Grade Transformation Blog

Grade Transformation Blog

No.1 in Transforming Students’ Grades

Posts filed under About Us

“I wish we’d had this earlier”

Is the 10 Week Grade Transformation Program right for your teen
and if so,
when’s the best time for them to do it?

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How to choose ATAR subjects

Many students get caught up with the weighting and scaling guessing game

and end up forgetting the first consideration

and then next two factors

they need to think about when choosing their ATAR subjects.


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It isn’t even that difficult

As we get ready to release the brand NEW 10 Week Grade Transformation Program (2. 0),
whilst a lot is new and has been upgraded and
even more amazing training added,
when I went back to the original info I wrote for students about the 10WGT almost 4 years ago there’s literally nothing I would change in that description!

I was expecting to cringe my way through it
(as you do when you go back and read something you thought was good way back when, but then later… well… not so much)
but when I read it, I was actually like “Wow, this is goooood!”.
It totally nails everything the 10WGT is and everything the 10WGT does.
Because of course, the key concepts and the core purpose of the program HAVEN’T changed at all – so I’m sharing my fave snippets of that description with you here:

Fact: You could easily raise your grades in any exam, essay or assignment if only you knew the untold secrets to exam success.

Did you know that most students will never get the marks they should in assessments, assignments and exams, even if they study hard?

(In fact it doesn’t matter how hard they studied, even if they worked harder and longer than anyone else).

Why? Because they are not fully skilled and confident in things like understanding command words, selecting and structuring content, and knowing what the markers are specifically looking for.

In my experience as an exam marker, national coursework assessor and award-winning high school teacher – and now – exam board scrutiny panel member and school workshop leader –  I’ve come to realise that it is NOT ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU KNOW, it’s all about how well you put it down on paper. 

But: Teachers just don’t have the time to teach these skills along with all the content laid down in the curriculum they have to cover. Plus, most of them aren’t trained examiners or assessors and so don’t have this insider knowledge.

Pretty depressing, right?

But here is the good news – well in fact it is brilliant, awesome news… This ALL means… that

You Are Better Than You Think!

Your grades can be higher than you ever imagined.

You can have access to more career and life opportunities.

All with less stress.

Yes, it is possible to achieve fabulous results whilst feeling cool, confident and in control.

And the best bit is…

My online 10 Week Grade Transformation Program means you can easily discover all these secrets and master all of these skills. It isn’t even that difficult. In fact it’s a lot easier to perfect things like ‘exam technique’, structuring extended responses and giving examiners what they want, than it is to learn lots more subject content.

Now, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work – this isn’t a magic fix that’ll happen overnight. But what it does mean is that you can become highly skilled in the strategies required for amazing results, and when you do, you’ll have these ‘super-powers’ forever!


The 10 Week Grade Transformation Program is for you if:

You Sometimes Feel:

  • Like you’re drowning in homework, notes, assignments or revision

  • That there are some subjects or topics that you just never seem to do well in

  • That you don’t know the best way to organise your time or tasks in order to get things done efficiently

  • Lacking confidence in some aspect of your academic abilities

  • That you don’t know exactly HOW to make your work better even after it’s been marked

  • Unsure if you’re ‘doing it right’ when answering exam questions or writing assignments

  • That you work hard but still wish your results were better?

And the 10WGT is for you if You Want:

  • Expert help and support to give you the skills to be confident, organised and motivated in your school work

  • To feel positive and in control of your study, your exams and life at school or college

  • To know exactly how to tackle different types of tasks and assignments

  • To know PRECISELY what ANY exam question is really asking 

  • And able to respond in a way that will earn you the MOST MARKS with the subject knowledge YOU have

  • To know exactly what ‘exam technique’ is and what ‘command’ and ‘trigger’ words are

  • To set goals beyond anything you ever thought possible, and actually achieve them!

My proven system has led hundreds of students to success already and it can work for you too.


So, if ANY of this sounds like your teen, then definitely go check out the 10 Week Grade Transformation Program 2.0,
and take advantage of this once-only opportunity to be able go through it in REAL TIME, with me checking in each week and all of our new students, as we all kick off together.

