So you didn’t get the ATAR you wanted…

When the ATAR results come out, many year 12 graduates look like this:


But there are often many other students who look like this:


While not getting the ATAR result you want can be really disappointing, the important thing to remember is this – it’s not the end!

In terms of university offers, there are second and third round offers still to come, plus mid-year intakes. So, sit tight your position offer may still be coming! But even if that doesn’t happen, don’t fret – there really is so many other ways for you to further your education and move towards your professional goals:

University Pathways

If you applied for a uni course and your ATAR isn’t as high as required, don’t panic. There may be other courses you can start to study with and then transfer into your preferred course second year. Alternatively, there may be similar courses that you didn’t consider when putting your preferences in that have a similar career outcome.

The best place to start when wanting to find out all the options available to you is at the uni that offers the course you applied for – talk to student services or the staff in the  pathways office.

TAFE and diplomas

While some people may think of TAFE as uni’s poor cousin, the courses they offer still provide the skills needed either to get you started in an industry, or get you ready for uni. Some courses you take at TAFE even count towards pre-requisite study for uni course transfers.

To get you started here are the links to the state TAFE websites:

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 Online Study

You don’t have to go to uni to go to uni – there are some great online courses offered, often with a mix of online learning and on-campus intensive study blocks.

The biggest operator for online uni’s in Australia is Open Universities – they bring together a range of courses from Australia’s top uni’s, while Open Colleges brings together online takes of TAFE courses.

So, if you’re up for a bit of self discipline with your study then learning online is definitely a thing to consider.

Get some experience

There are lots of entry level jobs that you can get without tertiary education. And while it may not seem like a glamorous beginning, you’d be surprised at the transferable skills you pick up along the way.

There are also loads of volunteer organisations that are looking for help – some may even offer the opportunity for you to gain work experience in the career area you want to get into, making it a great way to get hands-on practical experience. The Go Volunteer website is a fantastic place to search for positions.

Reassess …

It’s possible that your ATAR result is maybe telling you something – think about it;

  • Did you actually enjoy the subjects you did in your final year of school?
  • Did you put as much effort into studying as you could have?
  • If you studied your butt off and didn’t go as well as expected is that type of subject really for you?
  • Do you really want to study the same thing for another 3 or 4 years?
  • Can you see yourself actually enjoying working in the area when you finish studying?

Now is as good a time as any to rethink where you want to go next – it’s your life so you need to be happy with the direction it takes.

Main thing is, what ever path you choose to take from here, take a deep breath, relax and ask yourself – what’s stopping me? Because when you know what is stopping you, you can work out how to change it.



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