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2010 HSC Notes from the Marking Centre — Industrial Technology



This document has been produced for the teachers and candidates of the Stage 6 course in Industrial Technology. It contains comments on candidate responses to the 2010 Higher School Certificate examination, indicating the quality of the responses and highlighting their relative strengths and weaknesses.

This document should be read along with the relevant syllabus, the 2010 Higher School Certificate examination, the marking guidelines and other support documents which have been developed by the Board of Studies to assist in the teaching and learning of Industrial Technology.

General comments

Teachers and candidates should be aware that examiners may ask questions that address the syllabus outcomes in a manner that requires candidates to respond by integrating their knowledge, understanding and skills developed through studying the course.

Candidates need to be aware that the marks allocated to the question and the answer space (where this is provided on the examination paper) are guides to the length of the required response. A longer response will not in itself lead to higher marks. Writing in excess of the space allocated may reduce the time available for answering other questions.

Candidates need to be familiar with the Board’s Glossary of Key Words which contains some terms commonly used in examination questions. However, candidates should also be aware that not all questions will start with or contain one of the key words from the glossary. Questions such as ‘how?’, ‘why?’ or ‘to what extent?’ may be asked, or verbs may be used which are not included in the glossary, such as ‘design’, ‘translate’ or ‘list’.

Major project

Teachers and candidates are reminded that Major Projects should be submitted on the date set down by the Board of Studies, ready to be marked. No further work on any part of the Major Project should be carried out after the submission date.

Folios that reflected the syllabus, and set out the information clearly and logically, scored substantially better marks than those that were irregularly and inconsistently presented. Candidates and teachers should be made aware that if some sort of teacher-based or textbook-based template is used, the candidate’s contribution must be clearly explained. In many folios that used these templates, examiners could not readily identify the candidate’s input to the work.

Design and management

Many candidates produced a quality product, but devoted insufficient time and effort to the accompanying folio. Teachers need to highlight the importance of this folio and its role in the marking process. The major projects, particularly in Multimedia, Electronics and Automotive Technologies, are submitted in their completed form. Many different processes have been involved in the development of these projects. Much of this is not apparent in the completed project and it is only through the folio that the examiners are able to understand the full input of the candidate. Candidates in these focus areas should investigate computer software that allows them to take clear screen shots of their work as it develops, particularly in Multimedia Technologies projects.

The statement of intent needs to be written as a clear statement of how the student will approach the major project. Candidates are reminded that this statement gives the foundation for their research and planning and should give details of where they are heading with the project. Candidates also need to realise that the project presented is marked in relation to their statement of intent. What the examiner sees should be the same as, or at least similar to, what was intended. Better responses related the ‘what?’ to ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ and also gave details of ‘where?’ and ‘how?’ information would be sought in order to fulfil their requirements and/or where the project would be put to use. Simple statements of what candidates want, intend or need to make are not sufficient.

Candidates, particularly in the Automotive Technologies and Electronics Technologies Focus Areas, need to include reasons why they are completing various tasks and what the expected and actual outcomes of the tasks will be. For example, candidates in Automotive Technologies focus areas may talk about performing a valve grind and de-coke – why are they doing this? What will be the result? Have they ultimately achieved this?

Research and information gathering should be relevant to the project as outlined in the statement of intent. Any collection of brochures, catalogues, company information and downloads from webpages must relate to the project being constructed, and it should be clearly evident that the candidate has used the information in some way. Better responses showed clearly what information had been gained and how it would be used with the project. They also included a brief, to-the-point evaluation of the research for each item, process or material, as part of ongoing evaluation.

Timelines and finance plans were usually presented well and in a variety of ways. Candidates need to be sure to add detail in these plans and not restrict them to a few general headings. Research, for example, needs to include details of type, how and/or where. It is also important to note that these time and finance plans must include both a proposed plan and an actual plan and not be written after the event.

Most candidates commented in some detail regarding the personal protective equipment (PPE) aspects of OHS, especially when using machinery in the workshop. Better responses outlined the OHS concerns associated with the processes being considered, the safe handling of materials, adhesives and finishes as well as both the physical handling and the chemical/dust concerns, not just PPE for machine use and the safe handling and operation of tools, etc.


