Yiren Guo

  • James Ruse Graduate
  • 98 in 4U Maths
  • 99 in 3U Maths (4th in James Ruse)


  • James Ruse Graduate
  • 97.90 ATAR
  • Physics: 90
  • Maths Extension 1: 99 (Rank 4)
  • Maths Extension 2: 98 (Rank 12)

About Me

Hi! I’m Yiren and I graduated from James Ruse in 2021 with a mark of 99 in maths Extension 1 and 98 in Extension 2. I’m currently studying a double degree in Actuarial Studies and Advanced Mathematics at UNSW.

But I wasn’t always this good with maths. I used to really struggle with it! Coming into Year 10 I was placed into the 2nd lowest class out of 5 (Ranking out of the top 100). I felt overwhelmed by the pace of lessons at school which only made me more and more confused as I fell further behind.

But this is when I changed my approach towards maths. In Year 11 I started placing in the top half of my cohort, and by the end of Year 12 my internal ranks were 4th for 3U and 12th for 4U.

What did I start doing differently?

I focused on understanding maths, rather than just “accepting” it. I would ask myself ‘why?’ when I came across unfamiliar concepts, and I learned how to derive formulas instead of memorising them. Maths became less about remembering and more about thinking, which was both easier and much more fun.

I sought out quality practice. Textbooks and worksheets are great for getting a feel of new topics and building foundations, but I found that the questions quickly get repetitive. Instead, I exposed myself to problems from past exams and other resources that forced me to think outside the box. These problems equipped me with all the methods and “tricks” I needed to solve harder questions in the real exams.

I started paying extra attention to exam technique. Nothing’s more frustrating than fully knowing how to solve a question, solving it correctly, and still losing marks. I practised how I set out my worked solutions, and took note of what steps marks were assigned to. I also clarified with my teachers about what they expected in my solutions.

How will I apply this to my classes?

  • My classes will be built around helping you understand the mathematical concepts. Rather than making you copy down abstract definitions and rigorous proofs, I will do my best to present maths in a way that you can visualise and feel.
  • I will guide you through the process of solving problems, rather than just explaining the solution. What I aim to do is to help you figure out the ideas by yourself. It makes the question more memorable, and it’s much more satisfying too!
  • I offer personalised help and feedback. You can message me anytime for help with problems, questions about anything, or if you want feedback on your worked solutions.