HSC students could call in sick to lift exam scores in COVID
Sneaky Higher School Certificate students are expected to use COVID rules and take "strategic sick days" to miss crucial exams in a bid to get a better final university entrance score.
New guidelines introduced in light of COVID-19 state if students wake up with a sniffle on exam day they should stay at home and get an estimate based on their performance in school based assessment tasks.
Teachers at some Sydney private schools are worried that swathes of students will call in sick on exam day because only a telehealth appointment to get a doctor's certificate is required to get an estimate in a particular subject.
A spokeswoman for Hornsby based tutoring company Tutor League said numerous pupils have told them they were contemplating skipping certain exams to bolster their university entrance score but they were advising students against it.
"A few students have (contemplated) it and they're worried about their marks and which university they will get into," she said.
"They should go for the experience, that will be a good thing for them instead of just skipping it because they have practised for two years.
"It is not worth it to give up, they should not miss it just for the purpose of marks."
Cluey Learning's Dr Selina Samuels said she was not surprised students were contemplating strategies to improve their marks but also said they should sit the exam.
"It is understandable they will be trying to think of the best ways to ensure they get the best results," she said.
"But if you're a high achieving student, chances are you are going to do well in your exam.
"And low achievers still have a chance to get a better mark. I have seen amazing things in my time - I have seen kids going in getting 68 in their trials and have gone as far as 85 or 90 in their exams.
"I think students need to understand that it is not too late, they can actually improve their marks, they shouldn't be giving up now."
Australian Tutoring Association president Mohan Dhall said while exams may be daunting, students should believe in their abilities.
"They should back themselves to take an exam and do well in it" he said.
"The purpose of education is to build self confidence … It doesn't show a lot of faith in themselves."
He added while scores of students calling in sick could affect the complex scaling of marks for the HSC, he trusted the NSW Education Standards Authority had sufficient moderation strategies to make sure everyone got a fair result.
Originally published as Sneaky HSC students could call in sick to lift exam scores in COVID