HSC minimum standard tests – item development
NESA welcomes expressions of interest from teachers and academics with appropriate experience and qualifications to develop test items for the HSC minimum standard reading, numeracy or writing tests. Learn how the tests are developed and how to apply.
Participating in item development
Creating reading, numeracy or writing test items is a rewarding and challenging experience. It is an opportunity to:
- develop further understanding of assessment techniques
- enhance skills in test item writing
- contribute towards your professional development.
Expressions of interest may be submitted throughout the year. Suitable candidates will be contacted when a vacancy is available.
Item development process
HSC minimum standard reading and numeracy test items are developed by committees working closely with a Senior Assessment Officer. HSC Minimum Standard Writing Test items are developed through writing workshops under the guidance of assessment experts.
Committee members work together and independently during the year to develop the reading and numeracy test items. Committees normally meet during school holidays (up to three days).
One-day workshops are held to develop writing test items, where participants brainstorm and refine ideas.
The test items are reviewed by a number of people including:
- curriculum officers
- literacy specialists
- an Aboriginal education specialist
- a special education specialist
- English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) specialists
- assessment experts
- a copy editor.
School relief may be provided if committee meetings or workshops are held during school time.
Criteria for selection
Successful applicants will demonstrate that they have:
- appropriate qualifications and experience as a teacher of primary, secondary or tertiary students (a minimum of three years of recent teaching experience is preferred)
- superior knowledge of literacy, numeracy or writing
- the capacity to follow NESA guidelines when developing test items
- excellent verbal and written communication skills
- the ability to work in a team to deliver educational materials and meet deadlines.
Conditions of appointment
There are conditions that you must agree to before you can become a member of the test committees or a workshop participant.
To be a successful applicant you must:
- Sign a confidentiality agreement in relation to your work on secure test material.
- Maintain strict confidentiality in relation to the creation of the test items and discussions about the development of the items.
- Be available for briefing and review meetings at the NESA office. This may involve:
- up to three days during school holidays for committees, or
- one day for writing workshops.
- Disclose whether you are an author of textbooks/study guides in literacy or numeracy that are in general use in schools or TAFE.
To be a successful applicant you must not:
- Teach or tutor the relevant minimum standard test(s) while being a member of the committee, or in the remainder of the year after participating in a writing workshop.
- Have a close relative (eg. spouse, sibling, child) teaching or tutoring the relevant minimum standard test(s) while you are a member of the committee or in the remainder of the year after participating in a writing workshop.
- Lecture or speak at any meetings or study courses on the content or interpretation of the relevant minimum standard test(s) while being a member of the committee or in the remainder of the year after participating in a writing workshop.
- Write or review test items in the relevant minimum standard test(s) for your school, school systems (for example, Catholic/TAFE/Regional) or commercial organisations such as test writing organisations or online organisations, while a member of the committee or in the remainder of the year after participating in a writing workshop.
Reading and Numeracy committee members will each receive a payment of $1,200. Participants of the writing workshops will each receive a payment of $300.
How to submit an expression of interest
An Expression of Interest (EOI) can be submitted throughout the year and suitable applicants with be contacted when there is a vacancy.
If you are teaching in a school or tertiary institution, your principal or supervisor must endorse your EOI and agree to release you when required.
If you are retired or won't be working in a school or tertiary institution during the development period, your expression of interest must be endorsed by a person who can verify the information you provide, such as a previous supervisor.
Your expression of interest will not be considered if it doesn't have an endorsement.
Download and complete the EOI form
Check before submitting
Before you submit your EOI make sure you have:
- completed all the relevant sections of the form
- had your EOI endorsed.
Submit your application by email
Contact Online Examination and Test Development
You can contact Online Examination and Test Development by phone or email:
- Head, Online Examination and Test Development
call: (02) 9367 8173
Statement of Equity Principles
NESA's Statement of Equity Principles and related guiding statements inform project and writing teams of:
- support documents
- assessment guidelines
- other relevant educational materials produced by NESA.
You can learn more about these principles by viewing the Statement of Equity Principles.