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Get around your ATAR

By December 17, 2019September 1st, 2020No Comments
Thinking about your future studies

Today you accessed your ATAR. All those years of school, relentless hours of study and the pressure of assessment and exams, and it all comes down to the number you receive today. Right?

Absolutely not. You are more than your ATAR.

If you followed the tips provided in our ATAR series you may have already completed the steps to research your ideal career, found the perfect course at your preferred institution.

In life sometimes things don’t go quite to plan. In this case, that could be you didn’t get the ATAR for admission to your preferred institute.

This is not the end of the world; it is an opportunity to revisit your plan to demonstrate your determination and resilience.

There are many pathways to your preferred course. Now is the time to research another way to get where you want to be. Talk to your careers adviser and get in touch with individual institutions to discuss the options available to you.

Consider another institute to study your chosen field.

In some fields of study universities will have different ATAR entry for similar courses. Review the available universities for there ATAR requirements for the same or similar course.

Take a new pathway

A “pathway” is an alternative route to your first choice.  A pathway could look like enrolling in a similar course at another university with the view to transfer institutions or look to entering your specialisation after you have completed a Bachelor. For example, Arts before Law or Design before Architecture.

Special entry schemes

Universities today recognise that your ATAR is only a snapshot of time and not who you are. More and more universities are offering special entry schemes or bonus scores for those who may have extenuating circumstances. This may allow you to enter with a lower ATAR or access scholarships.  Look up their websites or speak to the universities to find out if you are eligible.

Think outside the box

Review your career options and see if there isn’t another institute that allows entering that field. TAFE and private colleges can offer specialised hands on training, that is becoming increasingly popular with students and employers alike.

Some of these VET institutions may have partnerships universities and can act as a bridge to university where they will credit your year in VET sector.

Take a step back

Perhaps a gap year might be an option for you to regroup. We recommend you carefully weigh up whether that is appropriate for your circumstances. There are many studies and resources around the value of a gap year and staying engaged with your chosen university. Something like this recently launched study.

Trust us when we tell you, once you have started your study or entered the workforce, no one is going to care about your ATAR. It’s you that will achieve whatever you desire, a number won’t stop you.


Author Lisa

CEF Committee Liaison

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