How Derek Revamped His Study Habits to Improve by 27% in Maths Advanced

🎖️From 54% to 81% in HSC Maths Advanced

Derek’s work with tutor Amey helped turn his marks around for the HSC and he was able to achieve a fantastic result. 

🥳 Increased Exam Confidence

Derek pushed past a poor mark and started consistent practise with past papers to decrease stress under exam conditions. 

🧩 Learned Problem Solving Skills

Derek stopped practising with easy questions and started applying formulas to complex questions with multiple steps. 

Orange curve
Yellow curve

The Challenge

Derek wasn’t sure where he had gone wrong when he got a 54% on his first Year 11 assessment. He had done all of the homework set by his teacher, and had even made sure to mark each textbook exercise he did. But when he had opened the exam paper, Derek was only confident with the multiple choice questions. He decided to get in contact with a tutor who could answer all of his questions and set targeted work.

When I saw the 54 I was like is that it? Is that the extent of my abilities? I tried so hard, did all my homework and what I get in return is a 54% on my exam paper. I was really questioning if I’m meant to be in Advanced Maths or if I should drop down to Standard.

Key Problems

🧠 Derek didn’t know how to approach questions that required multi-step problem solving because he was memorising formulas instead of applying them

🪫Derek was doing the minimum amount of homework he needed to do and his study was inconsistent. 

😔 Derek wasn’t fixing his mistakes and lacked the confidence to ask questions in class 

Our Approach

Derek started work with Senior Maths Coach, Amey, by reflecting on his strengths and weaknesses. The next step was to introduce consistency to his week-to-week study habits. Derek’s daily maths practice would include completing and reviewing the homework set by his teacher, and then doing more difficult past paper questions on the same topic set by Amey. Derek dedicated an hour to maths every day and met with Amey twice a week. 

Amey helped Derek walk through questions he had struggled with and set targeted work after each session. Instead of spoon feeding him answers, Amey made sure to slow it down so that Derek could then do the working out himself. Throughout the year, Amey kept in touch with Derek to check in on how he was doing before and after exams so that he had someone to lean on for support. 


  • Tackling Problems with Multiple Steps 
  • Consistency
  • Exam Confidence
  • Understanding Mistakes


  • Working through Tricky Questions with Tutor 
  • Study Schedule
  • Past Papers
  • Annotating Issues 

Working through Tricky Questions with Tutor

Study Schedule

Past Papers

Annotating Issues

The Result

Derek’s work with Amey set him up with confidence for the HSC exam. The night before, he was able to take time to destress instead of cramming. In the exam room, Derek’s practice with past papers meant that time management wasn’t an issue for him. He was able to score a fantastic 81% result. 

That means he had improved his maths marks by 27% compared to his first Year 11 assessment.  


Increase in Maths marks

Band 5

HSC Maths Advanced result


Customer rating on how likely they would be to recommend Art of Smart to a friend


Customer rating on tutors’ knowledge and subject expertise

With Art of Smart, Derek saw a 27% improvement in Maths Advanced

Amey was probably the best tutor I could have had because he was just so proactive with my Maths. He always managed to spend some time checking up on how I’m going, how I’m feeling, making sure I wasn’t getting overwhelmed. I feel like that’s one of the key things about having a private tutor.

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