Subject Selection Information

Students may choose elective subjects for Years 9-10 and for Years 11-12. 

Year 9-10 Subject Selection Information

Students will select their subjects in Year 8. For more information, please see the links below, which have been updated for Year 9 (2024) and Year 10 (2025).

Year 11-12 Subject Selection Information

In Year 10, students select the courses they will study for the next two years. Careful consideration is encouraged to ensure students select the best possible pattern of study for their Stage 6 studies, one which will provide a strong foundation for their future pathway. Students have different interests and needs and are therefore encouraged to consider the variety of pathways available, including preparation to enter the workforce or to continue with tertiary study at university.

At Xavier Catholic College, the subject selection process supports all students to attain their Higher School Certificate (HSC) and most students to attain an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). Obtaining an ATAR is not mandatory, or necessary for all students depending on their pathway, and it is therefore each student's responsibility to check their eligibility for an ATAR. Changes to ATAR eligibility from 2025 will have implications for subject selections. 

Xavier Catholic College offers a range of Stage 6 Courses, including:

  • Religious Education: Studies of Religion I, Studies of Religion II, Catholic Faith in Action
  • English: English Studies, English Standard, English Advanced, English Extension 1, English Extension 2 (Year 12)
  • Mathematics: Mathematics Advanced, Mathematics Standard 1, Mathematics Standard 2, Mathematics Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 2 (Year 12)
  • Science: Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Environmental Science, Investigating Science, Physics
  • HSIE: Ancient History, Business Studies, Economics, Geography, History Extension (Year 12), Legal Studies, Modern History
  • Languages: French Beginners, French Continuers, Italian Beginners
  • PDHPE: Health and Movement Science, Community & Family Studies, Exploring Early Childhood, Sport Lifestyle & Recreation
  • Creative Arts: Ceramics, Dance, Drama, Music 1, Photography & Digital Imaging, Visual Arts
  • Technologies: Design & Technology, Engineering Studies, Industrial Technology (Multimedia, Timber OR Metal), Software Engineering, Textiles & Design
  • VET: Construction, Fitness, Hospitality

Please be aware that the demands of timetabling mean that some advertised courses will not run in 2025.

The courses provided each year vary, and there is no guarantee that all of the courses listed will be available to study. The final courses provided for each cohort are determined by the level of student interest and teacher availability.

With so many HSC subjects, students are encouraged to use Subject Compass to assist with subject selection. 

How it works

  1. Enter your interests, skills, chosen career path or tertiary study plans to create your profile.
  2. View a list of HSC subjects that best match your profile.
  3. Select your preferred subjects from the list or add new subjects.
  4. Check whether your chosen subjects will make you eligible for an ATAR.
  5. Share your Subject Compass results with your careers adviser and parents/guardian.

Chop and change your profile or subject selection as many times as you like. Each year, NSW HSC students complete around 127,000 different patterns of study!

Understand the rules

When you choose your subjects, it's important to understand the rules about completing the HSC and getting an ATAR.

HSC rules

You must satisfactorily complete:

  • a preliminary (Year 11) pattern of study that includes at least 12 units
  • an HSC (Year 12) pattern of study that includes at least 10 units.

In both years you must include at least:

  • 6 units of Board Developed courses
  • 2 units of a Board Developed course in English
  • three courses of 2 or more units (either Board Developed or Board Endorsed Courses)
  • four subject areas.

Students at Xavier Catholic College are required to study a minimum of one unit of Religious Education in Year 11 and Year 12.

Confused about HSC 'subject areas' and 'courses'?: Within an HSC subject area (e.g. mathematics) there may be a number of courses (e.g. Mathematics Standard 2, Mathematics Advanced, Mathematics Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 2).

If a student studies, for example, Mathematics Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 2, English Advanced, English Extension 1 and Biology, they will not meet the four subject area requirement because they have only studied three subject areas: Mathematics, English and Biology.

Likewise, if a student studies English Advanced, English Extension 1, English Extension 2, Mathematics Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 2, Modern History and History Extension, they have only studied three subject areas: English, Mathematics and Modern History.

History Extension does not count as an additional subject area.

Similarly, Science Extension does not count as an additional subject area.

Access a list of HSC courses and their subject areas

To check all the ins and outs of completing the HSC, go to the NESA website.

ATAR rules

The ATAR rules are slightly different to the HSC rules. This is to make sure that students who intend to go on to uni are well prepared for the demands of tertiary study.

To be eligible for an ATAR in NSW in 2023 and 2024, you must satisfactorily complete at least 10 units of HSC courses. These courses must include at least:

  • 8 units from Category A courses
  • 2 units of English
  • three Board Developed courses of 2 units or greater
  • four subject areas.

To be eligible for an ATAR in NSW from 2025, you must satisfactorily complete at least:

  • 10 units of Board Developed courses
  • 2 units of English
  • three Board Developed courses of 2 units or greater
  • four subject areas.

Find out everything you need to know about the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank.

Options for English, Maths and Languages

English: You must complete at least 2 units of English. You can choose one of the following options:

  • English Studies (2 units: Category B)
  • English Standard (2 units)
  • English Advanced (2 units)
  • English Advanced + English Extension 1 (3 units)
  • English Advanced + English Extension 1 + Eng Ext 2 (4 units)

Mathematics: You can choose one of the following options:

  • Mathematics Standard 1 (2 units: Category B)
  • Mathematics Standard 2 (2 units)
  • Mathematics Advanced (2 units)
  • Mathematics Advanced + Mathematics Extension 1 (3 units)
  • Mathematics Extension 1 + Mathematics Extension 2 (4 units)

Languages: You can choose a Beginners course or a Continuers course in a particular language, but not both.

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Sourcehttps://www.uac.edu.au/future-applicants/subject-compass#:~:text=Change%20to%20ATAR%20eligibility%20from,updated%20to%20reflect%20this%20change.