Four reasons to worry less about your ATAR!

By Open Universities Australia in Tertiary Education
2nd of November 2016
worry less about your ATAR

In your final year of high school, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with worry and advice from well-wishers.

Friends ask what your plans are, family gatherings turn into mini-interrogations, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that you need to have the rest of your life sorted out by November. That is a lot of pressure to deal with, and it might feel like everything revolves around your ATAR score. At this point, it’s not a bad idea to just sit back, take a breath, and work out what it all means.

Here are 4 reasons why you can worry less about your ATAR score.


Your first career doesn’t have to be for life

According to the ABS, the average young Australian will have 5 different careers in their lifetime, 17 different employers, and a new job every 3.3 years.

So odds are that whichever career path you set out on straight after high school , it won’t be the one you retire from. In fact, your life will involve a lot of change and trying new things. You won’t be locked into the career path you chose as a teenager! Hopefully this releases some of the pressure – because you don’t have one shot at the rest of your life.

The nervous anticipation you might be feeling right now is normal. You’re going to experience it throughout your life, because change is terrifying and that’s perfectly okay.


Your ATAR doesn’t know if you’ll be any good at uni

ATAR scores go up and down because of demand. They’re not an indication of how bright you need to be to cope with the demands of the course. So just because a Law degree has a higher published ATAR than Nursing, that doesn’t mean it requires more academic ability to complete than a Nursing degree. It’s just an indication that there are more people with higher ATAR scores looking for a place in a Law programs.

ATAR scores are not an indication of your ability to successfully complete higher education. They’re not an IQ test, or a crystal ball into how you’ll go at uni. That’s because uni is a completely different experience to high school – one that you might enjoy a whole lot more!


ATARs aren’t as scary as they used to be

Your ATAR is a number which universities use to sort students into courses that are in high demand. However, these days, ATARs are less powerful than they used to be.

In 2012 the federal government transformed the higher education industry by removing limits on subsidised student places. This means universities can now accept more students into their degrees than they could before.

So where ATARs used to be critical for sorting out the people who could have one of the limited places in a degree, now universities are free to teach many more students.

And to encourage students to apply, universities are lowering their ATAR benchmarks, so the ‘clearly-ins’ will shift from year to year.


You don’t always need an ATAR

At Open Universities Australia (OUA) we do things a little differently.

Through OUA, you can study online with 10 of Australia’s leading universities, and graduate with the exact same degree as an on-campus student. We also offer open access options for our undergraduate degrees.

Put simply, this means that you don’t need an ATAR or your Year 12 marks to apply for a degree with OUA. Instead, we’ll help you earn a place in your dream degree and support you from day one to graduation.

Anybody can get a start at university with OUA. Because we believe that education should be open to everyone, regardless of their education history.


Need advice? OUA’s friendly Student Advisors are ready to help.

Call us on 13 OPEN or visit our website.


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    […] Ahead of the great ATAR anti-climax, we wanted to remind you that Open Universities Australia (OUA) is here for you – and that you can worry less about your ATAR. […]