How Kiana Learned to Study Effectively and Get Results!

✍️ Developed Study Habits that Maximised Results

Kiana learned study strategies that helped her study more effectively and achieve the goals she had set

🏫 Received Early Entry into Macquarie University

Kiana received entry into Macquarie University through the Leaders and Achievers program

👩‍⚖️ Dream Course B. Psychology/Laws

Kiana gained entry to her dream course at Macquarie University of a Bachelor of Psychology/Laws

Orange curve
Yellow curve

The Challenge

Kiana would spend a lot of time studying for exams but when it came to her assessment marks, her effort wasn’t reflected in her results. Kiana would meticulously review all of her topics before an exam but wouldn’t plan how much time to spend on each topic. This meant she neglected topics she didn’t have time for, making her study strategy ineffective. This was a frustrating experience for Kiana as she was highly motivated to study however couldn’t see herself achieving any of the assessments mark goals she had set.

In terms of study, I just felt like I was working really hard but I wasn’t really getting the results that I wanted. What I know now is that I wasn’t studying efficiently.

Key Problems

📝 Kiana didn’t set realistic goals – they were ambitious but gave no direction in how to get there or by when they should be achieved

📚 Kiana assigned the same amount of study to each topic instead of tailoring it to her strengths and weaknesses

😪 Kiana’s exam marks were not equivalent to the effort she had put in because she had not practised exam technique

Our Approach

Kiana’s mentor, Georgia, helped her manage her time and study more effectively. Georgia introduced the traffic light system to Kiana which allowed her to see what areas she needed to work on and tailor her study. She also learned how to structure her notes so they could be easily adapted into essay plans and short answers before completing practice papers. To help Kiana achieve her goals, she used the SMART goal framework so it became much clearer what she needed to do and how she would do it.

As Kiana would run out of time in exams, her mentor started getting her to attempt them in less than the usual time so that in real exams she was used to the pressure and still had time to review! Kiana’s mentor  introduced non-negotiable break times so her study was still effective and Kiana could study smarter, not harder.


  • Setting achievable goals
  • Mastering content
  • Crafting good essays
  • Work-life balance
  • Improving exam marks


  • Crafting SMART goals
  • Traffic light system
  • Essay plans
  • Non-negotiable break times
  • Practice past papers with less time


Traffic Light System

Essay Plans

Timed Practice Papers

The Result

After working with her mentor and developing effective study habits, Kiana’s marks went up significantly. This was an amazing outcome for Kiana who was previously spending large amounts of time studying with disappointing results. By using techniques such as the traffic light system and learning how to manage her time, Kiana was able to maximise her marks and get into her dream degree!

Kiana received early entry into a Bachelor of Psychology and Bachelor of Laws at Macquarie University – something she had been wanting since Year 7!


Improvement in quality of study notes


Increase in study quality and effectiveness


Improvement in time management


Increase in knowledge of university options

Case Study Graphic Kiana

With the Pathfinder program, Kiana successfully improved her time management

After the Pathfinder program, I changed my study routine to be more effective. I studied smarter rather than working harder, which really showed in my results — and that’s how you know that you’re doing something right!

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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