In most instances, candidates successfully used a variety of communication techniques to complete the Design, Management and Communication folio. Better folios used sophisticated CAD drawings, digital images and a variety of output devices to produce a quality of folio approaching professional desktop publishing. Very few candidates completed the folio without ICT skills being apparent, and even the weakest folios used word-processing and spreadsheets.

Sketching of ideas and their development was not particularly strong, with some exceptions. Most candidates included some rough, and in some cases, almost unidentifiable sketches without any annotation. Candidates must remember that this section of the folio communicates to the examiner how they arrived at their final design, or how an original design was modified. All of their sketches should be included and they must be clearly annotated. Annotations should be precise and related to the sketch. Each sketch should lead the examiner from where the candidate started to where they finished.


Projects should also be of sufficient rigour to allow the candidate to fully satisfy the marking criteria for the major project.

Candidates should also allow themselves sufficient time to produce a ‘quality’ finish. Too many projects were let down by insufficient surface preparation or by lack of patience in applying the finish to the work. In many cases, metal projects were roughly finished, often with welding spatter clearly not removed, and sharp and dangerous edges still evident. Timber projects often are treated to only a rudimentary quick sanding and application, usually roughly brushed on.

Candidates should present relevant and concise supporting material with their projects. Jigs, models, prototypes, preliminary sketches, working rods and all other material used during construction identifies a broader range of skills and techniques that may have otherwise been overlooked.

Many candidates used some degree of outside help and/or resources. Care must be taken to fully document outside resources in the folio. Candidates will not be given credit for work done by others. (See Assessment and Reporting in Industrial Technology Stage 6, p 9, www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_hsc/industrial-technology.html)

Candidates for Multimedia Technologies and Electronics Technologies are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure that their project is fully operational at the time of marking.

Some weaker Multimedia Technologies projects contained downloaded material from sources found on the internet. This is not a recommended practice and should be discouraged. As is the case with all focus areas, any work that is not the work of the candidate should be acknowledged as such.

Often, Multimedia Technologies candidates did not fully show how their projects evolved. Candidates need to present the development of the project as well as the final product. Weaker Multimedia Technologies responses showed little evidence of storyboarding, sketching or planning. In better responses, candidates used screen dumps, dated and initialled by their teachers at regular intervals, to give a clear indication of project development. These responses also used a range of processes that included video, digital imaging and web design. In weaker responses, candidates used simple hyper-linking techniques to relate imported objects or used only one or two basic software packages.

Weaker Multimedia Technologies projects often contained long video presentations that, despite their length, failed to show a range of skills. Candidates should be aware that the length of video presentations has no bearing on the marks awarded. In most cases, a lengthy video showing a limited range of skills will be awarded lower marks than a short, concise presentation showing a wide range of skills in its development, production and presentation. Some weaker Multimedia Industries Design, Management and Communication folios consisted of a mass of information, often without headings or organisation.

As many of the Multimedia Industries major projects use software packages that are not available in the school, it is essential that in such cases the work is presented on either the candidate’s own computer, or at least on one capable of running all the software used in its production, along with the final presentation.

Written examination

Section II

Focus area – Automotive Technologies

Question 11

In better responses, candidates correctly named part ‘X’.

Question 12

Better responses gave at least two reasons as to why digital instruments have replaced mechanical gauges. These responses often indicated that accuracy and aesthetics were reasons for change. Some mentioned interaction between digital instruments and interfacing with computer management as a reason for change.

Question 13

In weaker responses, candidates did not understand what a composite material was, confusing plastics and a composite material.

Question 14

In better responses, candidates clearly indicated what a torque wrench was and could describe its use with a sketch of the tool. Some correctly described how to use and set up a torque wrench and provided a detailed sketch with all components visible.

Question 15

In better responses, candidates explained how the wheel cylinder creates the braking effect within a drum brake and provided a detailed sketch of the operation.

