So…you've got your HSC results. Now what?

If you don't know what it is you want to do, there's no real urgency

Well firstly, congratulations. This is a big moment. Plenty of students will achieve the results they were hoping for. And plenty of students won't. But, in either case, what do you do now?

Marking of the HSC is a complicated process, so understanding this process is the key to knowing where you place. Here's some helpful advice on how to understand your HSC Results.

You have lots of options

If you're considering further study, there are plenty of places that can meet your needs, like TAFE, University and other Registered Training Organisations. Post school study can be taken full time or part time, so if you want to work as well, there's flexibility to let you have an income. Your study can also be delivered face to face, or online. So, when thinking about your study, it's important to also think about how you learn best. E.g. TAFE classes tend to be smaller and more 'hands on', so if you lean towards lots of practical experience instead of theory and research, TAFE may be the better option for you. Plus University isn't the only road to success.

Alternatively, if you are feeling like you need a break from study, many students also take a gap year to clear the mind and think about future goals. If you don't know what it is you want to do, there's no real urgency. You'll probably make a better decision with the space and time to think about it.

What are your goals?

Hilary Barbour, a Careers Counsellor at Newcastle Campus, often meets with students who have just received their HSC results and aren't sure what to do next.

"If you aren't sure, start with some careers counselling," Hilary says. "Go to and work through the My Guide section or go to for a shorter career quiz.

"Access the Careers Advisory Service through Department of Education and Communities or talk to a careers counsellor at TAFE".

Think about your interests

When helping HSC students decide on possible future goals, she often looks at what the person is interested in. Questions Hilary often asks are:

  • What subjects did you enjoy at school?
  • What are your interests outside school?
  • Have you had a part-time job? What did that tell you about your interests?
  • Also, bit of research doesn't go astray, and there are plenty of resources available should you want some quiet time to make your own decisions. Hunter Institute offers this handy Career Pathways resource.

    Talk to people

    Lastly…talk about it! Nothing beats having a chat with people who either know you personally, or have the expertise to guide you in the right direction (or both!)

    Free phone and email Careers Advisory Service are available after the release of HSC results. Phone: 1300 300 687

    Visit HSC and beyond for even more information.

    TAFE also provides Careers Counsellors, as will Universities. And of course, nothing beats a quiet chat over a cup of tea at home with the family.