From the year 2020, New South Wales will introduce a minimum standard requirement in literacy and numeracy during year 9 to be eligible to receive an aggregate in HSC. Year 9 students must achieve a minimum of band 8 (equivalent to year 8 level) in reading, writing and numeracy in the NAPLAN exam. For students who do not meet this requirement, they may repeat this exam in years 10, 11 and 12.
The introduction of this new policy is designed to increase the numerical and literacy standards of HSC graduates. This new standard seeks to ensure that year 12 graduates will be equipped with the basic knowledge needed for their tertiary education, as well as serve as encouragement to both students and teachers to improve numerical and literacy standards of secondary schools.
However, many are concerned that placing such high importance on an exam in year 9 may result in significant pressure on students to perform academically at such a young age. Moreover, it is believed that failing under-achieving students in year 9 could lead to students becoming disengaged and consequentially not continue their studies to year 12.