Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions Regarding Our Programs

Questions Specifically Relating to Our Lecture Programs

Questions Specifically Relating to Our Master Class Program

For Additional Information:

To speak to a consultant, please call The School For Excellence on (03) 9663 3311 or 1300 364 173 (NSW inquiries) between 10am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, or email your query to: admin@tsfx.com.au.

General Questions Regarding Our Programs

What is TSFX?

The School For Excellence (TSFX) is a private organisation that provides educational services to Year 11 and 12 students.

These services include the development and delivery of revision courses before examinations, intense fortnightly tuition classes and study skills lectures, as well as specialised courses that prepare students in advance of each school term.

How long has TSFX being delivering lectures and programs?

Our programs are the result of over 22 years of collaborative effort and expertise from dozens of teachers and schools across the state, ensuring the highest possible quality resources for Year 11 and 12 students.

What makes TSFX programs superior to those offered by other lecture/program providers?

Like all credible educational organisations, The School For Excellence works with students to improve academic results, and to decrease the stresses and pressures associated with the final years at school.

There are, however, marked differences between the various organisations, including variations in teaching philosophies and styles, how thoroughly subject materials are addressed, and the quality and quantity of support materials that are issued to students.

So how does TSFX differ from other lecture/program providers?

In addition to our unparalleled instruction and quality, students who attend our lectures enjoy the following unique and exclusive course features:

  • Exclusive bonus lectures and resources.
  • The best teachers and the most effective teaching styles.
  • Superior examination preparation.
  • The most comprehensive subject notes available.
  • A proven track history of unrivalled success.

With so much pressure and competition in the final years at school, students cannot afford to waste precious time and money searching for the best study support organisation.

The School For Excellence has over 22 years experience in providing educational services, meaning that you can be confident that we have a genuine understanding of the requirements of Year 11 and 12. We have had the benefit of time and experience to perfect our teaching philosophies, teaching methods and course materials, ensuring that you have a greater chance of achieving the highest possible ATAR scores.

Note: Teachers and past students consistently rate TSFX Number 1 for excellence and quality.

What are TSFX teachers like and how are they selected?

Not all organisations involved in the delivery of revision lectures/programs employ qualified, practising teachers to write their course materials and/or present their lecture programs. At TSFX, you will be taught by current and experienced Year 11/12 teachers – many of whom are authors of textbooks, as well as writers and markers of the official examinations.

There is, however, little basis in choosing highly decorated teachers if they lack the ability to motivate and empower students, and relay the information and skills required to secure every possible mark in the exams.

Teachers are therefore subjected to stringent enquiries regarding their experience and performance at schools, student feedback, level of enthusiasm, motivation and commitment to senior students. Teachers are interviewed to ascertain these qualities, as well as their communication skills, and then they are exposed to the most stringent of selection criteria – student feedback. We only retain those teachers that have surpassed the expectations of students attending our programs.

Our quality control processes do not end when a teacher is commissioned for our programs. Every member of our teaching staff is continually subjected to performance assessments and student feedback, so as to maintain our unparalleled reputation for quality, dedication and exceptional student performance.

Not only do the teachers presenting TSFX lectures possess years of experience teaching in the top ranking schools across the state, they also have significant experience in lecturing and examination marking, and are always up to date with the changes in exam trends and marking schemes.  Unlike other program providers, our teachers are continually required to dissect, research, update and extend our program content and written materials so that students attending our programs obtain the best possible instruction and resources that reflect the yearly changes in examination marking and question trends.

Does TSFX test their teachers as part of its selection process?

No – we find that we do not need to test our teachers for subject knowledge before commissioning them for our programs. This measure would only be required if an organisation was not confident with the quality of their applicants or teaching staff. Furthermore, testing teachers using past examinations that are freely available for purchase by both students and teachers is not an effective means of choosing appropriate teachers to present lectures and tutorial classes.

Will I receive notes when I enrol into a TSFX program?

Many students who attend lectures and programs are often shocked and disappointed when they are issued superficial summaries that are only a few pages long, or copious pages consisting of materials that are freely available on the internet and/or huge screen shots from PowerPoint presentations.

In the weeks leading up to the examinations, students cannot afford to waste time writing up materials from which to base their learning on. This huge task takes countless hours – hours that could be used to commit materials to memory and to practise potential examination questions. Note: It is the actual learning and practising of questions that has the biggest impact on examination scores – not writing and/or re-writing notes and summaries.

At TSFX, every student who attends our programs receives a complete and generous set of notes that covers all relevant theory in easy to follow, student-friendly language. Our notes also include an abundance of worked examples with step-by-step instructions, as well as additional questions to work through at home.

