Congratulations to our 2013 student of the year Shania Dolan! Her effort, dedication and results throughout the year made her our most outstanding student. Shania’s secret to her success was practice, practice, practice – “The constant study and revision under the supervision of my amazing tutor Basem was definitely the key to my success in Math this year,” Shania said. She also stated her other subjects were noticeably effected by her new study habits and thus greatly improved as well.

What made you initially decide to have tutoring with A-Team?

My first impression of A-Team Tuition was ‘a new way to study,’ a tutoring system which was very well structured and catered for my particular struggles in Math B.

What do you think was the main secret to your success this year?

Practice, practice, practice! Between completing school work, school homework, tutor-assigned work, tutor-assigned homework, my neuro-book and my posters, I was completely immersed in mathematics. This constant study and revision under the supervision of my amazing tutor Basem was definitely the key to my success in Math this year. Furthermore, my other subjects were noticeably effected by my new study habits and thus greatly improved as well.

How do you feel Basem helped you to maximise your potential, and what was your relationship with him like?

It goes without saying that without Basem’s aid I wouldn’t have achieved the grades I did in Math B in my senior year and, thus, I wouldn’t have achieved the same amount of decoration on awards nights. His patience during my many, many, many blank moments and his encouragement throughout our sessions kept me focussed and performing to the best of my ability. He managed to be a superior mathematical being, a mentor who uses the word ‘brilliant’ way too much, and an all too competent tutor throughout our sessions and I’m incredibly grateful for all his help and was lucky to find a tutor like him.

Any special words of advice you can offer to our year twelves this year?

Don’t get caught up in the myth that intelligence is genetic or selective. You can achieve anything you set your mind to with practice, determination and no small amount of sacrifice, you just have to want it enough. If you are struggling, find a tutor who can help you with the specific subjects you need to improve.

What are your plans for this year/how has your high achievement opened doors for you in the future?

Having an OP2 and a scholarship to the University of Queensland the world is pretty much your oyster. However, I’ve chosen a slightly unorthodox career path: I’ve decided to study in a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Ancient History and Archaeology. While the cut-off for this course is only an OP11, and thus I’m more than eligible for this program, my efforts to achieve Very High Achievements in Secondary School was never solely about ‘just’ making it into the Bachelor of Arts: I wanted to challenge myself, to test my limits, to be the best I could be and to keep my options open should I do a 180 and decide to study a degree with a much lower OP cut-off. I now have that option.

Which subject did you struggle with most and what were your strategies to overcome this?

I struggled with the notoriously disliked and psychologically damaging Maths B. In order to succeed in this subject, especially if you’re like me and not mathematically inclined, the first step is to face the fact that you just have to do the work; grin and bear it! From there on my strategy was simple: work hard. Practice and revise until you live maths, until you know the content inside out and have successfully completed every possible type of equation that could come up on the test, then apply that content to mind-bogglingly complex, Modelling and Problem Solving questions.