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2011 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 2011 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 2011 Higher School Certificate examination, the marking guidelines and other support documents 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 the 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 that are not included in the glossary, such as ‘design’, ‘translate’ or ‘list’.

Major project

Candidates are reminded that all major projects must be produced according to the subject rules for Industrial Technology and the general rules for all candidates as detailed in HSC: All My Own Work.

Appropriateness of works and content

Some candidates submitted projects that did not comply with the subject rules. Candidates should not submit works and performances that the general community would find offensive. This includes images or videos with sexual themes or violence contained within the Graphics and Multimedia major projects. Further information can be found at HSC Performances and Submitted Works – Advice to Schools Regarding Content.

Some candidates presented projects that included prohibited weapons, replicas or related articles. The subject rules state that these must not be used, produced or displayed. For further information please refer to Section 9.3.1 of the Assessment, Certification and Assessment (ACE) Manual.

Examples of prohibited weapons, replicas and related articles include, but are not limited to firearms, knives, cross-bows, archery bows and arrows, catapults, kung fu sticks or nunchaku, batons, spear guns, handcuffs and self-defence sprays.

Design, management and communication folio

Most candidates produced folios that met the parameters described in Assessment and Reporting in Industrial Technology in Stage 6.

Some candidates had difficulty meeting the page limit. It is only necessary to include samples of work that reflect the processes candidates have followed, and that provide information showing how they have met the Major Project examination criteria. The amount of white space, full-page titles and oversized tables, such as those used in timeline plans, were reduced to provide more succinct documentation.

A few candidates tried to circumvent the rules by displaying larger photographs and drawings to gain a page-limit advantage. The parameters are quite specific and include all information that is presented that is on displays as well as in any diaries or logbooks. Folios that exceeded the page limits were marked in accordance with the subject rules. A number of candidates included multimedia presentations to support their printed folios and the vast majority kept these to the six-minute viewing limit.

Most candidates followed the syllabus and project requirements on the Board of Studies website and structured their folios accordingly. ICT skills were embedded in the folio and represented a significant part of the communication aspect. Candidates displayed increasing levels of skill in manipulating text and images, CAD drawing, and the use of a range of computer software.

The development of ideas remained an area of weakness in many folios, particularly the sketching of the development of the design. Candidates must remember that this section guides the development of the project and opens up areas for research, prototyping, modelling and testing. It is from the design sketches that production and working drawings are developed.

Some candidates presented an annotated photo essay to show a record of production – this suited the technology areas of Automotive, Electronics, Metals and Engineering, and Timber and Furniture. Some candidates presenting Graphics and Multimedia folios often used screen captures, or programs such as Captivate, to present a short video of their production processes.

In better folios, candidates provided ongoing evaluation of the statement of intent, research, planning and construction of their project, as well as timeline and finance plans that included comprehensive evaluations.


Most candidates completed major projects that demonstrated their levels of skill in accomplishing a range of tasks. Across the focus technologies, candidates managed their time effectively in coordinating the production process to present completed projects.

Some candidates selected projects of such complexity that they could not complete them at school, and thus needed to work away from the school environment. A lack of adequate supervision raises questions about the authenticity of the work. For further information, please refer to Section 9.3.4 of the Assessment, Certification and Assessment (ACE) Manual.

Some candidates mismanaged their time and were forced to rush the completion of their projects. This was often evident in poor finishes and some poor choices in construction, such as the fitting of hardware. For Multimedia candidates, this often means that projects do not work properly due to missing links, for example. In the case of Electronics, often projects cannot be displayed as working products.


Candidates often referred to the use of PPE and tool safety but did not adhere to safety rules with regard to other photographic evidence, such as the record of production. Few candidates broadened their research to include the safe use of other materials and chemicals or of the workroom environment.

Many candidates, particularly in Automotive and Metals and Engineering Technologies, produced projects that involved substantial welding but did not provide the required certifications. Some candidates who made farm trailers registered their trailers, but very few had the welding inspected.

The ACE Manual is very specific about what certifications are expected and these should be included in the folio. For further information please refer to Section 9.3.1 of the Assessment, Certification and Assessment (ACE) Manual.

Written examination

Section II

Focus area – Automotive Technologies

Question 11

Many candidates identified a cause of brake fade.

Question 12

In better responses, candidates recognised key areas associated with government requirements for use of child restraints, including location, securing, size and weight.

Question 13

Most candidates identified at least one issue that could result from adjusting the standard ride height of a vehicle. Common responses included stability if raised, and damage that may result if lowered.

In better responses, candidates included strain on components and legislative issues.

Question 14

Most candidates identified an advance in braking technology, with many going on to provide a basic outline of the identified technology.

In better responses, candidates provided the required characteristics that contributed to the efficiency of the technology.

Question 15

Many candidates identified the air–fuel interaction of the diagram, but had little understanding of the function that the venturi was performing within the carburettor.

In better responses, candidates provided a detailed answer that clearly communicated an understanding of the function of the venturi within the carburettor.

Question 16

In better responses, candidates provided a clearly labelled quality sketch that indicated the parts and movement of a 4-stroke engine, supported by a written component that correctly related the oil path around the engine and its subsequent effect on each movement/area and component.

In weaker responses, candidates demonstrated a limited knowledge of the movement of oil around an engine, and provided a basic sketch that had a minimal, if any, relationship to oil components of the engine or documented limited detail of movement in the written component.