We issue fully comprehensive notes so that students can listen and learn during our lectures, rather than miss vital concepts whilst simultaneously attempting to write notes. Our comprehensive materials further eliminate the need for students to waste valuable time preparing notes, significantly reducing the levels of stress and anxiety in the lead up to the examinations.

To provide students with the ultimate edge in their examinations, our teachers also examine and analyse the major text books used by Victorian schools – meaning that our course materials provide students with the added benefit and wisdom of the major resources used across the state, without having to purchase or read through these valuable learning tools. This incredibly important feature is not offered by any other lecture program provider!

Note: To date, NO OTHER seminar/lecture provider has been able to match the quality and depth of materials and instruction that are issued to students who attend TSFX programs. Those students who have not previously benefited from, or are not aware of the quality of programs available across the state, are encouraged to contact lecture program providers and view their program materials before enrolling into any lectures or programs. Extracts from our programs may be viewed here.

Does TSFX offer students exam-style questions when they attend a program?

Most certainly. In fact, most organisations that offer Year 11 or 12 programs will expose students to examination-style questions. The notes that are issued to students attending TSFX programs come complete with an abundance of examination style questions – significantly more than other service providers!

Can I purchase the notes that are given out at TSFX lectures/programs without actually attending?

Our notes are not for individual sale, but are distributed at no additional charge to those students who attend our lectures and programs.

Am I going to get a good score if I attend a TSFX program?

Each year, TSFX is instrumental in helping hundreds of students obtain ATAR scores in excess of 90, with several of our students obtaining perfect 99.95 scores each year!

Irrespective of the final scores, our students typically find that their confidence levels and academic performance increase significantly after attending our programs. The degree of improvement in academic performance is, however, dependent upon the amount of time students dedicate to study, their academic ability and their desire to succeed – factors that are all integral in obtaining high ATAR scores.  Although we cannot guarantee specific scores, we can ensure that you will be provided with some of the best teachers in the state, a thorough set of study notes, an environment that makes learning interesting and enjoyable, an improvement in scores, and the best possible chance of success in Year 11 and 12!

Does TSFX offer discounts for multiple subject enrolments?

TSFX has a no discount policy for multiple subject enrolments. Instead, we offer the lowest possible hourly fee so that all students can benefit from our courses, irrespective of their financial circumstances or number of enrolled courses. Furthermore, discounting invariably leads to a dilution in the quality of services – something we are not prepared to compromise on across such important academic years. We are completely committed to providing students with the highest quality programs, which requires continual supplementation to course materials and teaching methodologies, and significant research into examination patterns and features.  This requires significant funding and exceptional and committed teaching staff. We view your investment into TSFX as a vital investment into your future.

Does TSFX offer a money back guarantee if students are not happy with the quality of a program?

If a student is not satisfied with the quality of any of our programs, we will make the relevant inquiries and investigations, and issue a refund if the course was not performed to our high expectations. This is, however, a very rare occurrence at TSFX, as we invest significant time, energy and funds into ensuring that students are presented with the ultimate and most comprehensive lectures and programs.

Can’t my school give me everything that TSFX offers?

No matter how dedicated and efficient a teacher may be, many students need and will benefit from additional revision and extension opportunities, as well as increased exposure to examination skills and techniques.

Unfortunately, many schools neither have the time nor resources available to allocate to the individual needs of all students. The provision of high quality educational services such as those offered by The School For Excellence offers many students the opportunity to achieve higher examination scores, improving their prospects of securing a position in their preferred tertiary courses.

What makes TSFX the best choice for lectures and programs?

Teachers and students agree that TSFX is the pre-eminient education service provider in the state. Our reputation for excellence is built on our long history of highly successful students and the unparalleled quality of our teachers and learning materials.

Above all, we have a reputation for producing outstanding results. This is because we believe in only one standard in the services we provide. Excellence.

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Questions Specifically Relating to Our Lecture Programs

Are lecture programs really worth it?

Listening to quality lectures is one of the most efficient ways of preparing for examinations and/or covering course materials in advance of school.

Extensive research in the disciplines of learning reveals that comprehension and knowledge retention rates are increased up to 5 fold when content is delivered in audio-visual form, as is the case in lectures and tutorial classes. This means that the amount of information covered in a 7 hour lecture would otherwise require approximately 35 hours of your personal study time!

Carefully structured lectures and programs therefore enable students to cover a large amount of theory in a short amount of time, which creates more time to concentrate on other subjects and activities.

