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You have got this…And we have got you! HSC Support

By October 7, 2021October 11th, 2021No Comments

Are you stressed about your HSC and what will happen to you next year because of all the disruption you have faced during your senior schooling? You are not alone, and everything you are feeling is absolutely understandable – and completely normal!

With the transitions between online learning and face to face schooling, and the changes to your upcoming HSC exams, you are likely feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. We want you to know that we understand, and we want to help in any way we can.

Like so much stuff on the internet, it can take a little digging to find what you need and we know you don’t have time right now, but we do know you deserve all the help you can get!

So, we have done some Googling and talked to some great organisations and universities to let you know what support is available right now to get you through this stressful time, and what changes and considerations are in place to help you access post-school education and get to where you want to be in 2022.

Only 1 in 4 students are accepted to university based purely on their ATAR.

It is important to do your best, but it is definitely not the be all and end all, so don’t make yourself sick worrying about it!


  • HSC exams will commence on the 9th November, 2021
  • You will receive your Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) on the 20th January, 2022
  • Your HSC results will be released on the 24th January, 2022
  • The first ATAR-based offer round will be released at 7.30am on the 26th January, 2022

For more information on key dates related to the HSC and university admissions, have a look at the UAC Key Dates. It has all the information on what you need to do and when, deadlines and even informative webinars to help you through the process.

Here are three webinars we think could be really helpful:

Let’s Chat – Alternative pathways to university

14th October, 6pm

Learn about certificate, diploma and prep courses.

Applying for the Educational Access Scheme

3rd November, 6pm

Help if you have faced long-term disadvantage.

ATAR release, preferences and offers

1st December, 6pm

One-stop-shop for what to do once you receive your ATAR.


The stress of lockdowns, online learning and changed exam dates is high. But, there is plenty of support out there to help you get through it.

From academic and learning support to mental health and wellbeing, there are websites, organisations, resources and apps out there – so make use of them! Anything to help you feel less anxious and more confident is a good thing!

Here are some of our favourites.


The “Stay Healthy HSC” hub was created by the NSW Department of Education and the mental health organisation for under 25’s, Reach Out in response to COVID-19.

Topics included:

  • Study tips and tricks
  • Physical Health and wellbeing
  • Exam time
  • Life after the HSC


This NSW Government online resource provides HSC advice and wellbeing resources for all students to help get you through exams. There is plenty of useful advice to be found here.

Topics included:

  • Health, Study and Connection
  • General advice
  • Study advice
  • Exam tips


When doing our research for this piece, we made some new friends!

The team from Art of Smart take a holistic approach to study, helping you maintain your wellbeing, develop confidence and create great study habits.

Check out some of the free – YES, FREE! –  information and resources they offer below.

HSC Together – Navigate your way through a COVID-19 HSC.
Just like us, Art of Smart know that anxiety levels are especially high this year when it comes to the HSC. So they have enlisted the help of passionate  teachers to provide the largest collection of FREE video and learning resources to help you succeed – because we all know you can!

  • Learn
    Contains subject specific resources like practice questions and past papers to help you get ready for the HSC.
  • Study
    Is all about developing great study habits. Find information on study plans, goal setting, time management and more.
  • Wellbeing
    Find really helpful information on things like building confidence, dealing with anxiety and how to sleep better.
  • University
    This section is all about what it’s  like to study different subjects at different universities with statistics and testimonials from other students.


Nowadays, there is an app for everything. And when you are trying to get through your HSC prep and exams, this is very convenient! Here are some great apps that can help you manage your wellbeing.
They are all FREE, and available via the App Store and Google Play.

Helps manage your physical responses to anxiety, as well as changing thought and behaviours.

Helps to interrupt repetitive thinking by setting aside your worries.

Reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety by slowing your breathing and heart rate.

A meditation app for young people to help boost calmness, contentment and clarity.


When it comes to staying up-to-date with changes to the HSC, ATARs and university admission, there are two organisation that should be your ‘go-tos.’


  • Process applications for admission to many postgraduate courses
  • Calculate and provide the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) to NSW HSC students
  • Process applications for Educational Access Schemes (EAS)
  • Process applications for some Equity Scholarships (ES)
  • Process applications for some Schools Recommendation Schemes (SRS)


  • Is an independent statutory authority
  • Reports to an independent board and the NSW Department of Education
  • Supports the school sectors to deliver the best possible outcomes for students
  • Makes the necessary adjustments in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
  • Ensures successful delivery of the Higher School Certificate (HSC)


Many universities are offering additional special consideration and adjustments alongside already existing programs and schemes.
Check out their websites, or give the universities a call.

Here are a few examples from some of our fantastic CEF Education Partners.

True Reward Early Entry Program
This program from Western Sydney University provides students early entry offers based on their year 11 or year 12 results instead of an ATAR. There is more than one round of offers so, if you are interested and want to find out more, be sure to have a look at the website!

Pathway Planner
At Swinburne University, you can complete qualifications (like diplomas) to move through to your degree. The big bonus of these pathways? The study you do can make you eligible for academic credit when you start your degree!

Entry Schemes
When it comes to entry schemes and pathways to university, these guys have some fantastic options. And, the University of Newcastle is providing 2021 HSC applicants with 5 adjustment points as recognition of the crazy challenging circumstances you have faced.

Leadership Entry Program
This is a great entry program from ICMS that offers students a guaranteed place based on demonstrated school or community leadership, academic achievement, aspirations and a nomination from their school.


Here at CEF, we want to do everything we can to help you succeed so that you can do whatever it is you want to do after school! We want you to have the education you need to live your best life.

Our ‘More than your ATAR’ blog series looks at all the options after school, and provides information you need to help make it happen.

Here are the links to the articles:


We believe when it comes to navigating these stressful times in life, the best advice comes from those who have experienced it.
Our CEF students and alumni have already faced so much of what you have been through, and if you take nothing else from this blog, take note of these wise words from rural and regional youth who know what you are feeling.

And always, always remember….you have got this!


Author Nicole

CEF Engagement & Development

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