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Bo’s Hacks: How I Scored An ATAR Of 99.60

In this post, Bo shares his hacks for scoring an ATAR of 99.60.

How I scored an ATAR of 99.60 – Bo Xu

When I finally entered Year 12, I thought to myself “That’s it, I’m in Year 12, time to own this.”

I had this idea that I would be following this fantastic, strict, planned out study schedule throughout the year and that I would be investing 100% of my effort into what the last 12 years of my education lead up to. Without question, I quit all my sports and left myself no time for recreation in my schedule.

This inspiring self-motivation probably lasted about 2 weeks.


From my HSC experience, here are three tips:

1. Procrastination. Stop It.

What I discovered was that it was impossible to invest so much effort into studying.  I had not balanced my timetable properly and that is something I regret now. By having an imbalanced schedule, I ended working less than what I thought I would have. I was mostly spending my time on “lazy study”. Three hours of “lazy study” was probably just as effective as 90 minutes of solid study.

Now that I look back, I would have done some things differently. I would have split my study hours into smaller blocks separated by recreational activities such as committing to sport or going to the gym. What helped me to study successfully was setting small goals for each working session. For example, I would say to myself “I will finish the homework for chapters 1B, 1C and 1F in the next 2 hour” instead of “I will do maths for the next 2 hour.”

Try to formulate an easy to accomplish do-able schedule. Follow it through and you’ll do great!

2. Take School Classes Seriously.

Don’t slack off in school just because you receive tutoring. Many students don’t pay enough attention in school classes simply because they think that they don’t need to; because they have already learnt all the materials from their tutor. By doing so they are missing out on a great opportunity to revise and reconsolidate the content they have learnt. However, by learning something twice you can develop confidence in that particular subject or topic and this will really come in handy when your test comes around.

3. Study Smart, Not Hard!

Selective studying. It’s really important that you know what subjects you should be focusing on when studying. To score the highest ATAR, it is important that students should know exactly what to study.

Generally, the subjects you are performing the worst in are the subjects that will drag your ATAR down. In some cases, just one bad subject can completely counteract how well you are doing in your other subjects. For instance if you’re performing  great in Maths Extension 2 but are slightly below average in English Advanced, stop focusing so much on the Maths and really focus on bringing your English marks up. This is especially important as Maths Extension 2 scales better than English Advanced.

So even if you dread the one subject that you’re not performing well in remember what your goals are. I would recommend talking to someone who is familiar with the HSC to see what and where you need to invest your efforts in.

DJ Kim presents ATAR seminars at Matrix throughout the year which goes over this idea in greater detail. I would recommend anyone who is serious about their ATAR to attend a Matrix HSC & Scaling Seminar if they haven’t already.

Follow it through and you’ll do great!



Written by Guest Author

We have regular contributions to our blog from our Tutor Team and high performing Matrix Students. Come back regularly for these guest posts to learn their study hacks and insights!


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