HSC Standard English.

Because English is the only subject ALL students have to take for the HSC, it can pose a major challenge.

Some students are naturally good at English, some just don’t like it, some feel like they’re just plain bad at it.

Whatever category you fall into, we can help!

In this article we’ve got you covered with a step-by-step Guide to Acing HSC Standard English!

Let’s jump in!

Part 1: Developing Essential English Skills
Part 2: Common Module
Part 3: Module A
Part 4: Module B
Part 5: Module C

Part 1: Developing Essential English Skills

Before we can dive into the HSC Standard English modules, it’s important you have a strong foundation when it comes to writing an essay and analysing your texts.

How to Write a Band 6 HSC English Essay

When writing an essay, it’s important you know how to develop a strong argument that is supported by the best possible pieces of evidence with great analysis, all supported in a strong structure.

Obviously, this is much easier said than done! Although, that’s why we’ve created a guide to writing a Band 6 essay in HSC English that you can find below!

How to Write a Band 6 HSC English Essay

If you want to brush up on your thesis writing skills, that is, crafting a unique argument to any question, you may want to check out the article below:

How to Construct a Strong Thesis Statement in Your HSC English Essay

How to Analyse Your Text

The next key step is developing your analytical skills! This is pivotal as analysis will underpin anything and everything you write in English, from short answer responses in Paper 1 to your essays in Paper 2.

To have strong analytical skills, you need to be able to identify key ideas in a text and elaborate upon these, whilst finding literary techniques that will add meaning to your analysis.

For a recap on how to achieve this, you can check out our article to analysing texts like a pro below!

How to Quickly and Flawlessly Analyse HSC English Texts

Knowing Your Literary and Visual Techniques

The last step to building up your set of English skills is being able to identify literary and visual techniques.

You’ll find these in any text you study, including novels, poems, films, prose and even art!

For a quick brush-up on these devices, you can take a look at our mast list of literary and visual techniques:

The Ultimate HSC English Literary Techniques Cheat Sheet

For visual techniques, check out our master list below!

The Complete HSC English Visual Techniques Cheat Sheet

Now that you’ve nailed those essential English skills, we can dive into breaking down each of the Standard English modules!

Part 2: The Guide to the Common Module: Texts and Human Experiences 

Texts and Human Experiences is a common module for HSC Standard and Advanced, meaning EVERYONE has to take it!

It will likely be the first topic you study for HSC Standard English, but hopefully not the hardest one.

The Common Module is notably vague in its rubric so it’s important to be able to pin it down. Human experiences can encompass anything experienced by a human – huge, right?

Take a look at the Texts and Human Experiences rubric statement (we’ve highlighted some key parts to help you out!):

That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide on what Texts and Human Experience is all about and how to ace it!

We cover what the module is all about, what you’ll study and be assessed on and how to write for Texts and Human Experiences.

In short, everything you need to know to ace the Common Module for Standard English!

Read our in-depth article on all things HSC Standard English module Texts and Human Experience here:

The Step-by-Step Guide to the Common Module: Texts and Human Experience for HSC Standard English

Once you’ve read our guide and are ready to start some practice essays, you can check out 20 of our essay questions on the Common Module here:

20 Practice Questions for HSC English Common Module: Texts and Human Experiences

Related Texts

For Texts and Human Experiences, you’ll be studying a prescribed text, and also will need to find a related text!

But what exactly is a related text? Why do you need one and how do you possibly find one?!

A related text (as it sounds) is a text that is related to the concept of Texts and Human Experiences AND your prescribed text for the Standard English Common Module.

But actually finding a good related text is an art that many HSC Standard English students have not mastered…

It’s not as easy as picking your favourite film or book… in fact this is exactly the opposite of what you should do!

That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled our Top 5 Related Texts for the HSC Standard English Common Module: Texts and Human Experiences!

Check out our Top Five Recommended Related Texts for Texts and Human Experiences here:

Our Top 5 Recommended Related Texts for the HSC Standard English Common Module: Texts and Human Experiences

If you’re struggling to analyse your related text on your own, you can find our 3 step guide to analysing any related text here:

How to Quickly* and Flawlessly Analyse HSC English Texts

Part 3: The Guide to Module A: Language, Identity and Culture

Now that you’re sorted for the Common Module, let’s move on to HSC Standard English Module A!

So, what does Language, Identity and Culture even mean?

The module is built on the relationship between who people are, what group of people they come from, and how this is reflected through language.

