How Clara Went From Failing HSC Economics to Achieving 88%

📈 Mark Improvement of 63% in HSC Economics

Clara learned how to write an Economics-specific essay and effective study notes to receive a Band 6 result in her HSC exam

🎉 Access to More University Options

Clara’s 93.15 ATAR far exceeded her expectations and allowed her to consider a wider range of courses for university

💡Dream Course B. Communications at UTS

Clara’s received entry into UTS to study a B. Communications and B. Creative Intelligence and Innovation 

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The Challenge

Clara had never learned how to write an Economics essay prior to tutoring, instead using a general structure more relevant to English. When she was struggling with a particular topic, she lacked the confidence to ask questions in class that could clarify her knowledge. Clara also had a habit of only studying HSC Economics topics she was interested in, rather than having a more rounded approach of studying for each topic equally. This, as well as a lack of effective study notes and understanding of how to write an Economics essay, resulted in a mark of 25% — the lowest she’d ever received.

It was the lowest mark I had ever gotten in my schooling career and I was very shocked. I tried to keep a positive attitude but it was very daunting because how can you come back from that?

Key Problems

😭 Clara got off to a rough start, receiving 25% in her first HSC Economics assessment which affected her motivation

📑 Clara focussed on topics she was more interested in and neglected those she wasn’t, rather than a more rounded approach to her Economics study

❓Clara wasn’t getting clarification when she was confused in class and therefore wasn’t working on her weaker areas

Our Approach

Clara joined an Art of Smart HSC Economics tutoring class led by our founder and CEO, Rowan Kunz. This environment helped Clara by creating a safe space where she felt comfortable to ask any questions and get clarification on topics she was unsure of. The class setting further helped motivate Clara and studying with her peers in class became something she looked forward to. In addition, she was able to use these classes to gain extra feedback on her essays, use syllabus-specific resource books and access an online resource library that aided her study.

Rowan suggested that Clara start using the syllabus to structure her notes and research relevant statistics she could incorporate into her essays. To make sure she was constantly revising, Clara was encouraged to create palm cards and signs she could stick up around her house to help her study, no matter where she was!


  • Developing a strong understanding of concepts
  • Improving assessment marks
  • Writing stronger essays
  • Writing effective study notes
  • Integrating real life examples


  • Asking questions to clarify knowledge in class
  • Learning an Economics-specific essay structure
  • Structuring notes by syllabus dot-point
  • Palm cards and signs around the house

Asking Questions to Clarify Knowledge

Economics Essay Structure

Syllabus Dot-Point Structured Notes

Palm Cards and Signs Around House

The Result

After joining Art of Smart, Clara was able to implement study techniques that worked for her, learn Economics-specific essay structures and was able to receive targeted support in her weakest topics. With a strong foundation and understanding of Economics following her first assessment, Clara was able to receive an amazing 93% in her external HSC exam!

This meant she had gone from a Band 1 to a Band 6 and achieved a great 88% result overall for Economics. Her improvement in the subject even pushed up her ATAR higher than she was expecting and got her into her dream course!


Increase in HSC Economics results

Band 6

Result in external HSC Economics exam


Average improvement in understanding and skills


Average satisfaction with campus classes

Case Study Graphics Clara

With Art of Smart, Clara saw a 63% improvement in HSC Economics

The tutors and the teachers at Art of Smart are really helpful and they’ve been through the HSC — they’ve seen students like this who have done really badly and turned that around, so they know exactly how to help you and target your weak areas.

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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