Just got your HSC Trials exam marks back and freaking out because they’re not very good?

In this video and post, Rowan from #AOSTV shares a highly actionable strategy you can use to bounce back from your HSC Trials so you can ace your HSC Exams and get your dream ATAR!

Rowan shares why you should:

Step 1: Have a Reality Check!
Step 2: Identify What You Need to Change
Step 3: Ask for Help!

Step 1: Have a Reality Check!

The first thing you need to remember when bouncing back after HSC Trials is that they are not the end of the world.

The reason for this is pretty simple, but might not be obvious to you:

While Trials might be worth 40% of your internal mark, your internal marks are only worth 50% of your total HSC mark!

This means that relative to your overall HSC mark, your Trials are really only worth 20%!

Sure, this is still a pretty large chunk, but here’s the great news:

Your final HSC Exams are worth a total of 50% of your HSC mark!

Now, this can sound pretty daunting…But in reality, this means you have a significant amount of marks left available. In other words, if you work hard between now and then, you can do really well and transform your results!

The HSC really isn’t over until you’ve put that pen down on your final HSC Exam!

For now, there are plenty of opportunities to improve and it is NOT the time to give up!

Step 2: Identify What You Need to Change

Albert Einstein has a great quote about insanity:

Image result for insanity doing same thing

If you do the same thing for your HSC Exams as you’ve done for your HSC Trials, you won’t change your results.

To change your results for your HSC, you need to change something.

But what should you change?

If you took the time to sit down and reflect on your HSC Trials preparation, you will discover you actually can identify A LOT of things you could change to improve your results for your HSC.

To help you identify what to change, we’ve got an actionable strategy you can implement. It’s called:

The Keep, Start, Stop Protocol. 

HSC Trials Recovery Strategy: KSS Protocol

How does this work?

Pick the worst subject results in your exams and identify in your study, exam preparation and exam approach:

[K] What did you do well? KEEP doing this.


[S] What could you have done better? Identify specific strategies. START doing this.


[S] What did not work at all? Be specific. STOP doing this.

What this will provide you with is a clear set of actions you can take to create change and improve your results for your HSC.

NOTE: Make sure you write the actions from KSS down!


If you don’t write it down, you won’t actually make changes. It’ll simply stay in your head and you’ll forget about it. Write it down, and stick the changes up on your wall so it’s there as a daily reminder for you!

Action Point:

#1: Pick your worst performing subject in your HSC Trials

Write down the subject, and identify what you did to study for the subject, your exam preparation in the days immediately prior to the HSC Trial exam, and your exam technique.

#2: Identify what you will Keep, Start and Stop

Write down specifically what things worked for you that you will keep doing for your HSC Exams.

Also, identify what you need to start doing.

Finally, identify what DID not work that you MUST stop doing for your HSC Exams.

#3: Stick it up on your wall!

Remember, out of sight, out of mind! You need to actively change your habits and the best way to do this is to have a constant reminder in front of you of what you need to change.

Step 3: Ask for Help!

The KSS protocol will help you identify areas you are weak in – things you need to focus on more.

And it’s critical that you lean into these areas. Don’t avoid them (even if it’s painful!).

With only a short time between your HSC Trials and your HSC Exams, now is also the time to get help.

Having someone there who can fast-track your learning, and the process you need to get on top of your HSC subjects will make a HUGE difference.

Instead of struggling along valiantly, because time is precious, having a tutor and mentor work with you will speed up the process so you don’t waste time.

And that’s where Art of Smart can help!

We’ve got an incredible team of teachers, tutors and mentors who can work with you in your home, or at our campus in Hornsby in the lead up to your HSC Exams!

We’ll help you nail the content for your HSC subjects, while also helping you develop a rock-solid study plan, killer exam technique and help you stay motivated, accountable and confident!

On average our students improve their results by over 19%!!

Get in touch with us here or give us a call on 1300 278 888.

When time is precious, don’t waste it! Fast-track your progress with an Art of Smart tutor and mentor!

Recap – How to Bounce Back from Your HSC Trials

To recap what we’ve learned today:

#1 It’s not too late to change your results: Your HSC Trials are worth approximately 20% of your total mark for your HSC. So while it’s a chunk, it’s not the end. In fact, your HSC Exams are worth a staggering 50% of your overal HSC, so it’s not over until you put your final pen down!

#2 Use the Keep, Start, Stop Protocol: The only way you will change your results for your HSC exams is if you change what you are doing. To identify strategic things you can change, use the KSS protocol. What will you keep doing? What will you start doing? What will you stop doing? Write these down for each subject and stick it on your wall!

#3 Ask for Help: When time is precious, don’t waste time trying to it all yourself. Get in touch with us to organise your own Art of Smart tutor and mentor who can help you prepare for your HSC exams!

Looking for a tutor to support you bounce back to ACE your HSC?

We’ll help you nail the HSC content, get a rock-solid study plan, and develop your exam technique so you are ready for your HSC Exams!

With small groups classes, or personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at our state of the art campus in Hornsby, we can help you regardless of where you live!

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 Facebook!

Isabella Hanley loves science. She loves science so much she’s making it her career. While completing her Bachelor of Medical Science she is also a Coach and Digital Content Manager at Art of Smart. She is super passionate about sharing her knowledge on surviving the HSC since completing the HSC herself in 2014. In her downtime she enjoys Netflix binging like a pro, singing in the shower and hanging out with her awesome rescue dog, Ruby.