How Kiana Learned to Master the Unseen Texts Section and Improved by 36% in HSC English

🎊 Band 5 Result in HSC English Advanced

Kiana’s work with Art of Smart tutor Steph earned her a 36% improvement in HSC English after receiving a fail mark at the beginning of Year 12. 

🔎 Grasped a Deeper Level of Textual Understanding

After reading from a range of text types and practising her analysis skills, Kiana grew her confidence with short answer responses.

✍️ Mastered Writing Under Exam Conditions

Kiana learned new strategies for time management in the exam room that emphasised planning and critical thinking.

Orange curve
Yellow curve

The Challenge

When Kiana scraped a pass mark for her first Year 12 English assessment, it was a wake-up call and she started to put more time into the subject. However, when she failed her second assessment and received a 48%, Kiana’s stress doubled. Her marks were plummeting and she didn’t know where she was losing them. Kiana reached out to her school teacher to hear verbal feedback and realised that she needed to improve her textual understanding and learn to answer questions in more depth. Because she didn’t feel like her independent study was working, Kiana got in touch with Art of Smart so that she could get guidance from a tutor.

I was really emotional, it was gut-wrenching because I was really putting in my all, even advice from tutors, my friends. I was really trying and putting a lot of hours of studying into English, more than any other subject I was doing but the mark was going down.

Key Problems

😞 Kiana wasn’t able to identify where she was losing her marks and struggled to use feedback productively

💭 Kiana had trouble understanding the deeper, imaginative meanings of unseen texts which meant that she found short answer responses difficult 

🧩 Kiana was used to memorising her essays and hadn’t learned how to properly adapt to an exam question

Our Approach

Kiana started to be proactive about asking for extra work and practise questions from her school teacher. She also began meeting with Art of Smart tutor Steph on a weekly basis who taught her how to respond to different directive terms. Because Kiana struggled to analyse unseen texts, they focused on how to find deeper meanings by thinking imaginatively and interpreting literary techniques. 

Kiana also often ran out of writing time in exams, so Steph encouraged her to plan her responses for five minutes before writing under exam conditions. This practise helped Kiana to sort through ideas quicker and more critically. Kiana also regularly submitted her writing to Steph for specific feedback. In the lead up to her HSC exams, Kiana did many handwritten practise essays and memorised the quotes and ideas she needed for her essays. She also brainstormed for Module C with Steph and wrote out plans for each type of creative writing that could be assessed.


  • Responding to the question 
  • Understanding unseen texts
  • Exam time management
  • Consistent improvement



  • Learning directive terms 
  • Interpreting deeper meanings
  • Writing under exam conditions
  • Feedback loop with tutor

Learning Directive Terms

Interpreting Deeper Meanings

Writing Under Exam Conditions 

Feedback Loop with Tutor 

The Result

Kiana’s work with Steph earned her an 84% final HSC mark for English Advanced and helped her achieve an 80% in English Extension 1. This means that from her initial fail mark, she improved by 36% in just a few months! 


Increase in English marks


2U English HSC result 


Of customers agree their tutor is well prepared for tutoring sessions 


Average student improvement in understanding and skills 

With Art of Smart, Kiana saw a 36% improvement in HSC English Advanced

She didn’t just pile on things for me to do and then say, do them and I’ll see you next week. She made sure that I understood what was given to me and that I could actually do them, and maybe if I’d missed a few things one week, she’d go back and make sure I understood what needed to be done. It was a very thorough method of teaching, she made sure I understood everything.

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