UNSW partnership: Helping 100 Year 12 students cross the finish line

It’s been a tough couple of years for our senior students, but they’ve done it! They can put a giant tick next to the HSC box on their “life to-do” list.

1000 hours of free Cluey tutoring
Cluey Learning Tuesday, 30 November 2021

In the weeks leading up to their final exams, we provided 1000 hours of free online tutoring to 100 Year 12 students from under-represented backgrounds. This came as part of a partnership with UNSW’s Access & Equity student outreach program, Gateway (read more about it here).

With the pressure of the HSC exams now finally behind them, we sat down with a few students to chat about their experience and plans for the future. Here’s what they had to say: 


Krisha, Pendle Hill High School 

Tutored for: Advanced English  

“I want to make my parents and teachers proud because they’ve put a lot of time and energy into helping me get this far.”  

Her thoughts on Cluey 

HSC prep was challenging with COVID, but I adjusted to online learning and the tutoring helped me prepare for the HSC and gave me some good study techniques. 

The tutor was really nice and patient and if I asked him a question ten times, he was okay to answer it. Every session was focused on what I wanted to do, so before every session started, he asked me what I was struggling with and what I wanted extra help with.  

I had like a breakthrough moment for paper 1, Unseen Texts, which I found so difficult at the start, but after working with the tutor on it for like 3 sessions, I felt so much more confident taking the practice paper and it prepared me for the HSC.  

I’m so grateful UNSW gave me the opportunity to have free tutoring through a skilled organisation like Cluey. 

Her thoughts on the Gateway program

My friends and I received an email about the program and after speaking about it, we decided to sign up. We all found the content really helpful, and the sessions were easy to understand. I enjoyed hearing from current UNSW students about what it’s like to be a Uni student and it got me really excited to go to UNSW. 

What’s next for Krisha?  

I want to go to UNSW to study a Bachelor of Aviation and Flying. I want to be an Airline Pilot and see the world! 


Carl L, James Fallon High School 

Tutored for: Chemistry 

I really think that the tutoring will be reflected in my HSC marks.”  

His thoughts on Cluey 

It helped me catch up on a lot that I missed out on at school due to COVID. It also made me stricter with actually studying and preparing notes because when you do the tutoring, you’re expected to have done the homework that they set and have knowledge on the content that you’re about to cover.  

I specifically asked if we could review my Year 11 content for Chemistry instead of just doing Year 12 syllabus and they said yes without hesitation which was nice. The tutoring was completed at a pace that you set; there’s nothing holding you back from asking questions, especially because it’s one-on-one.  

His thoughts on the Gateway program  

My school posted about the program on its Facebook page so I saw it there and I was interested in what I could learn for Chemistry, English and Maths. I attended the subject-specific sessions they held, and they gave me strategies on how best to tackle tricky exam questions 

What’s next for Carl?  

After Uni I really want to head to the US. I think there’d be some good job opportunities there and it would be nice for a change of scenery. I haven’t travelled much outside of Australia; I’ve only ever been to the Philippines because that’s where my family is from. 


Tara, Elizabeth Macarthur High School 

Tutored for: Chemistry   

“I worked really hard, and I hope that all the effort I put in pays off!” 

Her thoughts on Cluey 

Tutoring definitely impacted my chemistry results! I went up a few ranks in my class and my marks were heaps better in my trials. My tutor went over content with me consolidating all the knowledge and gave me additional things, which weren’t necessarily in the syllabus, but they were sort of assumed.  

Her thoughts on the Gateway program  

I found it so interesting. I heard about it through school and my friend who did it in Year 11 convinced me to sign up. They gave us tips on how to answer particular questions for the HSC and what the markers are looking for in our answers.  

I really liked that I could submit practice exam papers and have them professionally marked; the feedback was quite personalised which was great. It was also good to learn about the early conditional offer and how to apply. If I’m offered one, it reduces the ATAR required to get into UNSW by a lot. 

What’s next for Tara?  

After my Bachelor of Science, I’m hoping to do postgraduate studies for Veterinary Medicine. I’ve already had work experience in a veterinary clinic, and I just love animals, so being able to combine that with science feels like the right thing for me to do. 


Jenna, Muswellbrook High School 

Tutored for: Advanced Maths 

“My passion for exploring the world definitely drives me to succeed. I know my parents will be proud to see me go to Uni and eventually establish a career.” 

Her thoughts on Cluey 

This was my first experience with an online tutor and I’m quite pleased with it.  

The tutor was fabulous. Maths was probably the subject I struggled with the most. I think the tutor does a really good job at explaining things on a level that teachers don’t.  

My strategy was to take what I was working on in my own time and divide it into areas that I really struggled with and then ask the tutor to help me with those – so we weren’t covering things I was already across. That’s probably the thing I enjoyed most about the tutoring; that it was personalised. I love the feeling you get when you understand a question and how to answer it. I think tutoring played a big part in helping me dissect difficult questions and gave me the confidence to tackle them.  

Her thoughts on the Gateway program  

I loved the HSC masterclasses. I found them really helpful, and it was great to go back and listen to the recordings and review areas that I wasn’t that confident with.  I also liked hearing from the student ambassadors as they all had different stories about what it’s like being a Uni student. It was good to hear about their experiences in different faculties. 

What’s next for Jenna?  

I plan on studying International Studies or International Relations. I don’t know what career I’ll end up in but something that’s driving me to study International Relations is my passion for other cultures. Throughout High School I was studying Japanese and I hosted students from Japan; I also travelled there in January 2020. I want to turn my passion and interest of learning about different cultures into a career one day. 


Rebecca A, Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College, The Entrance Campus 

Tutored for: English Standard 

Her thoughts on Cluey 

I had to change tutors after my first session just because the time didn’t match, but both tutors I had were excellent.  

The tutoring was so helpful, especially for a student like myself who can’t afford private tutoring fees. Having the opportunity to have free tutoring was amazing. 

It has helped me with English studies so much. We attempted some past questions and even though the tutor didn’t have experience in marking HSC exams, he was a recent HSC student so was very familiar with the content and how to attempt those types of questions. 

Her thoughts on the Gateway program  

The career advisor at my school recommended I join the program. The most enjoyable thing about it was being able to meet and talk with year 12 students who are willing to follow their true passion and consistently strive for success despite adversity. By the end of the program, I was definitely more motivated to study and persevere through the hard times.  

I was actually telling my brother (in year 10) he needs to sign up for Gateway next year so he can also get the Cluey tutoring.  

What’s next for Rebecca?  

I want to become a teacher because I love helping people. I see myself becoming a high school teacher and helping future generations find their true passion. I’m planning on studying a double degree of Finance and Secondary Education at UNSW. I applied for early entry so I’m just waiting to hear the results. 

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