Grade Transformation Blog

Grade Transformation Blog

No.1 in Transforming Students’ Grades

Archive for November 2019

Does your teen ever think like this?

Has your teen ever had these sorts of thoughts?
I know plenty of students who just think:

“I’m just a B/C kind of student”
“I’m just not that great at exams!”
“ I do well in my coursework and assignmments. (Mum thinks I spend too long on them, but I wanna get a good grade, and so yeah, they do take ages!)”

Truth is, with the right sort of training any student could be achieving so much more than they ever thought possible.

Here’s the proof…

I know for sure that things can change, despite previous experiences.

I’ve got soooooo many examples of success stories with students that have made changes that have results beyond what they thought possible..

Take, for example, Jess.
She was a B/C grade student and she just couldn’t get higher grades.
Her belief was:
“That’s just the student I am”. 
But her mum always knew she could be doing so much better with the right help.
Once Jess started working with me she continued to work hard and is now consistently getting A grades.
Now we’re working on achieving those higher grades but in a more efficient way (goodbye long and perfectly scribed notes!!)

And Josh:
He was scraping by with C grades in Year 9.
So his parents got in touch and we worked together on his assignments and essay-writing.
After working with me and putting in lots of effort and hard work,
Josh achieved an A- in his year 12 ancient History enquiry assessment (wowsers!)
and got a straight A in his most recent year 12 English (what *is* this kinda magic we’re working here?!) 😉

Another student, Tara.
Now Tara was already getting good grades but it was taking forever for her to complete tasks (many, many drafts… and ‘I’ll just do a bit more research first’).
Working with me got her much more strategic with her planning, more focused with her direction and research, and a lot more efficient with her drafting.
Not only is everything a lot faster and smoother (no more ‘false starts’ and ‘starting over again’ on projects or assignments),
she’s getting even better results than she was previously (and Tara was already working at a pretty high standard).


So, let’s be clear that these limiting beliefs are just thoughts based on past experiences.
And they can be overcome.
I’m going to be revealing many more info on this, plus some key strategies AND an opportunity for your teen to work with me directly, in my latest webinar training this Tuesday 26th Nov.
If you haven’t already registered, you can click here to save your seat.




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What’s this leading to?

When it comes to open tasks and having to come up with your own choices, it’s not enough to go with what you like the most. To gain maximum marks and best ever results you really need to get your head around this:

How can students go about tackling open tasks?

I want to talk about not just choosing a topic or idea that students like the most, enjoy or interests them.
Yes that’s important,
but what’s critical in achieving top grades is to find something that ties in with the criteria or marking guide really, really well!

I’ve worked with a couple of students this week where they have both had English assignments relating to specific texts they are studying and are having to come up with their own ideas and concepts.
Very quickly I asked them:
“What’s this leading to?”

What I specifically want to highlight is that most students will go down the path of choosing ideas they like the most or that interest them.
I want to steer students down the path that will access the most marks
and yield the greatest results.

So, let’s pick ideas and topics that are going to work really well for the assessment or task that follows. Let’s be strategic.

I want students to think beyond just making a choice at the surface level
and dive deeper into making choices that are truly going to benefit them in the marking guide or criteria…
That’s where the REAL gold is!

My perspective has been honed from many years within education
including both assessment marking and formal exam marking.
Previously I have only worked one-on-one with students that have completed my flagship online program (the 10 Week Grade Transformation program).

However, I’m going to be making an exciting announcement in the next few weeks.
Keep an eye on your in-box very soon as I’m going to be offering the opportunity for more students to work with me personally on a regular basis. This offer will be limited so you’ll have to act quick.




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Can marks ever be taken off for this?

So what’s the deal with leaving exam answers blank?

Can you ever have marks taken off? What should you do instead of leaving an answer blank?

One of my students asked a question and I wondered if anyone else wondered or thought the same thing so I want to set the record straight.

She asked: “Katie, some of my friends have been saying that if we leave an answer blank in a formal, external ATAR exam…we can have marks taken off and we should just write something. Even if it’s just rewriting the question into the answer space.”

Let me be very clear…

NO. That does not happen!

I have never come across an exam style of marking where marks have been taken off for a blank answer…ever!

So what should a student do if they’re not sure on an answer or if they’re running out of time and don’t want to leave something blank?

Firstly, if it’s a multiple choice question and you really have no idea on the answer, simply have a wild guess.
It’ll likely be a 1 in 4 chance of getting it right and could even be the easiest marks you ever get!

Please don’t ever leave multiple choice questions blank. It literally takes seconds and you’ve nothing to lose. Writing something is always better than writing nothing.

If you’re running out of time but don’t know how to tackle something then write some bullet point facts or information that you know you would want to expand on if you had more time.
Very often, some of the basics can get some of those low level marks (the low hanging fruit).

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Simple trick to smash your goals

Here’s a simple trick to make goals relevant and actionable for your teen
so they jump up their own personal achievement and confidence scale Every. Single. Day.


I’m going to share a spur-of-the-moment bit of gold with you this week.

I spent a day in a meeting with a Sydney school and one of the things we talked about was to do with students setting goals and being able to make them relatable to school or to whatever they’re doing that day.
The school usually goes through the start of year, start of term goals exercise but what really happens with those goals after that?
They said so many students struggle to see how they are relatable on a day-to-day basis in their schooling.

Something that I shared with the school and that they’re going to be implementing and putting into practice as part of their study skills program is the idea of ‘chunking-down’.

One way it can be done with goals is to track- it -back and think about what steps need to be taken throughout the year to make that goal happen.
Or some things that we need to do this term in order to achieve that goal. Perhaps what we need to do this week, today or even right now.

Your teen can do this in any aspect of their study for whatever it is they’re looking to achieve.
I hope that is really useful, another quick tip for you: If you don’t already have my free parent guide (3 Huge mistakes even smart students make in exams and assignments) you can check it out at If you know anyone else that would benefit from this video, please feel free to share it with them. Until next week, let’s make this a fantastic week.


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