The HSC English Exams

hsc english exams
hsc english exams

Exams stressing you out?

Yes you read that correctly, not only is English compulsory but it also is allowed to put you through the agony of two exams. Each exam tests different things so make sure you are prepared for the right exam on the right day! The Board of Studies is a very creative bunch, so the two exams are called paper one and paper two.

Paper One

This is designed to test your knowledge about the Area of Study. It is made up of three sections, all worth 15 marks

Section One:

You will be given a selection of texts/excerpts from texts related to the concept of belonging and will be required to answer a number of short answer questions about these texts and how they enrich your understanding of belonging. This section is essentially a comprehension; you will be given texts and will be required to comprehend and interpret them and how they reveal information about belonging.

Section Two:

This is the creative writing section. You will be given a stimulus or brief and will have to compose your own imaginative text that draws on the stimulus and demonstrates what you have learnt about belonging, its importance and what it means in various contexts.

Section Three:

The dreaded essay. You will be given a statement about belonging and be asked to discuss it, or be given a direct question which asks you about some aspect of belonging. You will need to respond to this in an essay form, drawing on your prescribed text and possibly one or two related texts to support your arguments about belonging.

Paper Two

This paper will test your knowledge about each of the modules. It is IMPERATIVE that you answer the correct question that corresponds with the texts/electives you have studied.

There will be one question for each elective, and each question is worth 20 marks. As a general rule, you will be required to write an essay response to each question, however, be warned that there is nothing in the syllabus that says you cannot be asked to write some other text type such as a speech, so be prepared!

You should also note that each exam goes for 2 hours, meaning you will have only 40 minutes to plan, write and edit each question you answer. Time management in exams is not a natural skill, so it is best to practice and seek advice on how to best compose clear and concise exam responses in the limited time available.

More details about each section of the exams, what will be expected and how to answer questions will be featured in later posts.


  1. […] The HSC English Exams […]

  2. Studying for your HSC? « Save My HSC on September 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    […] Everything you need to know about HSC English-Exams […]

  3. Chris on October 15, 2011 at 7:42 am

    I also wanted to tell you guys how much I love you.
    You probably saved my HSC with those sample essays on the Queen and Letters to Alice.

    • Save My HSC on October 17, 2011 at 12:06 am

      Thanks for the feedback- it is good to know that this site is living up to its name!

  4. :) on February 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    this site has helped a lot 🙂

    • craazy on February 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      wow this sites a lifesaver ! thank you so much.

      • Save My HSC on March 6, 2012 at 10:26 pm

        You are welcome- Thank you for the feedback!

    • Save My HSC on March 6, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      Thank you for the feedback =)

  5. kryptik on March 6, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    my english teacher sucks, all this info available on this site is so damn useful!!!

    • Save My HSC on March 6, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      Thanks for your feedback, hopefully more information will be up very shortly!

  6. charliechar on June 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Hi! I just found this site and it looks so amazing (I haven’t finished exploring yet!). I couldn’t find any articles on tips to finding related texts. Is there one? If note, would you mind posting up an article? I’m struggling to find a “good” related text 🙁 Thanks!

  7. Trixie on June 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    THankyou for the essay on The Queen! You wouldnt believe how HARD it is to find band-6 sample essays to read over

  8. Alex on August 14, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Although this site is awesome for outlines I think you should put in what is expected in the AOS section 1 part of the paper on here. I’ve scoured sites everywhere and am not able to find succinct information of what the section requires. This is the section that gets me every time and even though I ask for feedback and more information they consistently never give me ‘this is what I’m looking for’, ‘structure your response like this’. They just give me vague answers about techniques and sense of belonging.

    I’d love for a section to be called “What is expected of a short response” to come up here. Its not really as simple as everyone makes it out to be. I love the creative writing guidelines you have as well as the AOS section 3 info you have, however.

  9. Mobb Deep on October 16, 2012 at 11:02 am

    question. in paper two, can we use the same type of related text for the text and society and the close study of a text? i havent read any where that it sys you cant but just wondering?

  10. effective Seo on January 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Awesome post.

  11. Bessie on March 18, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    This is the 6th time I’ve noticed this article; on several different blogs. Is somebody just stealing this and passing it around or what?

    • Save My HSC on November 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Bessie, the majority of this site is derived from study and tutoring notes. Some is referenced from the Board of Studies or related official education sources. It is possible that other websites have since taken the content and re-published without authorisation but there isn’t much we can do about that as we do offer the information freely.

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