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Y12 Subject Selection & New Science Syllabi (1 Viewer)


New Member
Sep 28, 2018
Hi everyone, I need to choose my subjects for Year 12 and I'm in a bit of a dilemma. Right now, I do:

English Advanced
English Ext. 1
Modern History
Society and Culture

I'm definitely picking up English Ext. 2 next year. However, I'm in a dilemma of choosing between Biology and Maths. Currently, I am performing very well in most of my subjects, however Bio is about 82% and Maths is about 65%.

This brings me to my next point - the new syllabus changes for science. I also have a few questions:

1. I'm a little nervous of the new Biology syllabus (I much prefer content over practical application), particularly around the absence of past papers, which I've heard is the key to doing very well. I'm aware that it's like this for everyone in NSW, but could someone shed some light on how a new syllabus might affect scaling or leniency of marks? The new science syllabi have been brutal to many students, particularly for Chem, but also Bio and Physics, or so I've seen.

2. I'm not amazing at Maths and I'm afraid that it would take up too much time, even if I do find some interest in it. My marks kind of dropped in preparation for prelim exams, which brings me to my question - is it worth it trying to get a Band 6 in Maths while doing English Ext. 2? Maths is attractive because of the presence of past papers.

3. Would dropping to Standard 2 (the new General) and excelling in it be worth more than say a low band 6 in Bio? (I know that General Maths is still a course within itself and still requires a lot of effort)

By the way, my atar goal is 98.5+. Thanks!


Sep 12, 2018
Hello Rydelta,

My response to your questions:

1) The new syllabus for HSC Biology and Chemistry now incorporate aspects of first-year university biology and chemistry course materials. I believe this has several meaningful purposes. One of them is that unique HSC questions based on the old syllabus is running out because the syllabus is fixed and questions are derived from the syllabus. A new syllabus with a broader scope allows HSC exam writers to assess new areas. Secondly, as the new syllabus incorporates some first year university course content, the transition process of high school students into first-year uni student will be easier. Thirdly, the new syllabus allows students to appreciate HSC Chemistry and Biology more as there is now greater depth in the assessable material. All in all, to these modifications, the course exams should be more challenging.

2) Drop 2U mathematics if you don't find any interest with its course content. However, before dropping, perhaps have a look at what you will be learning in General Mathematics (Standard 2) so you have an idea of what you are getting yourself into (if you haven't already).

3) Doing 2U Mathematics and Biology and getting Band 6 in both is actually not that difficult than what you think. Since your ATAR goal is 98.5+, I believe you already have a determined mindset. I know that some mathematical concepts taught in 2U mathematics are still applicable after HSC. If you enjoy 2U maths to some extent, I recommend staying with it.

Finally, I have an awesome resource for you:


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