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Course requirements may be changing, but don’t be complacent – here’s why

By Subahaa Maheswaran in Easy Reading
8th of July 2020
Course requirements - ATAR Notes

Year 12 is already challenging as it is but due to COVID-19, it has become even more difficult to manage. In response to this, many universities are opting to change the requirements for certain courses to ensure this year’s cohort has fair chance in getting into the courses they want to.

The changes will or may alleviate a lot of stress and provide much needed support. However, the changes could also inspire complacency or make many think they don’t have to work as hard.

There are so many reasons as to why you should not be complacent, and why you should strive for the best despite any changes to course requirements.


Changes may not apply equally to courses

You may have heard on the news that some universities are considering options other than the ATAR for selection criteria. However, such a shift will likely not apply to all courses equally.

Courses associated with medicine, engineering, law and more, have always been difficult to get into. Thus, it is highly likely that there will still be much competition to get into these courses. Just because we are in a pandemic, does not mean universities are going to accept all applicants. Hence, don’t let your guard down.

Work as hard as you would have without COVID-19 and/or beyond that, to give you that edge over the others rather than thinking your placement in a course is guaranteed.



Even by year 12, you should not be expected to know what career you want to pursue or really, what you want to do with your life. However, you should still try get the best marks you can in your assessments and final exams, irrespective of any uncertainty. In fact, it should give you an increased incentive to achieve really good results. This is because if you achieve higher marks, you will have access to a wider range of courses and universities to choose from. Higher results means more choice to explore what you may be interested in and figure out what you actually want to do.

You may also wish to consider job prospects. It’s all good to pursue something you are engrossed in, but you may wish to also think about your future practically, especially in these times.

Trying to get the best marks you can not only ensures flexibility now in trying to get into the course and university you want to, but also may provide more options in the future in terms of job security.


Scholarship opportunities

Some students may be weighing up options financially. Scholarships can help to ease financial strain in some circumstances.

Although they can be difficult to obtain, there are very many scholarships on offer. Individual institutions may have their own assessment criteria and application processes, so you should research them individually. Not all scholarships are based on academia, but getting the best marks you can will give you the best chance of a successful application in some scholarship processes.


Personal achievement

Speaking from my own experience as someone who experienced and completed VCE just last year, VCE is so much more than the marks and the ATAR. Year 12 is a rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows. It’s the year you really push yourself and invest more energy into your schooling than you have ever before. Looking back, regardless of what my final results were, I can say proudly that I genuinely gave VCE my best shot and tried as hard as I could.

So, if none of the other reasons I have listed have compelled you to attempt to achieve the best results you can, then perhaps consider what you want to get out of your VCE experience once it ends. You only go through it once, so why waste it and just merely pass through?

One of the most mentally debilitating things is regret. Regret is something that can stay with you for a long time or even forever because you constantly wish you could travel back in time and tell your past self what you know now. Do you want VCE and year 12 to be one of your regrets that you think about years from now?  That if you had only tried harder or been more invested, things would be different? Or, do you want to look back and be satisfied, happy or even proud of yourself for what you achieved?


There are of course many other reasons – I have just listed a few. If you have been complacent up until this point and are questioning whether it would be worth it to even try now, I would say it’s never too late! Don’t give up – you still have time.


Subahaa Maheswaran

Year 12, 2019