This time next week, we’ll be in it, doing it.
So let’s make this an amazing week, and I hope I get to meet you and your teen if you decide to join me inside the 10WGT 🙂


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How to make things EASY (not an effort)

Following on from last week’s video,
I’m sharing the key to your teen actually
following through on the goals and plans they set for themselves.


If you didn’t catch Part 1 last week,
you can click here to access that first.

I was discussing the hurdles we all come across
when setting goals and tasks and that in the moment of ‘doing’
it’s very easy to tell ourselves that some of the smaller steps
aren’t going to make a difference
and it’s easy to talk ourselves out of doing them altogether!

Now, in the summer
there’s plenty of time so we can juggle things around
and absolutely stick to the things we’ve told ourselves we’re going to do.

And I wanna talk more about the practical nature
of setting students up for success over the summer.

It’s all about making it as easy as possible
to follow through and complete the tasks that have been set.

I remember reading about somebody who was really struggling to exercise
but really wanted to do it.
So she decided to go to bed in her gym/running gear
and put her running shoes right next to her bed!
So that in the morning it was actually more effort to get up and take all her gear off
and push aside her running shoes
than it was to just get on and get out there to go and do the session!

As amusing as this is,
it’s a good example of setting yourself up for success
and making it easy to follow through so there’s no excuses for not doing the task.

I gave the example of a student I’ve been working with
who’s been set the challenge of completing three maths questions per week over the summer.
This is so she can keep the momentum going with the success and results
she’s already seen
and really have something she can thank herself for in the future
in the lead up to her next exams.

So the steps that need to be taken for this could look like:

Pen/pencil and all other equipment needs to be close to hand and organised.
So no time is wasted searching through cupboards and drawers.
This is to avoid any excuses that get put on that mental list of thinking something is too hard.

Know exactly what questions are going to be attempted.
You don’t want to be flicking through text books aimlessly wondering what to do.
This can be flexible depending on feelings and motivation on any particular day.
Again, we want to minimise the opportunity to make excuses for not getting something done
and should instead be attempting to best set ourselves up for success.

Whatever your teen has set themselves
(and this is not just limited to their study),
take the actions at the time of setting the challenege
to put every little thing in place that can make completing that task as easy as possible.


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Let your teen’s future-self tell ‘em what to do

Does your teen have tasks to complete over the summer?
Or do they have no actual homework set
but are wondering what they should do?

Here’s my thoughts on a topic I get asked about (every year like clockwork)
before schools break up for the summer…

I know some students get set tasks,
especially if they’re in Y11 and going into Y12.

But for many students there’s nothing specific laid out over the summer.

For some, it’s a much-needed time to reset
and do nothing (which is absolutely necessary).

For others, they see it’s also an opportunity to get ahead
and set up for success in the new year
(and I absolutely agree with this also!).

It really depends what sort of student your teen is
and what sorts of aspirations and goals they have.

For many students I work with, it’s entirely appropriate
for them to complete some directed tasks
to get ahead of the pack, store up some confidence and ensure they don’t
lose some of the progress they’ve already made.
So they move into their new year group in a smooth and streamlined way
that has them hitting the ground running in Term 1.

So, for some students it’s going to be going through some of my online trainings over the summer.
And for others it could be more specific tasks,
personal to them and their subjects.

All of this is to help avoid the dreaded ‘summer slide’
where memories of content and info fade,
and study skills generally get a bit rusty.


If you’ve followed me for a while
and you’re familiar with what I do
you’ll know I’m a big advocate of “every little helps”.

This is especially true when it comes to students getting higher grades,
becoming more confident and less stressed.

Now, at some point during the summer,
for the students that have been set tasks (by me, themselves, or their teachers!)
they’re gonna have thoughts like:

“It doesn’t really matter if I don’t do them this week”


“Is this really going to help?”


Students need to know that these thoughts are going to pop up
(sometimes with warrior-level strength!)
and therefore, if they aren’t gonna succumb, then they need to be prepared for when they do!

One way to do this is for them to put themselves in the shoes of their ‘future-selves’.
It’s a bit like when you’re stressed out and wishing you had done more work earlier.
What will their future-self be thinking about this moment in 3, 6 or 12 months’ time?
If they asked their ‘future-self’, what would they tell them to do?

