers to domestic students as in previous years.

No. We value the commitment and hard work students and teachers are putting into their studies this year, and we don't want to detract from that. The University of Sydney is not looking at making any significant changes to entry assessment.

Entry ranks go up and down each year depending on changing demand for particular programs so there could be minor changes as regularly occurs, however, there will not be any across the board lowering of entry requirements.

The University is reviewing how we can best support Year 12 students who may be disadvantaged by the disrupted HSC and COVID-19 lockdown. For eligible students, this support will include adjustment factors awarded through UAC’s Educational Access Scheme (EAS).

UAC has two categories in the EAS to help students whose families have been particularly disadvantaged financially by the impact of COVID-19. These new disadvantages will be taken into consideration for the University of Sydney's EAS, Broadway.

F01K: Receiving Job Keeper
  • For students whose parent/s or guardian/s received the Job Keeper allowance for a period of at least three months from March 2020 onwards.
  • Students will be required to submit the following supporting documentation: a letter from the parent’s/guardian’s employer demonstrating their receipt of the Job Keeper allowance.
F01S: Receiving Job Seeker
  • For students whose parent/s or guardian/s received the Job Seeker allowance for a period of at least three months from March 2020 onwards.

In addition to the COVID-19 measures introduced last year, we will also be providing adjustment factors for those with parents in receipt of NSW Government COVID-19 disaster payments.

As is the case with all EAS disadvantages, it is for each institution to decide on the weighting it places on this new disadvantage and allocate adjustments/places accordingly.

UAC and NESA have also put measures in place to support disadvantaged students. We recommend contacting them for more information.

Whilst we encourage students to apply for multiple admission pathways and entry schemes, adjustment factors cannot be accumulated across schemes. The scheme that you are eligible for and provides you with the highest number of adjustment factors/greatest advantage is the one that is automatically applied.

No, prerequisites are set when students are in year 10 selecting subjects for their HSC, therefore there will not be a change for 2022 entry. Learn more about the mathematics course prerequisites.

UAC is currently reviewing the offer dates for 2022 admissions. Once finalised students will be informed about the new application dates and any additional admissions information related to their preferred courses, including details regarding the MOOC.

Refer mathematics course prerequisites for regular updates, including the MOOC exam dates for Semester 1 2022. Registration will open in October 2021.

UAC is currently reviewing the full range of offer dates for 2022 admissions. Once these have been finalised, students will be advised of the new application dates and any additional admissions information related to their preferred courses.

Double degree medicine and dentistry

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HSC exams and the release of ATARs, we are currently reviewing selection dates and processes for 2022 admissions for the double degree medicine and dentistry degrees. Once finalised, students will be informed about the new application dates and any additional admissions information. Please check this page regularly for any changes and updates.

Sydney College of the Arts

Portfolio submission processes and deadlines remain the same, offers will be made in January Round 2 after ATAR results are released. The Creative Arts Special Admission Scheme (CASAS) early offers will be released for eligible applicants in October Round 1. Students wishing to be considered for CASAS should submit their portfolio before midnight on Friday 24 September.

Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Audition, portfolio and interview requirements and deadlines remain the same, offers will be made in January Round 2 after ATAR results are released. The Creative Arts Special Admission Scheme (CASAS) early offers will be released for eligible applicants in October Round 1. 

Registrations for the September round of auditions close on Sunday 19 September. All auditions and additional requirements will take place virtually. Students eligible to receive an early offer through the CASAS will be considered for October Round 1.

Architecture, Design and Planning Portfolio Pathway

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HSC exams and the release of ATAR results, we are currently reviewing the portfolio submission dates for 2022 admission. Once confirmed, students will be informed of the update. Refer to portfolio pathway for regular updates.

Unfortunately, we are unable to advise students how many adjustment factors they are eligible to receive from the University of Sydney. Students who are eligible for the Broadway Scheme may be issued a maximum of 10 adjustment factors.

All EAS applications are assessed by qualified assessors at UAC and adjustment factors are applied depending on the assessment outcomes of this process.  In addition to the COVID measures introduced in 2020, we will also be providing adjustment factors for those with parents in receipt of NSW Government COVID-19 disaster payments.

UAC is currently reviewing the full range offer dates for 2022 admissions. Once finalised, we will advise all students of the new offer rounds.

We recommend seeking advice from the overseas institutions you are considering applying for, as they determine their admission requirements, and these may vary between universities/colleges. Check Commonwealth Government websites for information about international travel rules.

With regards to transferring to the University of Sydney after a period of study overseas, domestic students are required to submit an application through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC), where your overseas study may be considered, along with your ATAR. Check out how to apply for additional information.

The University is committed to providing as much face-to-face learning for students as we safely can and we are hoping to be offering classes on campus in 2022. We will nevertheless continue to monitor and respond to the latest NSW Government advice with regards to COVID-19 and our operations and, where necessary, we will deliver in remote teaching mode.

We encourage you to keep in touch with the University about your study options for 2022 and to check our website and your preferred course details for the latest information.

If you’re intending on taking a gap year, it is always recommended that you apply now and then defer your offer. This way you can take advantage of any entry schemes and/or adjustment factors that can increase your selection rank and you may not be eligible for as a non-school leaver.

Note, not all courses can be deferred, and deferral periods may vary.

The University will be holding information sessions for students and parents who would like additional information regarding the changes.

Parent information session
Student information session

UAC and NESA FAQs

NSW Department of Education in collaboration with NSW Department of Health.

NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA)

Responsible for the delivery of the HSC and for providing final year 12 results to UAC

Universities Admissions Centre (UAC)

Manages the calculation of the ATAR and processes applications for admission to universities.

We recommend contacting UAC for information regarding the calculation of the ATAR.

The final conditions will be established by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and apply to all NSW HSC students. We recommend contacting NESA for additional information.

UAC is currently reviewing the offer dates for 2022 admissions. Once these have been finalised, we will advise students of the new offer rounds.

UAC has confirmed the following dates will change:

  • ATARs for NSW HSC students will now be released at 9am on Thursday 20 January 2022.
  • January Round 2 will now be the first ATAR-based offer round. The deadline for changing preferences for January Round 2 will be midnight on Friday 21 January 2022.

January Round 2 offers will be released at 7.30am on Wednesday 26 January 2022.

UAC is currently reviewing the remaining offer dates for 2022 admissions. Once these have been finalised, students will be advised of when they can expect to receive an offer to their course.

We recommend contacting UAC for information regarding your UAC application, including the number of preferences you will receive.

Each state has their own Tertiary Admissions Centre (TAC), like UAC, which processes applications for university entry. For information on how the delay in results release may impact your application to an interstate university, we recommend contacting the relevant TAC.

VIC – Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC)
QLD – Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC)
SA and NT – South Australia Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC)
WA – Tertiary Institutions Service Centre (TISC)
TAS – Students apply directly to the University of Tasmania

Last updated 27 August 2021.