New HSC subjects – English Studies and English Life Skills


The NSW Board of Studies has revised the syllabus which will be first taught to Year 11 students in 2018. Currently English subjects available to students include: English Standard, English Advanced, English Extension 1 and English Extension 2. These subjects will continue once the new syllabus is implemented and there will also be the addition of the subjects: English Life Skills and English Studies.

The new English Studies subject is designed for students who wish to refine their skills and knowledge in English and consolidate their English literacy skills to enhance their personal, social, educational and vocational lives. It is a course for students who are seeking an alternative to the English Standard course.

The new English Life Skills subject is designed for students with special education needs who are unable to access the outcomes of the Stage 6 English courses even with adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment. It provides an opportunity for students to engage in personalised learning of English through the selection of outcomes and content relevant to the student’s abilities, needs and interests.

English Studies and English Life skills both contribute to 2 units each towards a student’s Preliminary and HSC study. Students who undertake English Studies or English Life Skills are eligible for the award of the Higher School Certificate. However, there is no HSC examination, and the course does NOT contribute towards an ATAR.

Dux College is a results-driven HSC tutoring centre that helps students to raise assessment ranks at school and maximise ATARs. To be eligible for an ATAR, students must complete either English Advanced or English Standard for their compulsory 2 units of English.

English Advanced vs. English Standard

From the table below, you can see the P25 (student in 25th percentile) for English advanced will achieve a scaled mark of 26.2 (remember – scaled marks are what’s important as they are used for ATAR calculation!).  To get a similar mark in Standard, you need to achieve higher than P75. This means a below average Advanced student in the 25th percentile (out of 100, he is coming 75th) needs to be higher than the 75th percentile in Standard (out of 100, he is coming 25th) to get similar results.

UAC and ATAR calculation guidelines for the new syllabus will remain unchanged. Currently there is no scaling data for the subjects. However, it is highly likely scaling statistics will be similar to existing statistics as the hierarchy of various English courses in the new syllabus matches very closely to the hierarchy in the current syllabus. English Advanced will still remain the highest English subject at 2unit level and the only one that allows for students to take English Extension 1 and English Extension 2. Dux college recommends students to continue to choose Advanced English for their compulsory 2 units of English. Book a free trial today!

Data from the A3 table provided by UAC for the 2016 HSC

Data from the A3 table provided by UAC for the 2016 HSC

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