Another way of framing this is to consider actions now as gifts to your ‘future-self’.
What is your ‘future-self’ going to be sooooo grateful for you doing in this moment?

The thing you maybe don’t want to do,
but know will reap you rewards in the future.

Like putting the duvet cover back on the bedding as soon as it came off the line, and *isn’t* waiting in a heap as you go to get into bed that night.
Putting on the doona cover is one of my least-favourite household chores. But it’s MOST hated when it’s 10pm and I’m exhausted and forgot I’d left it ‘to do later’…. ?

Students HAVE to be mentally prepared
for when the little devil on the shoulder chirps up with negative/lazy/doubting thoughts. (Which it will!)

Otherwise, Netflix (or back in my day, re-ordering my CD collection) 😉
and that whispering devil will win… with ‘what-if’s rather than ‘wahoo’s!!!’ waiting for them in the future.




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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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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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The KEY to all study problems

Did the construction workers go about building the Sydney harbour bridge without a proven framework, a clear strategy and a set of step-by-step instructions and stages?

Of course not.

And even if they did AND managed to produce a functioning bridge by making it up and figuring it out as they went,

it VERY likely wouldn’t have been completed in the most efficient, smooth or stress-free way.

So it’s no wonder students struggle to write an essay or assignment or even just answer a few topic questions, when they don’t have a clear strategy or step-by-step breakdown of how to tackle the task.

And it’s no wonder they don’t get the best result when they don’t have a clear vision of what the successful outcome will include or look like, how it will address all the criteria and how to make it happen.


A “problem” is simply a gap,

an open space between point A and point B.

And almost always, it’s an open space you can bridge.

For example, a problem a student might be given in Maths is the gap between the scenario presented and the solution or answer.

Or a more general study problem your teen may face in English might be

‘how do I write an essay on that?’

And the gap is the structure and content that makes up that essay.

Either way,

they need to build a bridge to cross that gap and arrive at the solution or a successful end result.


So the focus on achieving better results with less stress, is really about the bridge.

Did the construction workers go about building the Sydney harbour bridge without a proven framework, a clear strategy and a set of step-by-step instructions and stages?

Of course not.

And even if they did AND managed to produce a functioning bridge by making it up and figuring it out as they went,

then even though it might be a successful outcome,

it VERY likely wouldn’t have been completed in the most efficient, smooth or stress-free way.

So why would your teen do the same?

It’s no wonder that we struggle to get ourselves from start to finish with a task or assignment if we don’t have a clear strategy, step-by-step breakdown or a clear vision of where we’re going and how we’re going to get there.

As I tell everyone,

it’s not just a case of working harder.

If a team of engineers and builders just kept laying more and more bricks,

or working longer hours every day,

or putting more and more bolts between the steel parts,

does that guarantee a better bridge?


A clear template, a set of steps, an order of tasks and even an example of a successful bridge built in the same way somewhere else,

that’s what’s  going to make the job a lot faster, easier and produce a more successful outcome.


That’s why I’m all about providing students with these tools and strategies.

Giving them the simple yet super-effective tools, checklists and tricks to make their writing sound amazing in my Write Like an A-Grader training

Giving them a complete system for study success in my 10 Week Grade Transformation Program,

from note-taking to what to do in the final minutes of an exam. From Motivation and organisation to the template for an analytical essay at the highest cognitive level of evaluation.

And dissecting model responses and mark schemes in my annual live Exam Mastery Workshop.

I really want to get across one thing…

That a problem or a challenge,

simply shows that there is a gap.

And there is a solution,

a strategy,

a template

or a skill

that will bridge that gap, no matter how big or small.


If you’d like to talk to me about any of the gaps or problems that are stopping your teen from being Happy, Smart and Successful,

then I’m making some time available in my diary these next couple of weeks to chat to parents so that I can see what students are most struggling with at the moment and tailor my upcoming content to be as helpful as possible.

In return I’ll give you my feedback and tips on how your teen can bridge those gaps.

Just drop me an email ( referencing this blog and I’ll send you a link to book in a time for a free and casual chat 🙂


Okay, hopefully chat with you soon!

Now, let’s go make this week, a fantastic week!