Focus area – Electronics Technologies

Question 11

Most candidates identified correctly how diodes can be damaged in a circuit.

Question 12

Most candidates identified the advantages of LEDs being used in the electronics industry.

Question 13

In better responses, candidates considered impedance, power rating and frequency responses as operating properties that should be considered when selecting a loudspeaker.

In weaker responses, candidates misunderstood the term ‘general operating principles’.

Question 14

In better responses, candidates described how an alternating voltage can step up or step down a voltage depending on the ratio of the number of turns of the primary to the secondary ratio, by magnetic flux linkage between the two coils.

Question 15

In better responses, candidates found the value of the resistor by correctly using the formulae provided.

In weaker responses, candidates did not know how to use basic resistor formulae in a circuit.

Question 16

In better responses, candidates provided a drawing design of the pads and tracks for the correctly placed components. They provided information on issues such as holes for component legs, size of components, etc.

Many candidates demonstrated a general lack of understanding of track design (mask design) and component layout.

Focus area – Graphics Technologies

Question 11

Most candidates correctly named an advantage of CAD drawings over hand drawings.

Question 12

Most candidates demonstrated how freehand sketches are used in the graphics industry.

In better responses, candidates included more than one example.

Question 13

Many candidates identified the correct presentation techniques.

In better responses, candidates also included a range of examples.

Question 14

Many candidates used cabinet projection successfully to sketch a freehand oblique view, with some responses using cavalier projection.

Better responses included accurate projection of the curved surfaces.

Question 15

Some candidates correctly sketched a 3rd angle projection.

Better responses included hidden detail and the detail of the switch.

Question 16

Most candidates sketched a floor plan with the majority successfully using the scale as provided.

In better responses, candidates included standard symbols for the windows, door and the garage doors in their floor plan.

In weaker responses, very few candidates correctly represented the engaged piers.

Focus area – Metals and Engineering Technologies

Question 11

Most candidates indicated how to turn the shank of the bolt to size before threading.

In better responses, candidates recognised the need to machine from a hexagonal bar as the best option, while a few suggested upset forging the head and rolling the thread as an option.

Question 12

Many candidates could outline some of the processes to make the handle.

In better responses, candidates named and described the main processes used in making the turned handle.

Question 13

Many candidates sketched and labelled a design for a jig to hold all of the parts. Some candidates sketched a jig to hold the base only. Where candidates did not recognise the purpose of a jig, they simply indicated the use of some sort of clamping or magnets.

Question 14

  1. Most candidates included labelled sketches that showed a method of extending and securing the arm of the davit at A. Some candidates sketched a method of extending or securing the arm of the davit.

  2. Most candidates recognised the need to protect ferrous metals in a marine environment.

    In better responses, candidates determined the value of more than one material and finish in the production of the davit for a marine environment.

Focus area – Multimedia Technologies

Question 11

  1. Most candidates identified two formatting options.

  2. Most candidates were able to give one example of how colour bit-depth affects the quality within the application.

    In better responses, candidates showed how colour bit-depth affects the quality of graphics.

  3. Most candidates gave two general examples of editing techniques.

    In better responses, candidates described two examples of editing techniques.

  4. Most candidates identified the characteristics and qualities of motion capture.

    In better responses, candidates gave a clear explanation of motion capture techniques.

  5. In better responses, candidates referenced their features to sampling. Their use of sketches with a written response to describe the answer was clear and showed an in-depth knowledge. Many candidates successfully outlined features of converting analogue to digital using terms such as ‘sample rate’ and ‘binary representation’.

Focus area – Timber Products and Furniture Technologies

Question 11

  1. Most candidates provided a relevant, although general, response to this question. Some candidates misunderstood the difference between plantation timber and manufactured board.

  2. In better responses, candidates listed two appropriate reasons why red cedar is no longer commonly used to manufacture chairs.

  3. Some candidates had difficulty in distinguishing between the seat rails and the seat frame.

  4. In better responses, candidates outlined the sequence of steps of a method, using non-automated tools and machines, which could be followed to ensure the chair legs were exactly the same.

    In weaker responses, candidates confused the use of a tool or machine, such as a CNC lathe, with a method, or did not relate the description of a method to the chair in the picture. Many candidates provided descriptions that were incomplete.

Question 12

Most candidates provided a correct response to this question.

Question 13

Most candidates named a range of suitable finishes.

In better responses, candidates used correct technical terminology to identify a finish and provide an evaluation of its use on a timber dining room table.

In weaker responses, candidates used generic terms, such as ‘stain’ or ‘paint’, to identify a finish without any real attempt to relate its use to the dining room table.

Section III

Question 14

Note: Candidates are reminded that they should clearly label parts (a) and (b).

  1. In better responses, candidates identified more than one personnel factor, giving a good description of each.

    In mid-range responses, candidates clearly identified personnel factors and gave some details related to each factor.

    In weaker responses, candidates only identified two or more factors related to personnel but provided no further information about these factors.

  2. Most candidates identified at least two factors that were non-personnel.

    In better responses, candidates presented at least two non-personnel factors, giving a good description of each, and clearly explained their link to the future viability of the company.

    In mid-range responses, candidates identified at least two non-personnel factors and gave a reasonable description of each. However, they did not link the factors to the viability of the company.

    In weaker responses, candidates identified non-personnel factors but did not make the link between them and the viability of the company.
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