HSC Pathways: the two year HSC

HSC ’Pathways’ describes the options available to students to flexibly complete their HSC. Basically, it’s an option to extend your HSC study over two to five years, where you can spread your subject load over more than one year of 10+ units. You are allowed to complete your HSC over a 5 year period from the first year you did subjects for the HSC, meaning you can also do 2 units per year until the 5th year where you would complete your HSC.

Why Do HSC Pathways?

Pathways can be amazing for people who are overwhelmed with stress and anxiety, and if you’re wanting to do 14 units like myself it can be really handy! Having less units in a single year and more time to study, gives you the opportunity to perform better than you would with all 14 units in an entire year, that’s a whole lot of work!

Lets be honest being sick sucks and it always happens at the worst times if you do happen to become really sick with something like glandular fever and miss a lot of school to lessen the stress and work load it could be a good idea to consider pathways as an option.

There are also options for pathways if you need to support yourself by having a part time job and studying is hard to find time for. Pathways allows you to keep your job while also studying with half the load.

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So How Can I Do HSC Pathways?

There isn’t an actual ‘application form’ to do Pathways, rather you need to talk to your school to organise completing your HSC over more than one year. You can also do Pathways at TAFE instead of at your high school.

The first step if you’re thinking about doing Pathways would be to approach your school counsellor or career advisor and ask them about your options!

The main problem is that there is hardly any awareness for Pathways as an alternate route. Pathways can be very controversial and you might find that the people in your life will have different opinions. Many of my friends were supportive of my choice, but there were some who didn’t think it was such a good idea. They actually tried to talk me out of it saying that I wont be at university with a lot of other people and it will suck when they have all graduated.

While sometimes it does suck that most of my friends are finished at school, a lot of them are taking a gap year so it really doesn’t matter for me whether they have or haven’t graduated because I will ultimately be in the first year of university with them in the end anyway!

Parents can be harder to deal with. While many parents are supportive there will always be some who will disapprove. My parents, while being mostly supportive, were not happy. I moved from Barker College (a private school) to Bradfield Senior College (a public school). Even though the money was a lot less they were not keen to be paying for another 2 years of school for me.

It’s always a good idea to sit down and have a discussion with your parents if you are considering doing pathways as it impacts them as well!

Good Luck!

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Caitlin Miller completed half of her HSC in 2016 and is looking forward to finishing in 2017. She studied at Abbotsleigh, Barker College and is now settled at Bradfield Senior College. She loves sport and is passionate about learning and helping others. She plans to study law at university and become a barrister one day.