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Is THIS stopping your teen becoming GREAT?

Being good at something and being comfortable with it is certainly no bad thing.

However, being ‘good’ or being comfortable, can stop us from pushing ourselves and therefore prevents us from becoming GREAT. It means we won’t work harder or do more and we don’t therefore discover how brilliant we could be… How awesome things COULD be.



Being good at something can actually be the thing that stops us becoming great at something.
What on earth am I talking about? I’ll explain all in this video.

I’m Katie Price – Grade Transformation Expert, and as a student I was in the ‘good’ category pretty much across the board.

I got mostly As and Bs, in my subjects – not without a lot of work though. I was decent at sport – always made it into the B teams for the sports I played (and sometimes got a shot in the A teams – I was the one who’d get bumped up if an A team player was away) and socially, I would be the odd Vice-captain of something on the odd occasion. So generally good, never terrible, but never GREAT.  Mostly ,I blended in and was totally okay with ALL of that.

If this is anything like your teen, OR if they’re kinda cruising or staying happily in their comfort zone right now, then this message is definitely for you.

Being good at something and being comfortable with it is certainly no bad thing.

However, what I’ve noticed – ONLY once I’ve gotten older and experienced moments of growth as well as moments of struggle and major challenges – is that being ‘good’ or being comfortable –  can stop us from pushing ourselves and therefore prevents us from becoming GREAT.

It means we won’t work harder or do more and we don’t therefore discover how brilliant we could be. How awesome things COULD be.

Now – this isn’t any major revelation… it’s really a THING and so many coaches, authors and well, pretty much everyone who studies or teaches human behaviour and psychology in any way have laid this out clearly for years. But it’s something I’ve been hearing about more and more from parents, and like I said earlier, it’s something I can definitely relate to in my own life and decisions and in others around me.

Cruising means we’re not pushing ourselves. And I certainly wouldn’t say I was cruising as a student, but I did realise just how much more I could push myself when I once got a D in an exam…Argh!

It was my first major exam of A-Level Maths – the equivalent of Maths Methods or Advanced Mathematics depending on your state over here. And it was certainly a big jump from the GCSE level Maths I’d gotten an A in previously.

And that D freaked me out!

I started going to all the extra lunch time tutorials, did extra practise Qs for homework and basically levelled up my study. Because I was a little concerned that that could happen in my other subjects too. I pushed myself harder than I ever had before because I was suddenly uncomfortable.

And you may well have seen this happen in aspects of your own or your teen’s life. It takes something that makes us UNcomfortable to make us change or take action.

I bet you’ve had that situation in the car, where we experience a hairy moment or a near-miss when we’re driving, and suddenly we’re paying super-close attention to EVERY car, pedestrian and road sign for the rest of the journey. That dodgy moment made us uncomfortable and made us focus and concentrate harder straight afterwards.

My mum used to be a smoker and had tried giving up heaps of times, until her best friend – also a smoker – was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. One week later, my mum had given up smoking and hasn’t smoked a cigarette since.

If a situation isn’t GOOD – it FORCES us to take action, to work harder or to seek help or do something about it. To become great at whatever will help us overcome or avoid that situation.

Which is why many parents come to me or enrol their teen in my 10Wk Program, when they’re struggling in some way or with some aspect of their study and need to take action to get good or become great at the things that are holding them back.

AND it’s why I get especially excited for those students and parents who get on board when they’re NOT uncomfortable and they’re already doing pretty well – BUT they’re either keen to see how much better they could be. They know that they COULD be GREAT rather than GOOD if they just had some of the skills, techniques and know-how that I teach.

So if your teen’s currently a little uncomfortable or facing challenges in any aspect of their study – assignments, essay-writing, exams, note-taking, researching or just being organised, motivated and efficient….

OR if they’re doing ok but kinda cruising,

OR perhaps they’re going good but you wanna see if they can turn good into great – then drop me an email or check out my 10 Week Grade Transformation Program which is open for enrolment right now.

And until next week, let’s make this a GREAT 😉  week!

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What we need to ACTUALLY get a task DONE.

Is your teen procrastinating over something?
Getting started on a task, finishing something they started, something small, something big?

It might be because they’re missing one of the essential resources that we ALL need to get ANY task done.


