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August 15, 2020, 05:02:14 pm

Author Topic: Possible to get 98 ATAR with low scaling subjects?  (Read 326 times)  Share 

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Skye_Taylor

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Possible to get 98 ATAR with low scaling subjects?
« on: July 08, 2020, 01:38:14 pm »
+1
Hello everyone!
I am currently a Year 10 student and our VCE subject selections are due very soon. My dream ATAR score would be a 98 in order to get into the course that I wish to study. Is it possible to achieve this with subjects that do not scale that much

I know people tell you to not choose subjects based on scaling, but when a lot of my friends and classmates are doing high scaling subjects such as Chinese or Specialist Maths it can be a bit daunting.

I am currently doing Methods 1/2 this year, and also Chinese SL 1/2, however I want to drop this as I neither like it or think that I am good at it. Therefore, the subjects I am thinking of taking include Maths Methods, English, English Language/Literature, Chemistry, Business Management and Legal Studies.

Based off of these subjects, is it hard to get a high ATAR? Thank you so much for your help!

Joseph41

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Re: Possible to get 98 ATAR with low scaling subjects?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2020, 01:48:33 pm »
+7
Hey Skye,

Welcome to ATAR Notes! Great to have you here. :)

Short answer: yes, absolutely possible to get a 98+ ATAR with those subjects.

Longer answer - I've included some general thoughts/comments below based on your post. :)

→ Is it hard to get a high ATAR with those subjects? Sure - but it's hard to get a high ATAR with any subject combination. Doing five or six subjects that all scale up won't guarantee you a high ATAR. Doing subjects that all scale down don't render a high ATAR impossible. By definition of what the ATAR is (a ranking), it's difficult to rank highly under any circumstances (although I guess what you mean by a high ATAR and what constitutes something being difficult are subjective).

→ Based on what you've said, I felt really similarly in Year 10 when selecting subjects. I was hesitant about my subject selection because people around me were all choosing Methods/Spesh/LOTE subjects and whatever else - and I wasn't. I also found that daunting. But in hindsight, I'm super, super, super happy I didn't choose Methods/Spesh/LOTE subjects etc. just because other people were.

→ It's easy to view scaling as something that either "rewards" or "punishes" you based on how your subjects scale, but the whole point of scaling is to neutralise things and make everything as even a playing field as possible under the constraints of the current system. So even if somebody "benefits" from a high-scaling subject (let's use Specialist Maths for sake of example), that "benefit" is really just neutralising another factor: the idea that Specialist Maths in that year had a more competitive cohort than other subjects. In the same way, you might "suffer" from the effects of a subject that scales down (let's use a subject that I studied - HHD), but that "disadvantage" is really just neutralising another factor: the idea that HHD in that year had a less competitive cohort than other subjects.

ATAR Calc can be problematic insofar as it provides only a guide based on previous years of scaling, and it's very difficult to accurately predict your study scores for your subjects, but if you play around with different subject combinations and study scores, you should see that scoring very highly with the subjects you've listed is very possible based on previous scaling data:

https://vce.atarcalc.com/

For reference, five of my six subjects scaled down - some considerably at the median study score. Only one of my subjects scaled up, and that was only by a little bit (English Language).

Please, please, please feel free to ask follow-up questions. I'm sure others will have lots to contribute to this also! :)

Skye_Taylor

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Re: Possible to get 98 ATAR with low scaling subjects?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2020, 01:58:54 pm »
+2
For reference, five of my six subjects scaled down - some considerably at the median study score. Only one of my subjects scaled up, and that was only by a little bit (English Language).
Thank you so much for your extremely in depth answer! That definitely does make me feel a lot more confident about my subjects.

A follow up question, I am having a hard time deciding on whether to take English Language or English Literature. You mentioned that you did English Language, could you give a brief description of what it entails and if you liked it or not?

Thank you so much for your help again!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 02:13:36 pm by Skye_Taylor »

Joseph41

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Re: Possible to get 98 ATAR with low scaling subjects?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2020, 02:26:14 pm »
+4
Thank you so much for your extremely in depth answer! That definitely does make me feel a lot more confident about my subjects.

A follow up question, I am having a hard time deciding on whether to take English Language or English Literature. You mentioned that you did English Language, could you give a brief description of what it entails and if you liked it or not?

Thank you so much for your help again!

