Grade Transformation Blog

Grade Transformation Blog

No.1 in Transforming Students’ Grades

Posts filed under About Us

Wanna take a peek behind the scenes?

We all love a good behind-the-scenes snoop.

(It’s not just me, right?) 😉

There’s our natural curiosity.

Plus, it’s interesting to see how things look from another perspective.

Side Fact: Students love it in my annual Exam Mastery Workshop and my in-school workshops when I share with them my behind-the scenes stories and photos of my state and national exam marking too :)

But what about the things we CAN’T see, even when we get behind the scenes?

Often it’s the underlying elements and hidden support that are truly what makes everything else *work*.

Check out this week’s (very rough and ready!) video to discover what those elements are and how they relate to your teen’s study.


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OK, I failed at this

Earlier this week I was baking a cake for a friend.

And in the words of teens today, I’m pretty sure it would be classed as an


Didn’t take me long to realise what went wrong…

I’d missed out a vital ingredient.

Even when we have all other parts of the recipe right, if we miss just ONE vital ingredient or one essential step, it can have a HUGE impact on our results.


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Here’s why “you don’t know what you don’t know”

You’ve heard that phrase– “you don’t know what you don’t know”, right?

It’s a major reason why many students aren’t getting the results they could be.

So, in this video I want to go into a bit more detail on that

(here comes the science part!) 😉

and explain how it relates to your teen and their study.


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The most important part of your teen’s success

The Burj in Dubai is the world’s tallest building.

So what’s one of the most important parts of the building?

The thing that everything else depends on to stand tall and stable?

Find out in this week’s video :)

Because, no matter how hard students study and revise, if this essential element isn’t there, there’s just no way they can construct a tower of subject content or an impressive set of results.

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Keep your teen out of the ‘Description Danger-Zone’!

Describing is the lowest cognitive skill level for high school and college students.

Therefore, students need to instead be writing at the explain, analyse and evaluate levels more and more.

But many students know this, and yet that ‘Description Danger Zone’ is a trap that is just SO easy for students still find themselves falling into!

Here’s why it happens and why your teen needs to make sure they avoid it like the cleaning rota! 😉


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How to Maximise ‘Return on Effort’

ROE = Return on EFFORT.

I see so many students with a depressingly low return on effort and I’ve identified the two main ways this is happening.

I share them in this week’s video with the solution to doing something about it and the strategies to maximise your teen’s ROE!


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2 key steps to breaking down an essay title

A lot of students find it daunting when they are faced with an essay title, particularly if it appears quite general or broad to start with.

In fact, often it is the shortest titles or those that appear to be the most open-ended that are the most challenging (or anything that simply ends with the word “Discuss” – right?!)

So, as someone who loves structure and steps, I’ve developed a system to help students deal with ANY essay title in a clear and structured way that also ensures they access the highest success criteria and marks.

It’s a two-step system and I explain it all in this week’s video.


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NEVER miss out this part of an essay

What’s one of the most important elements of an extended response or essay?

The introduction?
The thesis statement?

The body paragraphs?

Nope, none of those.

Not even the conclusion.

It feels like a quick win to gain back 5 or 10 minutes of time by skimping on this part of the process of writing and crafting an extended response.

BUT, this will almost always lead to:

  • A poorer quality piece of writing AND
  • Taking MORE time to write it

Check out this week’s video to find out what I’m talking about and why it’s so important!

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What you DON’T want to happen [Video Diary – Final Day!]

In Referee Marking we go through and mark all the scripts a third time, that were given two different grades by two different markers in the original marking.

It’s not been hard to see why they were given different judgements  and I reveal the reason why

AND how your teen can avoid this happening to them in the final video in my Exam Marker Video Diary 2017!

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Proof that strategy trumps subject knowledge

I noticed something by Day 5 of exam marking that surprised me… at first.


It was something I noticed about where the A grades were happening.

Then I thought about it and figured it out.


Here’s what I realised (and it’s what I’ve been saying for years!).

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