How Campbell made sure HSC Standard English didn’t ruin his ATAR

📈 Mark Improvement of 12% in HSC Standard English

Campbell learned how to nail the basics before moving into more sophisticated structures which pushed him above average!

💪 Increased Motivation

Campbell got more motivated with Hannah’s supportive and constructive feedback

😌 Developed understanding of syllabus

Campbell read the rubric and rationales for the new syllabus so he could have a sense of direction

Orange curve
Yellow curve

The Challenge

Campbell liked English and so it was a subject he wanted to do well in, but at the start of Year 11 he was only hitting the average. When Campbell’s assessment task was set as a short story, he didn’t know where to start and got overwhelmed. Despite being offered resources by his teacher, Campbell desired a clearer starting point and personalised approach. After cramming the night before because of his inconsistent study for English, Campbell decided that he could benefit from some help at Art of Smart.

 I remember at the start of Year 11, I was so colloquial. I did not know smart English words, I was not articulate at all!

Key Problems

📚 Campbell didn’t know how to effectively study – he’d received a giant stack of notes from his teacher with no idea where to start

🅰️ Campbell didn’t have exemplar responses to follow which led him to keep making the same mistakes

🙊 Campbell’s vocabulary wasn’t very extensive and so the language he used in his essays were not helping his marks

Our Approach

Campbell received help from tutor Hannah who firstly got him to work on his vocabulary. She introduced him to a bank of helpful terms he could integrate into his essays which then developed into learning about sentence structure and eventually writing drafts so he could get feedback. 

To improve his performance in exams, Campbell started strategically picking his quotes. He made sure that they were versatile and able to be used with more than one theme and also would write the first letter of each of his quotes on his exam paper to jog his memory. Using these specific quotes became really useful as he had associated them with exemplar responses he had previously written and gotten reviewed by Hannah. This helped Campbell enter exams with less stress, knowing that he had a general structure he could follow and adapt.


Improving vocabulary

Developing strong writing skills

Lifting assessment marks

Memorising quotes


Creating bank of helpful words

Writing and getting feedback

Understanding marking criteria

Mnemonic triggers

Inspirational Tutor

Received feedback

Exemplar responses

Study strategies

The Result

Campbell received an impressive high band 5 result after completing the new HSC Standard English syllabus. By working with Hannah, he was able to develop a better sense of direction and build his vocabulary which helped boost the sophistication of his essays. With better exam technique, Campbell discovered that English doesn’t have to be hard and is grateful for his newfound writing skills.


Mark improvement

Band 5

Final HSC result


Of customers believe our tutors build great rapport


Of customers increased their confidence

With Art of Smart, Campbell improved his Standard English marks by 12%

Hannah kept me grounded. When I got a bad mark she wouldn’t stress. Instead we would go through essays together where she pointed out where I could improve and what I could do for next time.

Helping high school students thrive since 2009

We know school isn’t just about getting the grades, it’s about staying happy, healthy and answering the difficult question, “What am I going to do with my life when I finish school, and how do I get there?”

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