The students attended 34 public schools in the state's metropolitan and rural areas.
Three Sydney schools took out multiple awards - Fort Street High School (first in four courses), James Ruse Agricultural High School (four courses) and Sydney Girls High School (three courses).
Fort Street High student Dominic Dwyer was first in both Modern History and French Continuers.
Students who came first in a HSC course were represented across regional NSW from Nowra High School (two firsts in HSC courses), Wagga Wagga High School, Gosford High School, Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts, and Maitland Grossman High School.
Department of Education language schools excelled, with 31 language first places to students who studied through Open High School or the Saturday School of Community Languages, which operates in a number of public schools.
The full list of the HSC first in course recipients is on the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards website.
HSC students will receive their results tomorrow from 6am.