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2012 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 2012 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 2012 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 far beyond the indicated space 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 that are not included in the glossary may be used, such as ‘design’, ‘translate’ or ‘list’.

Major project

All students and teachers should see HSC Industrial Technology Marking Guidelines – Major Project to ensure they are familiar with the assessment criteria and marking guidelines in this subject.

Design, Management and Communication


Some candidates included very basic information that contributed little value to the folio, neglecting the more complex tasks that should have been researched prior to undertaking them in class. In better major projects, candidates included relevant research that supported the development of the project, selecting from a range of options and justifying their choice.

Development of Ideas

Most candidates worked within the page limits to present samples of work which detailed the development of their projects. Many candidates provided very little evidence of how their designs evolved.

Sketching and idea generation presented difficulties for many candidates who lack drawing skills. Some candidates included a range of design drawings while others scanned their sketches and included them as smaller images to save space.

In better major projects, candidates ensured they documented changes to the design as the project developed, as required under the assessment criteria ‘appropriateness of design and/or design modification.

Production and Working Drawings:

In general, working drawings were poorly attempted by students. It would rarely be possible to construct the projects from the CAD or pencil drawings provided.

Project Management

Many candidates failed to appreciate the importance of the Timeline and Finance Plans as management tools to ensure their projects were completed on time and under budget. Too often these were completed almost as an afterthought and were very simplistic.

The record of production is generally quite expansive with photographs or screen captures to describe the development of the project. In better major projects, candidates provided descriptions of the tasks being performed and an evaluation of important stages.

Project management is an area of weakness for many candidates who rushed to meet the completion deadline. In better major works, candidates paced themselves and this resulted in well-finished practical works, working website links and smooth scene transitions in multimedia.

OHS and safe working practices:

Safety was often limited to PPE while the broader issues surrounding the use of industrial machinery and hazardous materials was often overlooked. Safety breaches are often evident in photographs in the record of production revealing that students are often not adhering to the safety rules they describe in their folios.

Presentation skills and techniques including ICT:

The quality of the folio continues to improve as access to computers and high quality printers becomes more available. In better major works, candidates collated their work progressively avoiding a last minute rush that inevitably led to inferior work.

ICT is evident in most folios through desktop publishing of text, boarders, page numbers, images, internet, CAD drawings and the use of a range of computer software.

Evaluation of major project:

Evaluations varied greatly, ranging from superficial comments to well organised, critical and insightful analyses. Most candidates included the evaluation throughout the folio with a summation at the end of the folio.


Links between planning & production:

Some candidates with obvious practical aptitude failed to provide sufficient documentation to satisfy the assessment criteria of ‘links between planning & production.’ Markers expect to see evidence of design evolution, workshop drawings, timeline plans, finance plans and construction steps.

In Graphics and Multimedia, design ideas, storyboards, mind maps and timeline plans can provide evidence of a planned sequence of development.

Breaches of Subject Rules:

It is not expected that markers should be confronted by works and performances that the general adult community would find offensive. This might relate to images or videos with sexual themes or violence contained within Graphics and Multimedia major projects. Further information can be found at HSC Performances and Submitted Works – Advice to Schools Regarding Content.


On occasions it may be necessary for some minor aspects of the Major Project to be undertaken by some other person or agency. In such cases, the contribution of the outside agent/organisation must be documented in the management folios. Students will not be given credit for actual work completed by others. Justification for, and of, such work will be recognised in the marking process.

Record of Student’s Progress

The teacher must keep a brief written record of each student’s progress throughout the Major Project. This should not be submitted with the project, but may be requested in circumstances where the examiners require further information. This record should be retained in the school together with assessment records.

Written examination

Section II

Focus area – Automotive Technologies

Question 11

Most candidates correctly identified two of the three components.

Question 12

Most candidates could identify a component that was recycled or reused. In better responses, candidates outlined the reasons.

Question 13

Most candidates identified and sketched in general terms a number of technologies that have improved motor vehicle occupant safety.

Question 14

In most responses, candidates identified faults that could cause the engine to not turn over. In better responses, the candidates also described the fault finding checks.

Question 15

In better responses, candidates determined the value of using LPG in motor vehicles.