No worries at all. :) If your school has a careers practitioner, I'd recommend making a time to speak with them if possible also just to talk through your subject selection. In general, things I'd prioritise when it comes to subject selection:

→ What you like/enjoy/are passionate about
→ What subjects you might need as pre-requisites for possible pathways post-school

Re: English Language, good question. I had a really tough time choosing between English/English Language/Literature, and honestly sort of just went with a gut feeling (and against the advice of my English teacher lol). I loved EngLang, though, and ended up studying Linguistics at uni as a result. I wrote/spoke a bit about my experiences with English Language 3&4 and English Language 1&2 in our VCE subject reviews thread. You can find my posts here:

English Language 3&4
English Language 1&2

The reviews are from a little while ago (and I studied the EngLang in 2011/2012, so a fair while ago), so I don't necessarily feel exactly the same as I did then. But I certainly didn't regret my decision to do EngLang, and I think it's also worth noting that you can change your subjects (in most circumstances, and within reason) after your select them, too.

You can also find our English Language 3&4 section here - similar questions have come up previously in other threads. :)

If you haven't already, I also suggest registering for the free live-streamed ATAR Notes lectures, which you can find here. If you're interested, you can register and flick through the lectures for all of English/English Language/Literature to see the one (or more than one) in which you're most interested. There's also a specific lecture on subject selection going into VCE if you're keen. :D

Skye_Taylor

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Re: Possible to get 98 ATAR with low scaling subjects?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2020, 03:13:50 pm »
+1
Re: English Language, good question. I had a really tough time choosing between English/English Language/Literature, and honestly sort of just went with a gut feeling (and against the advice of my English teacher lol). I loved EngLang, though, and ended up studying Linguistics at uni as a result. I wrote/spoke a bit about my experiences with English Language 3&4 and English Language 1&2 in our VCE subject reviews thread. You can find my posts here:

English Language 3&4
English Language 1&2

The reviews are from a little while ago (and I studied the EngLang in 2011/2012, so a fair while ago), so I don't necessarily feel exactly the same as I did then. But I certainly didn't regret my decision to do EngLang, and I think it's also worth noting that you can change your subjects (in most circumstances, and within reason) after your select them, too.

You can also find our English Language 3&4 section here - similar questions have come up previously in other threads. :)

If you haven't already, I also suggest registering for the free live-streamed ATAR Notes lectures, which you can find here. If you're interested, you can register and flick through the lectures for all of English/English Language/Literature to see the one (or more than one) in which you're most interested. There's also a specific lecture on subject selection going into VCE if you're keen. :D

Thank you so much again. You have been such a great help!

tigerclouds

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Re: Possible to get 98 ATAR with low scaling subjects?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2020, 03:45:21 pm »
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Hi there! Thought I'd chime in a little. If you play around with ATAR calculators, you'll notice that after a specific mark subjects stop scaling at all (or scale a lot less). That is, for example in Legal, your study score generally stops scaling at around a 44 ss. So if you get around a 44 or above, your mark will not be scaled down at all (going off previous years). If you haven't already, take a look at the 2019 scaling report here: http://www.vtac.edu.au/files/pdf/reports/scaling_report_19.pdf so you can see how this works with other subjects and notice any patterns. I also want to say, my school's dux 2 years ago got a 98 ATAR when most of their subjects were in the Humanities sector (like Busman and Legal) so definitely possible! Also, you will naturally do better in a subject that you enjoy so that can negate the 1-3 marks you might lose as a result of scaling and speaking from personal experience, I know that I've been able to apply my knowledge from Legal to my other subjects like English in subtle but very valuable ways.
Hope this helps and best of luck deciding :)
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 03:50:37 pm by tigerclouds »

Skye_Taylor

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Re: Possible to get 98 ATAR with low scaling subjects?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2020, 04:05:31 pm »
+1
Hi there! Thought I'd chime in a little. If you play around with ATAR calculators, you'll notice that after a specific mark subjects stop scaling at all (or scale a lot less). That is, for example in Legal, your study score generally stops scaling at around a 44 ss. So if you get around a 44 or above, your mark will not be scaled down at all (going off previous years). If you haven't already, take a look at the 2019 scaling report here: http://www.vtac.edu.au/files/pdf/reports/scaling_report_19.pdf so you can see how this works with other subjects and notice any patterns. I also want to say, my school's dux 2 years ago got a 98 ATAR when most of their subjects were in the Humanities sector (like Busman and Legal) so definitely possible! Also, you will naturally do better in a subject that you enjoy so that can negate the 1-3 marks you might lose as a result of scaling and speaking from personal experience, I know that I've been able to apply my knowledge from Legal to my other subjects like English in subtle but very valuable ways.
Hope this helps and best of luck deciding :)

Thank you so much! This is extremely helpful! I think I have been overthinking scaling as being extremely important, and have not considered the impact of actually doing subjects that you like. Knowing this has definitely helped me feel more confident!