Using past exam papers is an excellent method to prepare for exams. Understanding the breadth of questions that can be tested and the expectations of the marking criteria are critical to a successful outcome in state exams.
Repeating past exams is also a valuable tool in exam preparation. Many students will find that they are still having problems with the same questions despite having done the questions once and reviewed the answers. This provides immediate feedback to the student that they need to review the theory underpinning the question.
Also, accessing past exams from other states can be a useful method to expand the student's general knowledge of a subject and find some more questions that relate to their course but are 'unseen' questions (i.e. ones that they have not seen from their own state's exams).
Past exams for VCE can be accessed via the VCAA website, which holds the only official, up-to-date and authorised versions of examination papers. The website also has links to examination reports for past VCE exams. provide advice to teachers and students in relation to examinations. Some examination reports for written examinations contain some answers.
Past HSC exams and marking guides are provided by NSW Education Standards Authority. They provide previous years’ Higher School Certificate exam papers, with marking guidelines and HSC marking feedback. Past HSC exams are available for each course.
In Queensland, some students will sit external exams. Past papers are actual examination papers from previous years. The exams are usually similar in structure from year to year. From 2020, Queensland students will sit state exams like states such as New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.
In Western Australia, students sit Stage 2 and 3 exams. Some of the past WACE examinations do not reflect the current WACE Syllabuses. Changes were made to the WACE in 2015, and so caution must be used when referring to these past examinations. Current ATAR Course examinations are pitched at the former Stage 3 level.
A range of past SACE exams can be found on the SACE website.
The IBO website provides examples of actual examination papers used in past years. They are provided for information only.
The Advanced Placement is used primarily in the United States of America. The range of questions in different subject can provide excellent practise for Australian students seeking a challenge or different question practise.