How STEM Student Keiran Improved by 21% in HSC English to Save his ATAR

🎉 Band 5 Final HSC English Result

Keiran went from having failed Year 11 to turning his marks around by 21% and scoring a 81% mark for the HSC exam.

⚒️ Built Critical Analysis of Texts

Keiran’s work with his tutor helped him create a library of literary techniques, examples, and quotes for his assessments.

🌟 Learned to Write Succinctly

Keiran learned how to work around the fact that he was a slower writer by being selective about his examples, word choice, and syntax.

Orange curve
Yellow curve

The Challenge

When Keiran realised that HSC English would determine 20% of his ATAR, he knew that something had to change. At the end of Year 11, he got a 6/20 on his final exam and hadn’t put in the work to improve. Keiran had also been putting his STEM subjects first because he enjoyed them.

At the start of Year 12, he received a 60% result on his first English assessment. Even though he had tried his best, he had only gotten a Band 3. Keiran decided to reach out to Art of Smart to save his ATAR! 

I think it got to a point where I did one of those ATAR calculators and I was like, this is it, I’m going to see how I’m going at this point. I was going off of my Year 11 marks and it put into perspective just how much English actually counted for scaling and everything. I looked at it and I was like, I’m going to have to get above 75%.

Key Problems

🔬 Keiran wasn’t leaving time for English practise and instead prioritised his STEM subjects 

🫣 Keiran wasn’t reading or analysing his texts which meant that he was always behind in class and had no study notes 

⏳ Keiran struggled with timed assessments because he was a slow writer and didn’t know how to be succinct 

Our Approach

Keiran started working with a tutor at Art of Smart after getting a 60% on his first Year 12 assessment. He first made sure to read all of his set texts and then they constructed TEE tables to analyse themes, techniques, and meaning. Because Keiran wasn’t confident exploring creative concepts, his tutor helped to provide clear explanations of complex ideas and context. Kieran then began to write practise responses, scaffold his essays, and receive feedback.

Because the feedback at his school was always short and unspecific, having his tutor tell him exactly what to change improved his confidence. Keiran struggled with timed assessments because he wrote slowly, so he worked on preparing the right examples and phrases. He also did several timed practise essays in the lead up to his exams.


  • Understanding creative concepts 
  • Building textual analysis
  • Writing succinctly and answering the question for timed assessments
  • Preparing for exam questions 


  • Brainstorming ideas with tutor 
  • TEE tables 
  • Being selective with quotes, techniques, and word choice 
  • Scaffolding essays with dot points 

Creative Brainstorming with Tutor 

TEE Tables for Critical Analysis

Being Selective with Quotes, Techniques, and Word Choice 

Scaffolding Essays with Dot Points

The Result

After a year of work with his tutor at Art of Smart, Keiran managed to turn his marks around from 60% in his first assessment to 81% for the HSC. This means that Keiran went from a Band 3 to a Band 5 in just a few months! 


Increase in English marks

Band 5

Final HSC result


Of customers agree that the teaching methods and lesson structure their tutor is using works well to help their child improve


Of customers agree that their tutor has built a great rapport with their child and are working well together

With Art of Smart, Keiran saw a 21% improvement in HSC English

I think the best thing was that they really cared about me and my progress. School teachers just sort of go, this what you’re doing wrong, make it better. But here, they actually go, okay this is how you do it, this is what’s going to work for you. They just really show a sense of care and commitment which school teachers can’t often afford to offer because they teach like 300 students.

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?”

AOS Asset - Westpac
AOS Asset - Google
AOS Asset - Local Business
AOS Website Asset 2

Looking for Academic Support?

Discover your personal tutoring program today

AOS Website Asset 1