Mid-range responses to the question concentrated more on how a drum brake worked, with a sketch of the drum brake.

In weaker responses, candidates could not explain what the purpose of a wheel cylinder was in relation to the working of a drum brake, nor could they sketch the operation of the wheel cylinder.

Question 16

In better responses, candidates included at least two reasons why engine management systems (EMS) had replaced the distributor. They also included a comparison or a relationship between the two systems.

In mid-range responses, candidates gave a description or a feature of either an EMS system or a distributor system. Many candidates did not compare the two systems and gave little or no explanation.

Focus area – Electronics Technologies

Question 11

Better responses provided a correct description of the function of the LDR in the circuit. However, weaker responses failed to recognise the LDR as a light-detector sensor switch.

Question 12

Most candidates provided a correct description of why the S-R Bistable switch is necessary in this circuit. In weaker responses, candidates failed to recognise the switch as a reset.

Question 13

In better responses, candidates provided correct reasons for using digital simulation as a tool that could be used to design electronic circuits. In weaker responses, candidates showed an inadequate depth of understanding of the usefulness of digital simulation.

Question 14

In better responses, candidates provided reasonable descriptions of one or more operating properties of BJT (bipolar transistors). In weaker responses, candidates demonstrated a lack of understanding of the operating properties of field effect transistors.

Question 15

Only the best responses provided the correct total resistance that could be used to determine the power at R3. It should be noted that total current is shared proportionally between parallel resistors but it is the same for series resistors. In weaker responses, candidates failed to see resistors R2 and R3 as being connected in series; and that together they are connected in parallel to resistor R4. The given formulae were generally correctly used with incorrect values.

Question 16

There seemed to be a general lack of understanding of the operations and the circuit design for time-delay circuits. In better responses, candidates provided accurate functions and operations of polar capacitors as charging/discharging current. The operation and application of the relay, as a switch and current booster, was poorly understood in weaker responses. Alternative time-delay circuits include the 555 Timer IC and the TTL circuits.

Focus area – Graphics Technologies

Question 11

Most candidates correctly identified advantages and disadvantages. Candidates are reminded that any references to speed as an advantage must be qualified.

Question 12

In better responses, candidates demonstrated graduated shading from light to dark. Some candidates ignored the direction of the light source.

Question 13

In better responses, candidates included client consultation and evaluation as part of the architectural design and drafting process.

Question 14

Better responses included dimensioning and hidden detail drawn to AS 1100.

Mid-range responses provided correctly aligned and positioned views.

Question 15

Better responses included correctly sketched isometric circles and curves. Mid-range responses sketched a correctly proportioned isometric view of the machine block, including correct orientation.

Focus area – Metal and Engineering Technologies

Question 11

Some candidates did not answer the question in full; either not naming a section or describing appropriate properties of the drawbar only. A number of candidates described ‘Rolled Hollow Section’ (RHS) as ‘Rectangular Hollow Section’ or ‘Round Hollow Section’.

Question 12

Generally, in mid-range responses, candidates identified a suitable process or listed steps of an appropriate process in limited detail. A number of responses identified the process of ‘casting’ as ‘moulding’.

Question 13

Better responses recognised the bolt holes in the coupling image and suggested the use of nuts and bolts as a suitable joining method, although some did not provide a reason for the joining method. In weaker responses, candidates identified the less suitable method of welding to attach the coupling to the drawbar.

Question 14

In better responses, candidates accurately identified the expansion and contraction of the metal during welding and cooling. They outlined at least one method of minimising distortion in part (b). Mid-range responses identified heat as a cause of distortion in part (a).

Question 15

In better responses, candidates identified an appropriate machine, such as the metal lathe, to shape the stub axle in part (a). In these responses, candidates described the process of off-setting the tailstock, adjusting the compound slide and/or programming a CNC lathe.

In mid-range responses, candidates outlined only general features of the process used by the machine identified in part (a) to produce the tapered shape of the stub axle for part (b).