Let’s take a look at the rubric!

This can be a difficult concept to wrap your head around, and that’s why we’ve covered everything you need to know in our Guide to Module A for HSC Standard English!

In this article, we cover what the Module is all about, what you’ll be assessed on and how to get a Band 6, check it out here:

How to Get a Band 6 in HSC Standard English Module A: Language, Identity and Culture

Module A Practice Questions

As this is a new syllabus, you most likely won’t be able to find practice questions to complete.

Luckily we’ve created 20 practice questions for HSC Standard English Module A for you to use below:

20 Practice Questions for HSC Standard English Module A: Language, Identity and Culture

Part 4: The Guide to Module B: Close Study of Literature

How do you closely study a piece of literature?

And how can that make up an ENTIRE HSC Standard English module?

In Module B you need to be able to develop personal and intellectual connection to your text and be able to write both a critical and creative response to that text.

Let’s take a look at the rubric!

This is basically a complicated way of saying you need to actually read and develop an appreciation to your text. Watching the movie and reading the SparkNotes is not enough to do well in Module B!

You also need to be able to write both a critical response (or essay) and creative response related to your prescribed text.

But actually doing these things are easier said than done.

In this awesome article, we’ll take you through exactly what’s expected of you for HSC Standard English Module B, and how to ace it!

Check it out here:

The Ultimate Guide to HSC Standard English Module B: Close Study of Literature

Module B Practice Questions

We’ve also created 20 questions for you to choose from to write a Module B practice essay, which you can find here:

20 Practice Questions for HSC Standard English Module B: Close Study of Literature

Part 5: The Guide to Module C: The Craft of Writing

The new HSC Standard English Module C is a frightening prospect for most students.

The new Module C covers how to write, and write well.

While this might not seem like a big deal for you, or you’re not sure if you’ll even use the skills you learn in this Module in the ‘real world’, but writing is going to be an important skill no matter what career path you choose to walk down.

So, let’s take a look at the rubric!

Module C teaches you how to write effectively using many different text types, including: imaginative, discursive, persuasive and informative texts – there’s a lot to learn and it can feel overwhelming.

That’s why in the article below we run you through exactly what you need to know about Module C, so you can ace it and get that Band 6!

The Step-by-Step Guide to HSC English Module C: The Craft of Writing

Discursive Writing

As Module C is all about writing in different forms of texts, a new text type has been introduced to this module, called discursive writing.

NESA defines discursive writing as, “Texts whose primary focus is to explore an idea or variety of topics. These texts involve the discussion of an idea(s) or opinion(s) without the direct intention of persuading the reader, listener or viewer to adopt any single point of view”

Such examples of discursive writing can be creative non-fiction, travel blogs, discussion essays, speeches and personal essays, amongst others.

It can be daunting to try new text types, but you don’t have to do it alone! We’ve created the ultimate guide to breaking down the basics of discursive writing and how to achieve a Band 6 worthy discursive writing piece here:

How to Write a Band 6 Discursive Writing Piece for HSC English Module C

Module C Practice Questions

If you’re feeling ready to start some writing practice, you can check out a list of 20 questions we’ve created for Module C here:

20 Practice Questions for HSC English Module C: The Craft of Writing 

Reflective Statement

If you checked out our practice questions for Module C above, you might have noticed that some questions have a Part A and Part B, where Part A consists of your written piece and Part B requires a reflection.

This reflection is called a ‘reflective statement’ and is a completely new part of HSC English that assesses how your creative decisions in your pieces were drawn from your prescribed text.

If you need a hand nailing your reflective statement, you can check out our guide on how to write one here:

How to Write a Reflective Statement For Module C: Craft of Writing

And that wraps up our guide to HSC Standard English and its modules! Good luck!

Looking for some extra help with HSC Standard English?

We pride ourselves on our inspirational HSC English coaches and mentors!

We offer tutoring and mentoring for Years K-12 in a variety of subjects, with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at our state of the art campus in Hornsby!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational tutor and mentor get in touch today!

Give us a ring on 1300 267 888, email us at info@artofsmart.com.au or check us out on Facebook!


Isabella Hanley loves science. She loves science so much she’s making it her career. While completing her Bachelor of Medical Science she is also a Coach and Digital Marketing Manager at Art of Smart. She is super passionate about sharing her knowledge on surviving the HSC since completing the HSC herself in 2014. In her downtime she enjoys Netflix binging like a pro, singing in the shower and hanging out with her awesome rescue dog, Ruby.