BlogStudyHow to Break the Band 6 Wall for HSC Mathematics (Case Study)

How to Break the Band 6 Wall for HSC Mathematics (Case Study)

Still getting Band 4’s or 5’s in your Maths results? Want to finally push yourself into Band 6 territory for HSC Mathematics?

In this video Rowan talks to Art of Smart Alumni Blaze, a student who went from a Band 5 to an incredible mark of 97% by the end of his HSC!

We’re going to find out from Blaze the process and steps he took to push his results higher and what YOU can do to break that Band 6 wall in HSC Mathematics

Let’s jump in!

About Blaze

Blaze graduated from Normanhurst Boys School in 2019. He experienced the Band 6 wall of working hard and getting solid Band 5 results but then not quite cracking into the Band 6. However, he decided to get help form Art of Smart, made some changes and was able to end up scoring a Band 6 result. He ended up scoring an incredible 97% for Advanced Maths.

Step 1: Diagnosing The Problem

Blaze worked with Art of Smart tutor Shagun. Before Blaze could break that Band 6 wall, they needed to diagnose why he was losing marks.

The reasons were:

  1. He couldn’t solve the most difficult questions in his practice papers that would push his marks up
  2. Blaze would make careless mistakes far too often 

As a result, he was sliding back into a Band 5!

This was an extremely important step, and something you should do yourself if you want to break into a Band 6. You need to identify why you’re losing your marks. This way you can target where you need to study and what your solutions are going to be!

So, how did he solve this diagnosis?

Solution #1: Difficult Questions

This is the major difference between a Band 5 and Band 6 student for HSC Mathematics:

The ability to solve the more difficult questions!

These questions are specifically designed to sort out the good students from the GREAT students.

What Shagun did was she would identify the more obscure and tricky questions Blaze struggled with, and push him to answer and focus on these.

You can find out more about prioritising your study in this article here.

This is a really important tactic when studying to get into the top marks. You need to identify where your problem areas are rather than wasting your time on what you already know.

Instead of doing the whole past paper, you need to expose yourself to the questions you have a problem with!

Solution #2: Careless Mistakes

Blaze was losing marks left right and centre because of careless mistakes. For example, he’d put a plus instead of a minus or he’d miss a line of working.

Although it would only be one mark in the question, it all added up!

Blaze was just throwing marks away, and this is a common problem that holds students back from breaking that Band 6 wall for HSC Mathematics.

Shagun knew that there was only one solution: PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.

You can’t just focus on the theory behind the questions, you need to make a habit of completing practice questions and doing the correct working to achieve full marks every time!

Each time Blaze did a practice paper, he would go through and mark the questions where he made said mistake in red pen.

At the top of the paper, he would write what that mistake was. For example: “I didn’t integrate this one correctly” or “I’m struggling with volume for this test”.

This meant that every time he would complete a past paper, he was able to identify EXACTLY what he was doing wrong and keep it in mind for next time! 

By keeping a mistake book, he was able to minimise his amount of silly mistakes drastically.

Step #2: Practice Leading Up to Trials and HSC

For Blaze, preparing for exams was all about patterns.

Two or three weeks prior, he believes that you need to complete a past paper at least every day as you get close to your Trials and HSC exams.

While Blaze pushed himself into a Band 6 for HSC Mathematics by targeting harder questions and silly mistakes, it was also a big matter of PUTTING THE HARD YARDS IN.

He would complete a bunch of papers and every single past paper he completed he would mark.

Additionally, this is the benefit of Maths! English for example is really hard to self-mark. However, Mathematics is very straightforward so all students should take advantage of this and do it as much as possible to identify the holes in their approach.

You need to identify the mistakes you make now, so you don’t make them in an exam!

Step #3: Getting Some Extra Help

Getting extra help at AOS with his tutor Shagun really aided Blaze in becoming a top Maths student.

At school, he would feel hesitant about asking questions in class. He would either not get enough time, or feel stupid revealing his weaknesses in front of the class.

The great thing about having a personal tutor that fostered a comfortable environment was that Blaze was able to ask any questions he wanted and reveal where he was struggling, This was extremely important as identifying and targeting these areas was essential for him achieving that Band 6!

Looking for a tutor like Shagun to get some extra help with HSC Mathematics?

We pride ourselves on our inspirational HSC Mathematics coaches and mentors!

We offer tutoring and mentoring for Years K-12 in a variety of subjects, with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at our state of the art campus in Hornsby!

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!


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