The big day is almost here! With ATARs releasing across the country this week, you might be a bit nervous about the chaos of what comes next. After all, this number will determine where you might study, whether you’ll get into the course you want, or your future career.
But don’t panic!
Even if you don’t get the score you need for your dream degree, that doesn’t mean you can’t get there, and it certainly doesn’t determine your future success! So, what are you supposed to do if your ATAR isn’t enough?
What to do if your ATAR is too low
Diploma and Pathway Courses
One of the best ways to ensure you get into the degree you want and still attend the Uni you originally wanted is to see if there is a pathway program offered.
Pathway programs are generally offered on the Uni campus like the main programs, and they don’t add any extra time to your degree; so if you’re looking at a 3 year degree, you’ll still finish in 3 years! For instance, the Diploma of Business Admin at SIBT is a pathway program straight into the second year of the Bachelor of Business undergraduate degree at Western Sydney University, Sydney City Campus. So no lost time and you’re on campus with your mates from day one.
Better yet, these programs usually provide extensive student support, which will help prepare you for future success at university. Instead of throwing yourself into enormous classes with hundreds of people, you can get a more personal learning experience with smaller class sizes and support from teachers and staff. This will help you learn skills like assignment preparation, time management, and more.
Better yet, diploma programs like these can not only ensure entry to university, but if you decide that university isn’t for you, you can leave with a Higher Education Diploma after a year and get a head start on your career.
Check for Alternative Courses
If you can’t get into the exact program you want, you should check whether that course is available at a different university. Universities have differing entry requirements (often for the same course), so make sure to do a bit of research on the course you’re interested in. If you can find a course with lower requirements at a different university, make sure to go to UAC, or whichever admissions centre(s) you applied to, and change your application preferences.
Not all universities have these pathway courses, so another way to get into the course you want is to apply for a different course in a similar area. By studying a different program with lower entry requirements, you can demonstrate your success in a university environment and use your grades from that program to transition into the one you really want. However, this will set you back time-wise because you will probably have to start from year 1 of the new program.
Educational Access Schemes
If you’re eligible for them, Educational Access Schemes (EAS) can give you a hand by adding extra points to your ATAR which could get you to the rank you need for the course you want.
These are available to students who have been affected by circumstances outside their control, such as financial hardship, personal illness/disability, severe family disruptions, and others.
However, it is vital to note that not every university recognizes EAS in the same way, so make sure you check how the university you’re interested in handles them.
No matter what, make sure to stay calm and take a deep breath! Your ATAR doesn’t define you, and if it isn’t quite enough to get you into the course you wanted, it doesn’t mean you can’t succeed in future studies. In our over 20 years of experience in education, we have had over 25,000 alumni graduate SIBT, with 90% choosing to continue to successful university careers. So if you do decide to go for a diploma, or want a pathway to Western Sydney University, Sydney City Campus, make sure to join us here at SIBT!