Year 12 Home Page
HSC OutcomesHSC_Outcomes.html
Year 12 AssessmentsAssessments.html
Biology SkillsSkills.html

Maintaining a BalanceMaintaining_a_Balance.html
Blueprint of LifeBlueprint_of_Life.html
The Search for Better HealthBetter_Health.html
Option: CommunicationOption__Communication.html

H.S.C. Biology

Ferns and fungi on Mt Bartle Frere, Queensland


As in Preliminary Biology there are five HSC Biology topics.   The first topic is identified as “9.1 Biology Skills”.   It should not be thought of as a separate topic but one which is incorporated as an integral part of the other four topics.   That does not mean it is less important - in fact, because at least 50% of the school-based assessment in Biology must be based on practical work, it is a very important part of your work.  


The five Year 12 Biology topics are:

1 Biology Skills   (Throughout the Year 12 course)

2 Maintaining a  Balance 

3 Blueprint of Life 

4 The Search for Better Health  

5 Option:  Communication  

Each of these links to a page of “dot points” from the syllabus.

When you are studying for the H.S.C. next year you will refer to these dot points to make sure I have covered all the material. You would be well advised to start doing that now.

My own brief notes on each topic are available by clicking on the buttons at the bottom of this page.  These are only an outline of the dot points and are not a substitute for thorough reading of the textbook(s), other resources and work done in class. Please tell me if you find something you think is wrong so that I can fix it.

The notes were usually written independently of the texts supplied - I have mostly used web-based resources.


These are referred to in the syllabus and in the assessment schedule.  Each assessment task will assess your achievement of a small number of outcomes.  It may be helpful to refer to these when preparing for an assessment task.

Useful links:   Biology syllabus   Glossary of key words used in the syllabus, examination and assessment tasks  Interesting resources for many aspects of the Year 11 and Year 12 courses.  An excellent summary of the HSC Biology course.  Practice multiple-choice questions on-line.

Study tips: 

  1. Bullet(Reference - Confucius [~2500 b.p.] translated)

  2. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”  (I teach and I own.)

  3. “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

  4. “Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.”

  5. “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached,  don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”

  6. .... in other words, you may learn from reading these pages or reading a biology text, but you would own the ideas that you expressed in your own words in web pages like these.  If you don’t want to bother with doing that, taking notes in your own words would be incredibly valuable.  Think about biology.  If you want better marks, work harder.

  1. BulletRead books or webpages about study skills.  One good example -


  1. BulletTalk in class!   I expect my students to listen carefully and silently whilst I am speaking, and to take notes on paper.   Nevertheless, it is vital that at an appropriate time you interact with me so that I can gauge the level of your understanding as well as answer your questions.   (Remember that you are one member of the class and have no right to monopolise my attention.)   “Interact” means to ask questions, check your understanding, contribute something relevant that you’ve read, heard or seen.

  1. BulletDiscuss biology out of class.   Verbalising knowledge cements it in your understanding.  There is no better way to learn something than to teach (or speak) it.  Outline an idea you heard in class to a friend, parent, tutor, teacher or anybody you feel comfortable talking to.  Take notes at every opportunity - by doing so you are teaching yourself, possibly at some time in the future.

Year 12 Biology home page

My home page