During the course of TSFX lectures, students will also derive immeasurable benefit from the advice, experience, insight and perspectives from leading teachers and official exam markers, and will learn what is required to obtain above average scores. Students attending our programs also receive fully comprehensive A+ notes that will save hundreds of hours in research and writing time! These materials will greatly assist students with their homework and are so thorough that they form the basis of most students’ revision materials when preparing for tests and examinations!

What is covered during the course of a head start lecture?

During the course of our head start programs, we will cover the next semester’s materials in advance of school, and develop the problem-solving/analytical skills that are required to secure those higher scores. In addition, we will expose students to an abundance of unique questions, offering a broader exposure to potential test/examination applications, as well as an added edge over your subject peers.

Those students who dedicate the time to covering materials in advance of school will not only derive greater benefit from their time spent at school, they will also obtain much higher scores.

Whilst other students struggle to understand the new concepts being delivered at school, you will be consolidating this information for the second time. Your understanding of examinable materials will be greatly improved, and you will find it so much easier to complete homework, improving confidence levels and dramatically reducing study time. Working through materials for the second time at school has the added benefit of engraining examinable materials deeper into long term memory, which will decrease how much time you will need to spend preparing for tests and examinations.

Further details, including topics that will be addressed, are available in the Lectures & Programs section of our site.

What is covered during the course of an exam revision lecture?

During the course of our exam revision lectures we will review and then extend on the knowledge taught at school, expose students to an abundance of unique potential examination questions and develop the problem-solving and analytical skills that are required to secure those higher scores. To maximise examination scores, students will also receive intense instruction regarding examination strategies and marking schemes, common exam tricks and student errors, as well as vital misconceptions that students hold regarding theoretical and practical concepts, and which result in the loss of valuable marks in the exams.

Further details, including topics that will be addressed, are available in the Lectures & Programs section of our site.

What happens if I have any questions or problems during the lecture?

Students are strongly encouraged to approach teachers during breaks or at the end of each lecture to address individual questions and clarify concerns. Most students, however, find that their concerns are addressed during the course of the actual lectures! Our teachers spend a considerable amount of time structuring each lecture and the corresponding notes so as to address common student problems, as well as the typical mistakes that are made in tests and examinations.

Why should I attend lectures when I have already covered materials at school?

The challenge for school teachers to comprehensively cover course materials within a limited time frame is often highly demanding. The sheer volume of course materials often means there is insufficient time for teachers to solidly review all aspects of the HSC syllabus, and extend on taught principles before examinations.

The role of TSFX is to build on the teaching that takes place in schools, and provide students with the opportunity to review and reinforce key concepts, so as to improve knowledge retention, recall and application skills. Furthermore, we extend on taught concepts and skills, exposing students to more advanced applications, as well as effective strategies for examination preparation and performance.

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Questions Specifically Relating to Our Master Class Program

What are the Master Classes?

For the ultimate learning experience and the most in-depth preparation for the examinations, nothing surpasses our Master Class programs.

The Master Classes are specialised fortnightly tuition classes that are designed to ensure that students reach their full potential, be that a two grade improvement or the elite A+ scores. Students attend these small group classes on a fortnightly basis in addition to their regular classes at school. These programs are based on a unique 10 step system that ensures students receive the best opportunities to optimise their VCE scores.

Students attending our Master Classes receive a minimum of 24 hours of classroom instruction over 11 weeks. During this program, students will cover the entire Unit 1, 2, 3 or 4 VCE and HSC syllabus, and sit one examination under examination conditions (excluding English). These examinations are unique, and have been exclusively prepared for The School For Excellence. In the event that course materials are not completed within the allocated time, additional classes will be scheduled at no additional charge.

These courses do require some commitment from students, but will certainly make an impact on VCE scores! (Our average ATAR in 2010 was 95.22 with a median ATAR of 96.90. Our average ATAR in 2011 was 95.60 with a median ATAR of 96.85.)

How do the Master Classes differ from TSFX lectures?

As the amount of time available in the Master Classes is significantly greater than that available during our lectures, the fortnightly classes enable students to cover examinable materials at a slower pace, and of course, in much greater detail.

Our classes are conducted in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere – conditions that are vital to maximise learning. You will also find that the staff are highly dedicated, supportive and understanding, additional reasons why so many of our students perform so well.

What are the Extension Classes

The Extension Classes are unique and powerful classes that extend on the more difficult components of each course and address questions that integrate multiple topics, which could not be covered in the standard Master Class program. Students attending this program also gain additional exposure to the tricks that appear in examinations, learn how to avoid common student pitfalls, as well as critical strategies that will maximise examination scores.

The Extension Classes commence after the completion of the Master Class Program and are available in Unit 3 or Unit 4 Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematical Methods (CAS) and Specialist Mathematics.

