It is important to think about what subjects you enjoy and do well in when choosing your HSC subjects. You will spend a lot of time studying these subjects over the next few years so having an interest in what you are learning will increase your enjoyment, and you will be more likely to achieve strong marks. Your interests will also help guide you to possible career paths and courses to study at uni.
It's normal to want to give yourself the best chance of getting a high ATAR, but, it is a myth that certain subjects will guarantee it.
Firstly, it's important to understand how HSC subject scaling works. UAC scales subjects according to the performance of all students that year, not whether they think a course is ‘hard’ or ‘easy’. Try not to think about the ATAR when choosing your subjects and instead focus on what subjects will allow you to achieve a mark that best reflects your ability.
Visit ATAR explained to learn more about subject scaling and how the ATAR is calculated.
If you are stuck on subjects, work backwards and take a look at which study areas you are interested in. Use My Course Guide to create a shortlist of courses and check the assumed knowledge of each degree.
Assumed knowledge is the expected level of understanding you should have when you start a degree. While you can still get into a course without the assumed knowledge (ie, doing a bridging course), it is best to have some experience in that subject, and you will know that you enjoy it.
A prerequisite is different from assumed knowledge, you must complete any prerequisites in order be eligible for an offer into a course.
We have mathematics prerequisites for several of our degrees, including agriculture, economics, commerce, engineering and IT, health, medicine, psychology, pharmacy, veterinary science and science.
To be eligible for admission into these courses, you will need to achieve at least a Band 4 in the NSW HSC Mathematics (not General Mathematics) or equivalent. If you are considering any of these options at uni, we'd recommend taking maths for your HSC or equivalent. Choose a level of maths that aligns with your ability and future plans.
What you pursue in your HSC is entirely up to you, but your parents, career advisers and teachers may be able to give you some advice.
Talk to your teachers about the HSC syllabus for the subjects you're considering, and for advice on which level best suits your abilities, particularly with regards to maths and English.
Speaking with those who know you and your interests well can help you navigate the options available.
Your HSC subjects can help you achieve your goals, but they do not limit you to a particular career path or stop you from pursuing others.
There is always a way to get to where you want to go selecting your HSC subjects is just the first step.