Question 16

Generally, candidates found it difficult to discuss or describe two or more finishing methods. In some mid-range responses, candidates identified at least two methods or outlined one method in general terms. They described the process of applying the finish but did not provide points for and/or against types of finishes. In weaker responses, candidates described using galvanised steel, stainless steel or aluminium as the construction material and did not describe appropriate finishing methods.

Focus area – Multimedia Technologies

Question 11

Most candidates used terms such as ‘compressed’ or ‘converted to MP3’, to correctly answer the question.

Question 12

Some candidates used the correct term ‘downloading’ but actually described streaming. Others confused ‘streaming’ with a description of downloading. Those responses that gained maximum marks often gave more correct features than was required.

Question 13

Many candidates could identify the advantage of using cascading style sheets. A common response to this question was ‘easy to edit colours, layout’. ‘Pages formatted in a standard or predetermined way’ was the second common response that candidates responded with.

Question 14

Many candidates demonstrated appropriate understanding and knowledge by providing examples of file types and an excellent description of the two types of video compression. Some candidates confused video compression with image compression and ‘zipping’ a file with video compression. Others only mentioned one type of compression.

Question 15

In better responses, candidates gave an excellent discussion of both vector and bitmapped files. In weaker responses, candidates gave files types but neglected to label which part of the discussion was vector and bitmapped. Features such as file size comparison, pixilation, mathematical equations and ease of editing, were given in responses.

Question 16

In mid-range responses, candidates only gave a limited number of procedures and neglected to bring into their discussion the continual evaluation with the client.

In weaker responses, candidates only provided lists of some procedures.

Focus area – Timber Products and Furniture Technologies

Question 11

A variety of fittings were illustrated, ranging in complexity from a simple shelf support and countersunk head screws to cam-lock systems. In better responses, candidates illustrated the knockdown fitting clearly in a 3D sketch. In some weaker responses, candidates reverted to presenting a two-dimensional line drawing that often lacked clarity.

Question 12

Most candidates listed several advantages of flat packing the cabinet. In some weaker responses, candidates did not list an advantage, did not demonstrate understanding of flat packing, and did not relate their response to mass-produced furniture, produced from manufactured boards and assembled with knockdown fittings.

Question 13

A wide variety of acceptable framing joints were nominated in response to this question. A common response was a haunched mortise and tenon joint. In better responses, candidates successfully completed a 3D sketch of the joint and appropriately named it. However, in mid-range responses, candidates were unable to describe the joint and offered simple methods of construction rather than a description. Some listed steps in construction.

Question 14

Most candidates described a variety of PPE requirements that would be required in the production of cabinet furniture. In better responses, candidates provided characteristics and features that are unique to producing furniture from manufactured boards. In a significant number of weaker responses, candidates did not distinguish their descriptions for constructing and finishing. Rather, they gave generic descriptions that identified general safety considerations in the production of cabinet furniture and did not relate their answer to manufactured boards.

Question 15

In some weaker responses, candidates produced an extensive but inappropriate list of unqualified responses such as weight, strength, cheaper and so on. A significant number of candidates responded in the negative, that is, giving responses that listed the advantages and disadvantages of manufactured boards as opposed to solid timber.

Question 16

In better responses, candidates related techniques directly to manufactured boards and includes answers such as CNC panel saws, multi-head bores, knockdown fittings, applying edge veneers and so on. In weaker responses, candidates described general construction techniques related to construction of more general cabinet furniture. They also tended to limit their responses to techniques that can be completed in the school workshop rather than describing industrial processes.

Section III

Question 17

  1. In the strongest responses, candidates identified more than one issue in each of the categories indicated in the question. They then drew out and related these implications in relation to the relocating and expanding of the company prior to the move.

    In better responses, candidates outlined two or more appropriate environmental considerations that a company would have to make prior to relocating and expanding.

    Mid-range responses showed the relationship between only two issues they identified ie structural and technical, structural and personnel etc., showing limited relationship between these issues and the company prior to the relocation and expansion.

    In weaker responses, candidates named and outlined only one issue or only provided a list of environmental considerations.

    Candidates are reminded that they should complete their answers in distinct parts (a) and (b).


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