Why should I attend the Master Classes and/or Extension Classes when I already go to school?

The challenge for school teachers to comprehensively cover course materials within a limited time frame is often highly demanding. The sheer volume of course materials often means there is insufficient time for teachers to solidly review all aspects of the VCE and HSC syllabus and extend on taught principles before examinations.

The role of The School For Excellence (TSFX) is to build on the teaching that takes place in schools, and provide students with opportunities to review and reinforce key concepts so as to improve knowledge recall and retention, as well as application skills.

Furthermore, we extend on taught concepts and skills, exposing students to more advanced applications and effective strategies for examination preparation and performance. Our teaching philosophy is based on tried and true methodologies – systems that enable all students to reach their optimum academic performance! In fact, many students find that they learn more in the two hours spent in the Master Classes than during the time spent at school!

Do I get any notes when I enrol in the Master Classes and/or Extension Classes?

Every student is provided with a comprehensive set of notes that incorporates the concepts being covered in the classes, relevant theory, checklists, worked examples and exercises to further reinforce concepts and assist in SAC and exam preparation. These materials are designed to cover the required knowledge to an A+ standard, and to eliminate the need for students to waste valuable study time preparing learning materials before the exams.

Our programs incorporate the content and teaching philosophies of many of the top schools in Victoria. The materials are produced collectively and over a number of years, with each teacher adding his or her experience and knowledge to the courses and course materials. In this way, students derive the benefit of the knowledge of the best teachers across Victoria, ensuring they are prepared to a standard that is seldom achieved by just attending school.

Does TSFX offer students exam-style questions when they attend the Master Classes and/or Extension Classes?

Most certainly. In fact, most organisations that offer VCE programs will expose students to examination-style questions. The notes that are issued to our students, however, come with hundreds of exam-style questions – significantly more than other VCE providers! As an example, students who attended our Unit 3 Mathematical Methods (CAS) Master Class course in 2011 received over 800 pages of notes and 730 exam-style questions! These figures do not include the additional notes, summaries and worksheets that are also periodically issued to students!

What happens if I don’t like my allocated teacher(s)?

We understand there may be personality differences between teachers and students. We also believe there is little merit in attending tuition classes if you cannot benefit fully from the instruction provided. Therefore, if you cannot identify with your teacher after the first two sessions, we will change your class times and/or teachers.

What happens if I have any questions or problems during the program?

Students are always encouraged to address questions not only during class times, but also before and after class.

In addition, our exclusive Exam Help program offers students additional opportunities to address areas of concern, including questions and problems that frequently arise well after the completion of the fortnightly classes.

How large are our class sizes?

Our average class size is 20. However, we do have many classes with significantly lower numbers.

Would smaller class sizes improve the quality of tuition/instruction offered to students?

If a teacher is of exceptional quality and experience, then the reality is that class sizes are not an issue when attending classes/courses outside of school. We have spent more than 22 years developing our programs and course materials and find that, because our instruction is so thorough, many students’ questions are answered before they find the opportunity to ask! If there are questions that remain to be addressed, there is ample time during breaks and after classes to do so. In addition, our exclusive and complimentary Exam Help program will ensure that all students receive the time and attention to address all areas of concern before those critical assessment periods.

I don’t know about group tuition – wouldn’t a private tutor be better?

We have found that group tuition is, in fact, superior to private tuition for most students. The group scenario allows for a great amount of interaction between students from all around the state, and provides a medium in which to share information and resources, as well as to offer support to one another. There is also the cost factor to consider – our classes are significantly cheaper than engaging a tutor.

A teacher who has a good understanding of the VCE will ask for no less than $75 per hour, but may not provide the level of experience or expertise as the teachers involved in our Master Class programs. Furthermore, tutors will not provide extensive subject notes for their students, or provide comprehensive examination preparation, trends, tips and tricks, as is the case in our Master Class programs.

Tutors are ideal for those students who require continual assistance in completing homework tasks. If you are a student who can grasp concepts, but require a delivery vehicle that can explain difficult theories in a clear and simple manner, or require extension in order to reach those higher scores, the Master Class programs are the superior option.

Will the Master Classes and Extension Classes improve my ATAR score?

Most definitely. Even past 99.95 students have stated that the Master Classes and Extension Classes made a significant difference to their academic performance and confidence levels during the VCE. Our unique teaching philosophies and enjoyable atmosphere ensures that students learn to their optimum potential. Furthermore, as concepts are regularly reviewed, many students find they have very little to learn prior to examinations. With the knowledge that they have had the best possible preparation for their assessments, our students tend to perform to a far greater level than that which they had previously anticipated.