How To Get Into Uni If Your Brain Clocked Off During Yr 12 Exams

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You’ve completed your exams, started planning your summer holidays and then… the long-awaited ATAR email arrives. 

While school may think your ATAR number is the be-all and end-all, the truth is, if you’re disappointed by what you’ve scored, there are options. 

The reason an ATAR number exists isn’t to make you feel bad or stupid, it’s simply because there are so many people wanting to get into university courses that there has to be a selection process. 

And you also need to have a certain base level of knowledge to become say, a doctor. But in general, the number helps remove certain people from the selection pool. It’s kinda unfair if you think about it, which is why there’s no need to dwell on it if you received a low score. 

Here are some tips and courses if your ATAR was not what you envisioned. 

Don’t dip on the diplomas

An excellent stepping stone between school and uni, to get into a diploma you usually don’t need an ATAR at all. In some cases, diplomas give you credit towards your first year of a bachelor’s degree so you can slide right on into second year. 

Courses like a Diploma in Business can help you gain entry into a bunch of business bachelor’s degrees for you to live your best Logan Roy life. While a Diploma in Nutrition Science can help you get into… you guessed it, degrees in nutrition science. It seems straight forward but these diplomas give you practical, entry-level skills and you may even be better off for gaining a diploma before embarking on your bachelor’s degree.

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Broaden your horizons 

When all else fails, go broad. A lot of undergraduate courses with high ATARs like medicine and law are incredibly specific. Many people know what job they want at the end of their degree and are hyper-focused on achieving it. If your ATAR isn’t what you wanted, this can actually nudge you to consider different opportunities. 

By choosing a broad undergraduate degree with a lower entry score, you can explore more subjects and have a bit of flexibility. For example, a Bachelor of Arts allows you to explore a heap of different interests and can lead to work in a range of fields. Given Gen Z’s are set to have 18 jobs spanning six careers, broad degrees can help you throughout your ever-changing working life.

The show must go on

Don’t forget there are also adjustment factors which may be applied to your score. Adjustment factors are basically points which can be added to your ATAR for a range of reasons. It may consider things like where you live, what school you went to, or if you endured any hardship during your studies. So, if there’s been a situation that has influenced your studies like, uh I don’t know, a whole pandemic (!!) then keep that in mind. 

In the end, one number doesn’t dictate your future. There are always different pathways to travel down and if your ATAR isn’t what you imagined then keep looking for the best option for you.

jimmy fallon