Wish Upon ATAR: What Happens Next

— By Abraham Polatkesen
13 December 2016

It’s all come down to this. Those 12 years of schooling, all for this single four-digit number. Or at least that’s what people try to tell you. It might not seem like it now, especially since it seems like everything has boiled down to this moment, but in the long term your ATAR won’t have mattered at all!


Now, if you’re in the same position I am, you probably spent most of yesterday frantically going through every university’s website, wondering if anyone will accept your 74.90. Slowly, I found myself becoming more hopeful, yet still feeling lost. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably making a game plan for this week, making sure your preference list is in pristine condition and meticulously deciding which Change of Preference expos you’ll go to.

If your ATAR isn’t quite high enough, there are still a myriad of ways you can get into that dream course. Pathways into that course will be there, and so will tons of other similar courses (which you can even transfer from into the course you wanted to do). TAFE is a great way to get into university, and hey, you might discover that you enjoy your TAFE course enough to feel like uni just isn’t for you!


Many universities base a lot of their entrance requirements on stuff like Personal Statements and Special Consideration, so even if you’ve just missed out on what you were hoping to get, don’t fret! I was pleased to find out through my careers counsellor that around 40% of the students for the course I want to do next year got below the requirement ATAR of 89.


Take advantage of this week and go to a few Change of Preference expos if you’re able to. Universities will often have different pathways into that dream course of yours on show, and it’ll also be a great way to explore the campus you might be spending the next few years at.


You can always spend the next few years doing other stuff like working, going on an adventure, volunteering, or even relaxing before going back to uni as a mature-age student. At this point, your ATAR doesn’t have any say into whether or not you get into a course!


But what matters between now and then is the break you’ve definitely earnt. You’ve worked so hard for this long and regardless of whether or not today was a great day for you, there’s always going to be a way to do what you truly want to do, and you’ll be okay.

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