Sleight of Pen are secondary school tutors based in Sydney. We specialise in in English tutoring from junior to HSC level. Having completed our own HSC in crowded classrooms where teachers lacked time to meet their students’ learning needs, we want to create a space where students can voice their own concerns, and receive solutions to problems that are uniquely theirs.
In our 1-1 sessions, we aim to help you carve out the shortest, most intellectually exciting route to your ATAR goals, and enable you to apply lessons from HSC English and Maths beyond the classroom.
Check out our collection of text guides and articles to HSC Advanced and Extension English below, and feel free to send suggestions for new articles our way.
We understand that as an HSC student, you are pressed for time, and the last thing you need is another class on top of all your school hours. Rather than piling more needless work on you, we aim to fill gaps left by your school classroom with lessons tailored to your specific needs.
Our sessions are planned to we can meet you at exactly the stage you are in. Broadly speaking, we plan sessions at a standard level where you learn to read for ideas and write HSC-style essays, and at a more advanced level where we debate ideas, and refine your written expression so your essays can stand out from the pack.
Whatever level you are at, you will leave each intellectually stimulating session with a clear sense of where you are headed with the subject.
ENGLISH IN THE HSC: What do Markers Really Want?
Something which both HSC tutors and students can agree on is that English is a hazy terrain with unclear expectations. For most other subjects, the target is clear and you gradually work towards it. Often in the early stages of HSC English, it is not even clear what that target is. Essays you thought were great come back with a mediocre mark, and essays you thought were terrible do well. Teachers’ comments (when you can decipher them) are often brief and vague. Even the best English teachers at school are limited by the nature of classroom education – there are too many students and the teacher simply doesn’t have the time to teach each of her students how to write an essay.
The subject is explored more deeply and comprehensively in HSC tutoring colleges, but the classroom-based learning environment presents the same problem of not providing answers to your questions. With class-based HSC tutoring, it is not uncommon to feel like you have just traded one class for another.
Having achieved high band 6 results and worked as HSC tutors for over a decade, we know markers’ expectations, and what you need to do to meet them.
Get a Head Start on Your HSC: Start Working with Us in Year 9 and 10.
Many students are overwhelmed by the sudden rise in content complexity and workload in their preliminary HSC year (year 11). This is largely due to lack of exposure to challenging reading material in early high school, and little experience with writing lengthy essays.
As tutors who have achieved high band 6 results in our own HSC, we can show you how to work smarter in this important year. But the best results come about after steady progress, not eleventh-hour cramming. When it comes to your HSC, make sure that you have laid the foundation to excel. Start working with us in year 9 or 10 so that you are warmed up and ready to scale the heights in years 11 and 12.