The HSC mark is made up of 50% of a student’s school mark and 50% of their HSC examination mark. A student’s mark in each subject is moderated against their school’s overall HSC marks for a subject to ensure consistency across schools.
What is moderation?
Moderation refers to the process that is undertaken by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to compare students across different schools to ensure that students are not disadvantaged or advantaged by how each school marks its own students. Let us look at an example by way of explanation using schools X and Y in the subject of English. School X has a median school mark of 80 and School Y has a median school mark of 60 in English Advanced. However, in the HSC examinations School X’s students have a median mark of 70 and School Y has a median mark of 85. It would be unfair to School Y’s students if their school marks remained un-moderated as they performed better in the HSC than School X.
NESA moderates the marks so that different schools’ marks can be compared to one another without being impacted by how each individual school marks their students. In this example, NESA would moderate so School Y’s median school mark is 85, in line with their median HSC mark.
The mark a student receives must fall between the lowest and highest HSC examination mark for that subject within the school group.
What does moderation mean for my child’s performance?
Moderation means that a student’s rank in their school year is more important than the actual marks that they receive. It is important to have perspective: In order for moderation to be effective it is better for the whole cohort to do well rather than to achieve individually high marks.
What does this mean for my child?
The best way to perform is for the student to understand their own approach to learning. In every school, students who learn how to learn, improve their study habits and practice will help to boost their own performance and also the overall performance of the school.
If you want to read more about marks moderation you can visit the Education Standards Authority here.