What do we need to get any task done?

There are four essential resources – key ingredients if you like –
and without any one of them, we’re likely to fall short of our goal or the required outcome.


So what are they?
Let’s see if you can work it out from this recent not-so-academic example for me…

My husband and I needed to put up a fence a couple of months ago.
Because #Bonnie #NewDogParents ??

So, we put aside a couple of days to do it and roped in a couple of DIY savvy friends of ours too,
because although I’d love to be,
we are NOT the most practical or knowledgeable when it comes to DIY beyond hammering a picture hook into a wall!
We needed their skills and we needed their tools. (Big time).

(Honestly, it more ended up like us helping and them doing the fence.
And my main skills were mainly in the tea, coffee and snacks department – but those are kind of essential too, right?!)…

So, anyway – did you pick them out?
The 4 key resources?

Well, they are:

– TIME (to do the job and any prep)
– PEOPLE (who know what they’re doing!)
– SKILLS (the knowledge and the ‘how’ to do it)
– TOOLS. (what practical things you need to be able to do it)


Let’s use a different example that’s a bit more academic:

For any webinar I host, I need:
time to plan the content,
time to deliver the webinar
and I need
people: Me to plan and deliver it, my glamorous assistant Alistair to monitor it, and sometimes the brilliant tech support people.
On that tech note, I need
tools: I need the webinar software, plus the powerpoint software for the slides, and the laptop to do it on.

Plus I need
skills: Skills in putting the powerpoint together and skills in running the webinar software, plus speaking and presentation skills too.


And, for your teen and their study, it’s the same.

For them, their 4 essential resources will look like this:

Time – time to get that essay written, to complete that exam, or to revise the subject matter, or simply to get those questions done for homework.

People – this includes themselves to do the work, but of course also their teachers, any tutors and perhaps their friends or you as parents for help or a practice audience maybe.

Tools – including their laptop, their stationery, and of course any other practical or subject specific gear, a graphics calculator perhaps or art equipment for example.

And finally,
Skills – which I’ll come back to in a moment 😉

Because first consider the fact that really, students need to minimise the first two if they’re to study successfully, efficiently and independently.

And when it comes to official assessments and exams, then this is critical.

When it comes to the ‘people’ resource,
they won’t be able to get help from friends, parents or teachers when they’re sat in the exam hall.
And they don’t want to be wasting time seeking out that help or waiting on it during their revision.
And in general, they don’t want to be spending more time than is necessary on each and every task.
They’ll almost always feel like there’s more content to be covered than there is time available when it comes to revision, so they want to make that as efficient and effective as possible.
They want to still have time for friends, family and hobbies and so want to minimise time spent on homework whilst also ensuring it’s still of a high quality.


And this is where that fourth resource comes in: SKILLS.

Students need to know and master the techniques and strategies that’ll make them effective as well as efficient in their study.

So they don’t waste time using revision strategies that aren’t effective.
So that they don’t waste time on false start after false start on that inquiry or assignment they’ve been set.
So that they don’t have to edit and re-draft their essays more times than is necessary.

And instead, craft and construct writing that is high quality and focused on the elements that’ll gain them marks in a rubric or mark scheme.

They need a proven system that’ll get them on the right track from the very start and then have the techniques and skills to complete any task to a high level.

And they need the six elements of exam technique that enable them to tackle questions and essays with clarity and confidence, because they know exactly what the question’s really asking, and they have the knowledge and ability to get the required info from brain to paper in the way that the marking guide requires.


These skills of:
– exam technique,
– high quality written communication
– extended response structure and planning
are critical for students to operate independently with confidence in their study.

And it’s this resource of SKILLS that I believe to be most important.
Because with the necessary skills, your teen can reduce or make the others more efficient.

It means they’re less reliant on other people
(like you, their friends, tutor or teachers),
they can use any necessary tools more efficiently and smoothly,
and it takes less time to complete homework exam Qs or essays (AND they can do so to a higher standard).


I’d love to know, which of the four essential resources – time, people, tools or skills – does your teen have and which do you feel they are lacking?
Let me know in the comments, or send me an email 🙂

And until next week, let’s make this a fantastic week!

Katie 🙂


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