Honesty in assessment

Honesty in assessment

All work presented in an HSC assessment task or a practical or performance HSC exam must be your own or properly acknowledged. Malpractice, including plagiarism, could lead to you receiving zero marks. Cheating is absolutely unacceptable as outlined in ‘Honesty in HSC Assessment - the Standard' (right) from BOSTES.

Completing tasks and exams honestly

When you begin your HSC study, you will receive a copy of the HSC Rules and Procedures guide, which you must read. You will also sign an HSC Confirmation of Entry form. By signing the form, you are telling BOSTES that you have read, understood and agreed to follow the rules in the guide.

You will also be required to satisfactorily complete the HSC: All My Own Work program or its equivalent. This program helps you to follow good principles and practices in assessments and exams.

For practical or performance exams you will also have to certify (by signing a declaration) that the work you submit to the Board for marking is your own, and acknowledge any assistance you received. Your teacher and principal will also have to say whether they believe the work is authentically yours.

It is important to have support from teachers, parents and friends when you are working on your assessment tasks and practical and performance exams, but you must not let them do the work for you.

Acknowledging your work

Your teachers can tell you exactly how they would like you to acknowledge sources. For written works, this usually will be in a bibliography or reference list. You will need to check how this should be presented for each of your assessment tasks. For some practical exams, you must keep a folio, in which you can show your influences and any practical help you received. Practical help must also be acknowledged on your certification form.

Cheating and plagiarism

Cheating, or malpractice, is dishonest behaviour by a student that gives them an unfair advantage over others.

Plagiarism is when you pretend that you have written, created or developed a piece of work that someone else originated. Some examples of cheating and plagiarism include:

  • copying, buying, stealing or borrowing part or all of someone else's work, and presenting it as your own
  • using material directly from books, journals, CDs or the internet without acknowledging the source
  • submitting work that contains a large and unacknowledged contribution from another person, such as a parent, coach, tutor or author
  • paying someone to write or prepare material that is associated with a task, such as drafts, process diaries, logs and folios.

Honesty in HSC Assessment - the Standard

The Honesty in Assessment standard (right) sets out the requirements concerning students submitting their own work in HSC assessment. HSC candidates, as well as their teachers and others who may guide them, are required to comply with the standard.

The requirements in the Standard should be read in conjunction with BOSTES syllabuses and policies in related areas such as malpractice and satisfactory completion of a course.

Download the HSC assessment tasks and practical performance exams (PDF) flyer.


Honesty in HSC Assessment - the Standard

The honesty of students in completing assessment tasks, examinations and submitted works, and of teachers and others in guiding students, underpins the integrity of the Higher School Certificate. Throughout the assessment process, the highest level of honesty is required. Each student's mark will be determined only by the quality of the work produced by the student only. To demonstrate honesty, any component of a student's work that has been written, created or developed by others must be acknowledged in accordance with the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards' subject-specific documentation. Use or inclusion of material from other sources such as books, journals and electronic sources, including the internet, must be acknowledged. General teaching and learning do not require formal acknowledgement.

Dishonest behaviour carried out for the purpose of gaining unfair advantage in the assessment process constitutes malpractice, or cheating. Malpractice in any form, including plagiarism, is unacceptable. The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards treats allegations of malpractice very seriously and detected malpractice will limit a student's marks and jeopardise their HSC. Should malpractice be suspected, students will be required to demonstrate that all unacknowledged work is entirely their own. Serious and deliberate acts of malpractice amount to corrupt conduct and, where appropriate, the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW will report matters to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.