HSC exams will proceed as planned from November 9, and students will get their results prior to Australia Day, the NSW government says.
Under the current NSW government plan, all students are due to return to school by November 8, and the HSC will be pushed back to November 9.
It follows a shift to online learning in July amid the state's COVID-19 outbreak.
Year 12 students studying for the HSC will have full access to on-campus school resources, such as the school's library, from October 25. They already have some limited access to campus outside of Sydney's 12 council areas of concern.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the November 9 HSC start date would proceed, with all 110 exams to take place.
These exams - starting with English and ending with Food Technology - will be finalised by December 3. ATARs for university admission will be issued on January 20, and HSC marks on January 24.
HSC markers will be required to work over the New Year period.
All HSC students have already been prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination, while exam supervisors will also need to be fully vaccinated.
Students and staff will have to wear face masks and be physically distanced.
"Being able to sit all their exams safely is the best and fairest outcome for our HSC students," Ms Mitchell said in a statement on Friday.
"Whether our students go on to university, vocational training or take on employment, it is important all of them are able to sit their exams and demonstrate what they know."
The University Admissions Centre welcomed the development, saying it will pave a clear path for HSC students.