Higher Secondary School Certificate

The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC/INTER/+2/ALIM) is a public examination used for university admissions in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. HSC is equivalent to GCE A Level in England and 3rd and 4th year of high Schools in United States.

Higher Secondary Certificate
Duration3 hours


After 10 years of schooling at the primary and secondary level, students (16+) who succeed in passing the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination have the option of joining a college for a two-year higher secondary education in respective areas of specialization or enrolling in a technical or polytechnic institute. After the two-year higher secondary education, one has to sit for another public examination called Higher Secondary School Certificate Examination conducted by the education boards to qualify for further education.

Students of religious and English medium streams also sit for their respective public examinations, Alim and A-Level, conducted by the Madrasah Education Board and London/Cambridge University respectively to qualify for further education. Every year, HSC Exam starts from April in Bangladesh. HSC Exam Routine is published 2 months before the examination.

There are nine Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education which are responsible for conducting the public examinations also responsible for the recognition of private sector educational institutes.[1] Because of COVID-19, after a lot of thinking and considerations, the authority concerned has taken the decision of not arranging a Higher Secondary Certificate or equivalent exam for the year 2020. Results from two prior exam, JSC and SSC will be averaged and used as the score.[2]


National Examination Board (Nepal) is responsible for conducting and managing all senior school examinations that include 11th and 12th grade-Higher Secondary exam (10+2), 10th grade SEE Exam, and 8th grade District Level Examination. After passing Higher Secondary Exams, a student will be eligible to enter the university.

Apart from National higher secondary examination, Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) GCE Advanced Level qualifications (known as A level) is also offered by some of the private, public and international schools. A level is considered equivalent to National high school (10+2) examination.


The Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC), also known as Intermediate, is a public examination taken by the students of Higher Secondary School or Intermediate college (Junior college) in Pakistan. After finishing Matriculation in Grade 9 and 10, the students then enter an intermediate college and complete grades 11 and 12. Upon completion of each of the two grades, they again take standardized tests in their academic subjects. They are offered by provincial boards at provincial level and by FBISE at the federal level. Upon successful completion of these examinations, students are awarded the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC). This level of education is also called the FSc/FA/ICS. There are many streams students can choose for their 11 and 12 grades, such as pre-medical, pre-engineering, humanities (or social sciences), computer science and commerce. Each stream consists of three electives and as well as three compulsory subjects of English, Urdu, Islamiyat (grade 11 only) and Pakistan Studies (grade 12 only).


In India, HSC [3] is known as 12th class exam which is conducted at the state level by the state boards of education like (Maharashtra board, MP board, Odia board, Bihar board & many other) and at the national level by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), Board of Open Schooling and Skill Education, Sikkim (BOSSE) and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). CBSE conducts this once a year, NIOS conducts this twice a year in public examinations with an option of on-demand examinations. On the other hand, the 10th class exam which is also conducted at state level by the state boards of education and at the national level by the Central Board of Secondary Education and in India this exam is known as SSC exam. There are total 6 subjects in HSSC exam which are different for different State Board but common in case of Central Board of Secondary Education.


  1. ^ http://www.educationboard.gov.bd/ Education Board Bangladesh
  2. ^ "HSC, equivalent examinations cancelled, evaluation to be based on JSC, SSC results". The Daily Star. 7 October 2020.
  3. ^ Master, #post (6 October 2019). "Hsc Means In Educational Field". INFOS-ARENA.com. Retrieved 23 December 2019.

Further readingEdit

  • Mohsin Bashir, and Shoaib Ul-Haq, "Why madrassah education reforms don't work in Pakistan." Third World Quarterly (2019) 40#3 pp. 595–611.
  • Muhammad Qasim Zaman, "Religious education and the rhetoric of reform: The madrasa in British India and Pakistan." Comparative Studies in Society and History 41.2 (1999): 294-323 online.