BlogStudyHow Chloe Bounced Back After Her HSC English Trials Exams

How Chloe Bounced Back After Her HSC English Trials Exams

You’ve heard it before: the HSC is a marathon and not a sprint. It’s a jam-packed year with a lot of highs but also lows which can make it challenging to stay motivated the whole time. And there’s no doubt that trials are a big hurdle and perhaps, you don’t walk out the door with the results you want. 

But it is possible to turn your trial marks around! That’s exactly what Chloe did!

While she scored 67% in her English trials, she managed to increase her final score by 13% in a short amount of time, achieving an overall 80%.

Want to know how she did it? Keep on reading because Chloe had a chat with us about how she stayed motivated and the strategies she used to turn her results around.

Tip #1: Don’t Give Up
Tip #2: Identify Areas for Improvement
Tip #3: Refresh Your Memory Before Your Exam
Tip #4: Take a Rest Day

Tip #1: Don’t Give Up

Chloe was really upset with her Trials results, especially because she put a lot of effort in.

She wasn’t sure what exactly went wrong, but she had been feeling unmotivated in the lead-up to Trials.

After receiving her results, she told us, “I just was so discouraged. I just wanted to quit. I put in so much effort and this is what I got.”

However, she didn’t give up. She pushed through and focussed on what she could do to improve.

Tip #2: Identify Areas for Improvement

Chloe spoke with her Art of Smart tutor, Jess, who gave her a bit of perspective on the situation. If you’re looking for similar HSC English support — you’re in luck! We can set you up with an English tutor in Parramatta, or anywhere else in the broader Sydney area! (In-person or remotely!) 

“I sent her the feedback and I just told her how I was feeling, and she said, it’s normal. Not everyone does well in Trials but now is really the time to bounce back and do well in the HSC,” Chloe said.

Together they looked at the specific areas for Chloe to improve on. The first: deeper analysis in essays. The second: short answers.

“I didn’t really analyse my essays like I just didn’t go into that much depth,” Chloe said.

While Chloe had about 10 good quotes and examples for her essay, her mentor made her realise she just needed to go into a bit more detail.

And as for the short answers, which she really struggled with, Chloe started practising a lot more after the Trials.

Short Answers Strategy

Chloe worked through a book of short answer practice questions she had received from her teacher. All the practice questions were from 2019 and 2020 — the new syllabus. 

She wrote about 2-3 practice short answers a week and sent them off to her tutor, who marked them.

Based on the feedback she received, Chloe would actively use it to improve her next short answer practice response. And as we all know, practice makes perfect.

Within a short amount of time, Chloe had already improved her unseen text responses.

We all know short answer responses can be a real struggle! So, how did she exactly improve?

“I had techniques in my head, that I was ready to find,” Chloe said. I would look at the question and find the key terms in the question, and then try to put that in my analysis.”

So, Chloe took more of a strategic response as to how she answered the questions. While it took some time for her to get the hang of it, her results speak for themselves.

Struggle with short answers and unseen texts? Here’s our step-by-step guide to HSC English Paper 1 with study tips and tricks!

Essay Strategy

Just like the short answers, Chloe did a lot of practice essays and continued to get feedback on them from her tutor. In between Trials and the HSC exam, she wrote about 20 practice essays! 

She didn’t memorise her essays word for word because you can’t do that with the current syllabus as there are so many questions you could get on the day.

However, she still had a strategy!

With each module, I would break down the storyline of the text and find the key areas, and then by the end of it, I had a really good sentence that I’d keep going back to within my essays,” Chloe explained.

She also took five minutes before writing her essay to find the key terms in the question and plan her essay.

Chloe also practised under timed conditions to get ready for the actual exam on the day. 

It’s not too late to transform your marks ahead of your HSC exams. Our expert HSC English tutors will tailor support to meet your specific tutoring needs. We can support you at our Hornsby or Hills Campuses, at your own home or online.

Module C Preparation

We all know that Module C can be tricky to prepare for, since it’s one of the most challenging modules. You could be asked to write an imaginative, discursive, or persuasive on the day.

Chloe was hoping that she would be asked to write an imaginative piece, so she really practised this. “It was about building the skill,” she said.

Chloe used the Art of Smart booklet to help her prepare, which had a step-to-step guide on how to write an imaginative piece.

In tutoring with Jess, we’d create a plan and then in my own time, I’d go and write an imaginative,” she said.

Chloe didn’t memorise her imaginative but instead wrote one freshly on the day because she had developed the skills — and luckily for her, Module C this time around was indeed an imaginative! 

Tip #3: Refresh Your Memory Before Your Exam

I read a lot of palm cards with my quotes and examples and analysis on the back,” Chloe said.

“Even in the morning of the HSC exam, I was just memorising, like going over that,” she added. 

Tip #4: Take a Rest Day

That’s the best tip Chloe received from her Art of Smart tutor. And it’s a very important one.

That helped significantly — on Sunday, I wouldn’t do any work. I wouldn’t pick up the textbook because the whole week you’re just at school, and then Friday night, Saturday, you’re just doing work and that rest day really helped,” Chloe explained.

Looking for an effective plan to help you transform your marks? Download our FREE 6-Week HSC Exam Plan to get organised! 

And that’s a wrap!

Those are the strategies Chloe used to turn her results around, find that motivation and bounce back after Trials! So, if you also were disappointed with your Trials results, remember you can still turn them around.

“This isn’t the end, like, this isn’t the mark that determines who you are. You can always pick yourself up and do better. Just keep going, don’t give up,” Chloe said. 

Stay motivated, learn from the feedback and practice!

Are you looking for some extra help to turn your marks around?

We pride ourselves on our inspirational coaches and mentors!

We offer tutoring and mentoring for Years K-12 in a large variety of subjects, with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at one of our state of the art campuses in Hornsby or the Hills! Check out how our superb tutors in Fairfield can help you with any subject

To find out more and get started with an inspirational tutor and mentor get in touch today! 

Give us a ring on 1300 267 888, email us at [email protected] or check us out on TikTok!

Tanna Nankivell is a Senior Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is currently in Germany completing a year of study for her double degree in Communications (Journalism) and Bachelor of Arts (International Studies). She has had articles published on Central News – the UTS Journalism Lab and wrote a feature piece for Time Out Sydney during her internship. Tanna has a love for travel and the great outdoors, you’ll either find her on the snowfields or in the ocean, teaching aqua aerobics or creating short films.

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