HSC Trial Practice Paper from Art of Smart

Studying for HSC English? Well, here’s the good news – we generally know exactly what the papers are going to look like!

What do we know?

For HSC English Paper 1, we know a lot of things with certainty:

  • Paper 1 is always divided into 3 sections, each worth 15 marks each (with a total of 45 marks).
  • The three sections are always:
    1. Unseen texts with short answer/comprehension;
    2. Creative writing;
    3. Essay.
  • Everything examined is directly from the HSC Syllabus.

To be more specific, here are a few more things we know:

Unseen Texts with Short Answer/Comprehension

In this section, we always know that there are five questions: 2 x 2 markers, 2 x 3 markers and 1 x 5 marker.

  • 2 Marker questions typically as ‘how’ or ‘what’, and expects identification with very brief analysis.
  • 3 Marker questions are usually ‘explain’ or ‘analyse’, and expect you to identify, analyse and to take a view.
  • 5 Marker questions are essentially an extended response (basically a paragraph of a full essay)

Creative Writing

With creative writing, they will typically ask you to pursue it in two different ways:

  • Using the stimulus as the CENTRAL idea of your piece; or
  • Using the stimulus as the STARTING POINT of your piece.

From there, they will then require your creative piece to:

  • Be in a specific text form and type (i.e. news article, script); or
  • Open type (i.e. you choose the form and type).

They typically provide 3 – 5 choices of stimulus.


This will be an essay on your Prescribed Text AND a Related Text (of your own choosing), and will ask you to explore how your text shows one or a few qualities of discovery.

What don’t we know?

What we don’t know are:

  • The questions they’re going to ask (duh!); and
  • What the stimulus are going to be.

That being said, we’ve got a pretty good idea about what it’s going to look like, which is why we’ve put together a whole new HSC English Paper 1 Practice Paper!

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Click Here to Download the HSC English Paper 1 Practice Paper!

… and Click Here to Download the Marking Guide!

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