When Simone got her first HSC Economics exam back, she scored a 55 and she was relieved — she had thought she’d done worse.
But, her final Economics result was over 30% higher than that initial exam. Below, Simone discusses how she pulled off this big change to her Economics marks.
Let’s get into her tips!
Simone’s First Economics Exam
“I got 55%,” Simone says, or in other words, “I passed technically by one mark.”
At that point, Simone ranked second-last in her economics cohort. She was already leaning toward an engineering degree and preparing to let go of economics, putting her 10 units into one basket.
As it happens, she ended up bouncing back in her final result and scored an 87 for economics! That meant she found courage to pursue her dream double-degree in Commerce and Engineering at Macquarie.
“If I was able to do it [Economics] once, maybe I’ll do it again,” Simone tells us.
But, turning her economics marks around wasn’t a random twist of fate — in fact, she had three practical steps.
Step 1: “Redo” the Exam
Nope, we don’t mean literally retaking your exams. Rather, try answering the essay question again and letting your teacher give you another round of feedback.
For one thing, Simone was learning from the mistakes she made from her first exam, making sure she wouldn’t do it again. She was also giving herself that confidence to work upwards in her economics marks.
“I handed it to my teacher,” Simone says, “and immediately she was like this is so much better — why didn’t you write something like this? That gave me a little bit of hope.”
Step 2: Ask for Help
During Year 11, Simone’s dad was forthcoming in spending hours upon hours helping her focus on her economics subjects.
Yet, “they weren’t as productive as I would like them to be,” she says, but to his credit, “he had confidence that he could get me where I needed to go.”
She knew that something wasn’t working. Thus began Simone joining Art of Smart’s tutoring sessions for economics.
“I’m a big procrastinator,” Simone admits, “the fact that you know we had a set time on a set day of the week where we had to come in and to learn, it forced me to be like look we’re gonna set this few hours just to do economics.”
She found new momentum in Art of Smart’s group classes. For Simone, it was the best of both worlds: when she wasn’t bouncing ideas off her friends in class, she could brush up on topics she didn’t quite understand and get clarity on new subjects — not to mention, as Simone says, “having friends at the end of it.”
Step 3: Put in the Work
Beyond these two steps, Simone kept consolidating and actively applying the new info from her teacher’s feedback and tutoring sessions.
This meant a number of things. Every week, she practised writing out economics responses: “Art of Smart provided me with a fat textbook of summarised questions, past HSC questions [and] random past trials paper questions from anywhere on the internet.”
She had also revamped and annotated her trusty economics textbook with all her personal markings, additional info, extra terminology and statistics as she read along. This way, she actively used her brain rather than copying out chunks of information and remembering none of it!
Instead of convincing herself that “essays aren’t my strong suit”, which she had done for her first economics exam, she tells us, “through a lot of practice, I was able to slowly kind of get into the rhythm and kind of push my way through.”
By the time her economics exam rolled in, Simone had completed countless practice papers and questions — “I definitely couldn’t put a number on it between all the ones that we did together as a group as well as individually just kind of working through for practice’s sake,” she says.
Even though Simone was freaking out before her exam, like any of us would be, she could count on the hours of work she did to prepare for it.
Follow Simone’s footsteps and look at joining HSC Economics Tutoring Sydney!
Final Words of Advice
Simone’s two tips are practice and getting feedback.
“Practice — the earlier the better,” she tells us. Simone even tested out how fast she could write: two weeks before the assessment period, she started putting time limits on her practice questions to see how long it would take to write out her answer and working on her speed
Feedback’s also essential for Simone: “the answers might only be worth one mark compared to a four marker and without getting that feedback you’re never gonna know.”
“Trust me, just because one assessment goes bad you can bounce back and there is always time to bounce back,” Simone says.
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Lynn Chen is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is a Communication student at UTS with a major in Creative Writing. Lynn’s articles have been published in Vertigo, The Comma, and Shut Up and Go. In her spare time, she also writes poetry.