Focus area – Electronics Technologies

Question 11

Most candidates identified how computers could be used in PCB design.

Question 12

Most candidates successfully completed the circuit diagram.

Question 13

Some candidates were able to use an example to describe the operation of a movement switch.

Question 14

Most candidates demonstrated a simple understanding of the operation of an oscilloscope. In better responses, the candidates described its use in fault finding.

Question 15

Most candidates demonstrated an understanding of the benefits of using simulation software.

Focus area – Graphics Technologies

Question 11

The majority of candidates outlined advantages of CAD over traditional methods.

Question 12

Most candidates provided an example of information commonly found in specifications.

Question 13

Most candidates described, in detail, a method a designer could use to communicate design ideas. In better responses, candidates incorporated their understanding of the consultative process.

Question 14

Most candidates correctly sketched the sectioned view. In better responses, candidates accurately completed all detail of the view.

Question 15

Most candidates demonstrated some understanding of the two point perspective drawing. In better responses, candidates completed the perspective view without error.

Focus area – Metals and Engineering Technologies

Question 11

  1. Most candidates correctly identified the steel sections used to manufacture the tow bar.
  1. The majority of candidates described a number of suitable processes used in the mass production process.

In better responses, candidates referred to the materials and a method to ensure accuracy in the final product.

Question 12

Very few students were able to describe the process of producing aluminium.

Question 13

Most candidates identified some of the processes involved in producing a cold chisel. In better responses, candidates described the processes of forging and heat treatment in detail.

Question 14

The majority of the students described some of the processes involved in producing the spindle. In better responses, candidates correctly provided all of the characteristics and features of the processes that would be involved in the manufacture of the spindle.

Focus area – Multimedia Technologies

Question 11

Most candidates identified two effects used in video production.

Question 12

Many candidates misread legibility as legality. In better responses, candidates gave descriptions of at least two factors affecting legibility of the text.

Question 13

  1. Most candidates outlined factors that could affect sound quality.
  1. Most candidates were able to identify one or two video transfer protocols but did not include a description. In better responses, candidates identified and describe a video transfer protocol.
  1. Many candidates only identified an ethical issue. In better responses, candidates described two or more issues.

Focus area – Timber Products and Furniture Technologies

Question 11

  1. Most candidates answered this question well and identified appropriate properties of the selected timber.
  2. Some candidates simply referred to the use of a CNC machine. In better responses, candidates included reference to at least one aspect of mass production such as the use of CAD drawings and their use in CNC programming, robotics, or production repetition and volumes.
  3. In better responses, candidates correctly named a suitable exterior glue and provided a list of appropriate properties for the selection of the glue.
    1. The majority of candidates provided a correct response to this question with the mortise and tenon joint being the most common example provided. Many responses were compromised by poor sketches.
    2. Most candidates outlined at least one appropriate advantage of the joint provided as a response to question 11(d) (i). Strength was the most common advantage identified. In better responses, candidates provided an additional relevant advantage for the selection of the joint.
  4. Many candidates concentrated on providing a detailed description of surface preparation, with minimal reference to the selection and application of an appropriate finish. Some candidates included the naming of inappropriate finishes such as wax without reference to a suitable base finish.

Section III

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

  1. In better responses, candidates provided relevant characteristics and features of web-based technologies that the company could use to market and sell its goods and/or services.

    In mid-range responses, candidates identified and described at least one web-based technology that could be used to market a company’s goods or services. However, many failed to provide a web-based technology that could be used to sell a company’s goods and/or services.

    In weaker responses, candidates named at least one web-based technology that could be used to market a company’s goods and/or services, but did not provide an outline or description to support their response. Many candidates focused on only the marketing part of the question.
  1. In better responses, candidates presented at least one impact of the web-based technology on both the organisation and work practices of the company. They provided clear characteristics and features of each impact, ensuring that they were linked back to the implementation of the web-based technologies.

    In mid-range responses, candidates presented impacts on either organisation or work practices, but not both. Some candidates provided outlines of both organisation and work practice impacts, but did not elaborate.

    In weaker responses, candidates provided impacts on the company, but they were not linked to the implementation of web-based technologies. In other responses, candidates provided impacts, but did not provide an outline or description to support their response.
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