HSC Marks Alignment

HSC Marks Alignment can be very simply explained: when you receive your Record of Achievement you will see 3 columns: an Assessment Mark, Examination Mark and an HSC Mark. The HSC Mark is the average of the other two columns. The first two columns are really aligned marks.

What’s The Difference Between Raw Marks and Aligned Marks?

If your Record of Achievement states that you scored a 95 for Physics, your raw exam mark wasn’t actually 95%. Typically, your raw exam mark percentage is somewhat lower that your reported HSC mark, which is an aligned mark. Raw marks are used to calculate aligned marks. In fact, your raw marks are those that you actually scored in your exam before any type of modification is applied (such as HSC Scaling).

You will have 2 raw marks for every subject: an external raw exam mark and a moderated assessment mark once the process of moderation has been applied. The marks are aligned to produce both your examination and assessment marks.

How Alignment Works

Every year, HSC markers determine what the raw-mark cut-offs will be for the different performance bands. They take various elements into consideration such as the achievements required in each Band and they look into student outcomes and abilities required for each examination.

As an example, they may conclude that for one difficult year for Business, a raw mark of 73 or more will fall under Band 6 and 64 to 73 will be Band 5 and so on. In recent years the cut-off for Mathematics Extension 2 was 70 to 80 out of 120 so if a student’s raw exam mark was greater than this then they would achieve band E4.

These are the raw mark cut-offs. Your aligned mark is then derived from mapping your raw mark to these points. The same process is applied to the moderated school assessment mark.

The Difference Between Alignment and HSC ATAR

Alignment measures the quality of work you’ve achieved in a subject. It is an absolute scale, so if you meet the Band 6 requirement, for example, you’ll score a Band 6 HSC mark.

HSC ATAR on the other hand, is a relative scale. It measures how well you do in relation to your peers. So it is possible for everyone to score Band 6 HSC marks, but impossible for every student to achieve 100 ATAR.

A good example occurred in 2008. It was realised that a higher than normal number of Band 6 marks were being awarded to students. Although this doesn’t affect the ATAR distribution it does increase the amount of all-rounder awards given.

Is Alignment Important To You?

This depends on your objectives. If your goal is to maximise your ATAR then the alignment process won’t affect you since it has nothing to do with ATAR calculation. Alignment essentially determines which performance band your HSC marks fall into. They have no impact on your ATAR. However, students who achieve high ATARs will also get high aligned HSC marks since both are derived from raw school and external exam marks.

Studying with e-tut

At e-tut we strive to instil a passion for learning and our highly trained tutors aim to assist students achieve a favourable HSC marks alignment if that is their goal.

We offer personal attention with 1-on-1 or small group classes that don’t exceed 4 or 5 students at a time. Our classes last for approximately 60 minutes and you are afforded the flexibility of studying for as many or as few hours a week as you require.

Join us in our high-tech virtual classroom today and enjoy audio and text conversations with your tutors and peers while mastering HSC subjects such as Economics, English Advanced, English as a Second Language and Mathematics Extension 1.

Please visit our site for a full list of subjects we offer on the NSW curriculum in a fun and interactive learning environment.