Each year, countless numbers of average students outperform their “smarter” VCE peers. These students aren’t working harder or spending more time on their studies, and they don’t have super-uber high IQ’s.

So, what are these students doing to get 90+ ATAR results?

How Do Average Students Get 90+ ATARs?

The demands on VCE students rise and fall like a rollercoaster and are quite inconsistent in terms of intensity across the year. When you add the fact that most students don’t use efficient or effective study skills and usually leave study related tasks to the last minute – you get the following stress/workload profile across Year 11 and 12:

Students who apply themselves in this way spend more time on their studies and get much lower marks than otherwise possible.

So, what should you be doing to minimise stress, reduce the time spent studying and at the same time, maximise your VCE marks?

The key to outstanding VCE success is the planning, development and execution of effective strategies that:

• are backed by science;
• aren’t widely used by most students;
• and enable you to develop a strong competitive advantage in your SAC’s and exams.

This is how hundreds of ‘average’ and ‘below average’ grade students achieve 90+ ATAR results each year – outperforming many of their smarter VCE peers!

Strategy #1: Avoid rollercoaster study & cut down on study time!

If you find the idea of higher marks with less study appealing, you should first put a series of strategies in place that will lower the height of the peaks in the stress/study load graph. This will create a steady, consistent, and significantly lower level of stress and study across the year, and will ensure that you get the marks you deserve.

The best way to reduce stress levels and study time next year is by investing some of your summer holidays to:

• Revise important concepts from the previous unit;

• Work through Unit 1 and/or Unit 3 materials before you start back at school next year.

The benefits of getting ahead will become clear when the topics you studied over summer are covered with your teachers at school. While other students struggle to understand the new concepts being delivered, you’ll be hearing this information for the second time.

As a result:

• You’ll develop a deeper and stronger understanding of course materials.

• Your ability to apply concepts and solve questions will greatly improve, resulting in higher SAC and exam marks.

• You won’t get stuck on questions as frequently, reducing the time you spend on homework.

• You’ll get more from your classes at school, reducing the need for private tutors.

• You’ll find the subject less daunting, more interesting and significantly easier – and will be less inclined to procrastinate your studies in this subject.

• You’ll develop greater confidence in your abilities as a student and become more motivated in your studies.

• You’ll re-engrain the knowledge you’ve acquired in the deeper levels of long-term memory, reducing the time and effort you’ll need to prepare for your SACs and exams.

Your SAC marks and subject ranks will also greatly improve, giving you a huge advantage in your quest for the highest possible VCE marks.

Strategy #2: Maximise SAC marks

When you return to school next year, your main focus should be directed at doing everything you possibly can to maximise your SAC marks. Although your SAC marks aren’t directly used to calculate study scores*, they can have a huge impact on the ATAR you get, as shown in the table below. Although both students received an A+ in their Chemistry exam, the moderate differences in the marks awarded for the Unit 3 and Unit 4 SACs resulted in very large differences in study scores.

Figures are based on actual results obtained by students in recent years. As each grade covers a range of different marks, students awarded the same grade scores can receive very different raw study scores.

* Your SAC marks in a particular subject are used to rank your performance against the other students studying the same subject at your school. The better your SAC marks, the higher you’ll rank in a subject, and the higher the mark you’ll get as your moderated SAC score. It is the moderated SAC score that VCAA calculates for each student that is used directly to determine your study scores. Note that the moderated SAC score is equal to the exam mark received by the student with the equivalent exam rank. For example, the student with the third highest SAC marks will be given a moderated SAC score that is equal to the third highest exam mark obtained in that subject at the student’s school. As this isn’t an easy concept to grasp, we’ll discuss this thoroughly and go through a number of examples in our FREE study skills lecture “Succeeding in the VCE”.

The most effective way to maximise your SAC marks is to get ahead in your studies, and your only opportunity to do this to the level required is during your summer holidays.

In addition:

• Where project/report/poster/folio-based SACs are concerned, it’s important that your work stands out above your peers. Exactly what that entails is something that your teachers can’t and won’t disclose, so you’ll need to get as many different ideas and perspectives as you possibly can from past VCE students as well as teachers from other schools. We’ll also send you valuable suggestions and mark-boosting strategies well before you get your SACs next year.

• Where test-based SACs are concerned, work through as many past VCAA exam questions as possible. Most SACs are designed to test a student’s ability to apply their learnings (rather than simply stating facts), and exam-style questions are your best resource to develop these skills. Furthermore, as most teachers use SACs to help students develop the skills required for the VCE exams, most test-based SAC questions will strongly resemble the questions you’re likely to get in your final exams.

Summer School 2022.
Get ahead. Reduce stress. Maximise VCE marks.

Dates: Tuesday 11 – Friday 21 January 2022
Delivery: Interactive, live-streamed, online lectures

The impact that each strategy we recommend over the next 12 months has on your ATAR relies on how thoroughly and effectively you get ahead in your studies over the summer holidays.

We understand that it can be hard to find the motivation to study during the holidays, especially as there are no SACs or exams to worry about.

But if you don’t use the summer holidays wisely, you will, like thousands of past students, regret not taking advantage of this opportunity to reduce stress levels, decrease study loads and maximise your VCE marks next year.

This is why we run a comprehensive program across the summer holidays that will allow you to get ahead in a fast and relatively painless manner. Not only is it faster for an experienced teacher to take you through course materials, it takes less effort to listen to a dynamic teacher explaining new concepts than it would to do so on your own!

When you attend our ‘Summer School – Head Start’ lectures you will:

• Work through key Unit 1 and/or Unit 3 materials to an A+ standard ahead of school.

• Gain exposure to a large collection of potential SAC questions.

• Practice applying taught concepts to applications typically used to determine which students receive the A and A+ scores.

• Learn important problem-solving/analytical skills that you’ll need to achieve the highest possible SAC marks.

• Receive beneficial advice regarding how best to prepare for and execute your SACs next year.

This was one of the best lectures that I have ever attended. The lecturers presented everything so clearly and I feel that I am thoroughly prepared for Year 12. The technology that was used during the lectures was amazing.”

Student – Tintern Grammar School

You’ll also benefit greatly from the advice and key exam insights that only a VCE exam marker can provide. (This is the type of  inside knowledge that will give you a huge edge in your SACs and exams!)

Every lecture is recorded giving you the opportunity to revisit difficult concepts and to revise materials before your SAC’s at school.

Get the ATAR you Deserve

We encourage you to take advantage of the great opportunities Summer School has to offer, and start the next year with the tools, skills and information you’ll need to reach your full potential in the VCE.

If you have any questions regarding this program, please don’t hesitate to contact our office via email:


or on (03) 9663 3311 between 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

The Team at TSFX