Compare pathways

Progressing from Year 10 into the senior years of schooling is an exciting time, irrespective of whether that involves moving towards the Higher School Certificate, the IB Diploma or a vocational qualification.

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At a glance

HSC
IB
VET
Broad-based pattern of study leading towards university matriculation Broad-based pattern of study leading towards university matriculation Broad-based pattern of study for students who may not be looking to university study
Allows students to specialise in disciplines or ways of learning (only compulsory subject is English) Asks students to work over a broad range of academic disciplines Allows students to study in areas that provide advanced standing or pathways into a range of vocational pathways
Assessed through internal assessments and the external HSC Examinations Assessed through externally moderated internal assessments, an extended essay, and external IB examinations VET subjects assessed through competency-based assessments, work placements and (in some cases) an external examination
Can include a vocational (VET) subject Does not include vocational (VET) subjects Can include traditional academic subjects
Leads to the award of the NSW Higher School Certificate Leads to the award of the IB Diploma Leads to the award of the NSW Higher School Certificate and nationally recognised Certificate II/III qualifications
Subject results provide students with an ATAR to provide access to university Overall result (out of 45) provides students with an ATAR to provide access to university Students may not receive an ATAR (depending on their specific pattern of study)