Preparing for the 2021 Online Trial HSC Examination

For many of us, sitting an exam online will be a new experience. This document outlines important information that you should be fully aware of prior to the commencement of your online examinations.

The basic process of the online examination:

Allow plenty of time to get yourself ready. To make sure you are all set for the online version of the 2021 Trial HSC Examination, check out the following checklist...

1) Practise scanning a series of pages - You will need this to be able to upload your examination response booklets as ONE PDF FILE. You can either use the Scan Documents tool in the Notes app of your IOS device (eg. iPhone), or use the Adobe Scan app.

- To learn more on how to use the Notes app to scan documents, go here.

- To learn more on how to use the Adobe Scan app to scan documents, go here.

2) Make sure the Zoom application on your laptop is working properly and up to date. It will be used so that the Examination Supervisor can communicate with you, as well as monitor your progress. Go to for the installer package.

3) Practise the process by accessing the sample version of the online examination paper. The examination paper for your subject will be displayed via a specially modified Google Form. Year 12 2021 students have been sent a link to the sample version on their Compass Newsfeed.

4) Practise uploading your responses to the Submissions Box. The submissions box is found on the final page of the online examination paper. You can only submit ONE PDF FILE - so make sure you are well-prepared on how to scan all your examination response booklets as one PDF file.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What equipment do I need for the Online Examination?

You will need all equipment that your class teacher has advised you to have for an actual examination at school. In addition to this, you will also need your laptop (with internet connection) to access the online exam paper, a charger to keep your laptop charged, and a device (such as a smartphone) to scan your written responses at the conclusion of the examination.

What if my laptop crashes during the examination?

It is important you test your equipment well before the examination. Optimise your laptop by making sure it has enough storage space, and that no programs are running in the background during the examination. In the event your laptop crashes; restart your laptop. Sign back in to the Zoom Session, and the online examination page. Use the chat function in Zoom to inform the Examination Supervisor what happened. If the laptop does not restart; either use another device, or contact the College immediately.

Why do I need my camera on for Zoom during the examination?

In order to maintain a fair and secure examination environment, your camera must be turned on. The Examination Supervisor will monitor your progress, just like what happens in an actual formal exam.

How will I see the examination paper?

The Examination Supervisor will provide you a link to the examination paper, as well as an Exam Code via the Zoom session of the exam. The examination pages will be presented to you on a specially modified Google Form that will record your session details, as well as provide an area for your actual submission when you finish the exam.

Why can't I just type my responses?

It is a requirement that your responses are written, as this will give you good practice to when you write responses in the actual HSC Examination.

I need to go to the bathroom during the examination period. Is there a process here?

Send a message via chat to the Examination Supervisor that you will be briefly leaving your examination. The moment you leave your examination will be documented. It is important that you take all necessary preparations to undertake the examination without disruption.

If I finish early, can I just submit my booklets and leave the examination session?

Unless the Examination Supervisor allows you to end your session, you must be present during the session of the exam until it officially finishes.

How do I know I am on the right online examination?

The Examination Supervisor will provide you a link to the examination paper, as well as an Exam Code via the Zoom session of the exam. These two components will make sure you are sitting the correct examination.

How do I know that my PDF file submission was successful?

The specially modified Google Form will not allow you to submit (and end) your session until you submit the PDF file. The Examination Supervisor will also check that PDF files have been submitted at the conclusion of the exam.

If I accidentally submit the wrong file, can I resubmit?

You only have one attempt at submitting the correct PDF file. Take extra care when submitting to make sure this process is done correctly. If you accidentally submit the incorrect file, bring this to the attention of the Examination Supervisor immediately.

Can I keep a copy of the questions?

No, the examination questions material is owned by the Catholic Secondary Schools Association (CSSA) and may not be downloaded or copied in any form. It is important that students understand, and adhere to, the 2021 Catholic Secondary Schools Association (CSSA) Trial HSC Examinations Student Code of Conduct:

1. "I understand and undertake that I am not to copy or communicate the contents of the 2021 CSSA Trial HSC Examination paper(s) in any way (including, but not limited to, not taking any screenshots, photographs, web captures or links to the examination papers)."

2. "I understand that failure to comply with this 2021 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations Student Code of Conduct may lead to penalties from my school, including malpractice and the incident being recorded on the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Register of Malpractice."