VTAC Preferences Are Now Open For 2018!

By ATAR Notes in VCE
6th of August 2018
vtac preferences

As of today, VTAC applications are open for 2018! This might be really exciting. It might also be really overwhelming. Either way, don’t stress: you have until 27 September for timely applications, and we have some advice for you below on how to approach them. 👇


Step 1: understand requirements.

Like anything, if you’ve never been exposed to it before, the VTAC application process can seem confusing at first. That’s totally understandable – after all, you’ve probably never applied for university courses before! 😉 But it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of what you’re getting into, and the potential consequences your decisions might have.

An easy way of starting this process is, simply, to watch this series of short videos. These videos have been designed to help explain the process in a simple way. It’s a five-part series, and the videos cover:

  1. How to create your VTAC account.
  2. How to apply for courses.
  3. How the preference system works.
  4. How to access your course offers.
  5. How the Change of Preference period functions.


Step 2: work out your preferences.

Once you have a basic understanding of the ol’ preferences game, it’s time to start thinking seriously about what you want to pursue after VCE, whether that be further study, a trade, full-time work, or something different entirely. For example, should you consider taking a gap year?

If you’re planning to submit preferences for university courses, here are some things to consider.


You should order your preferences… by preference.

Seems simple, right? Yet every single year, VCE students fall into the trap of ordering their preferences in ways that contradict what they actually want to get into. It can be easy to order your preferences in order of, say, required ATAR, or the “most prestigious”, or any number of other factors.

The idea with preferences, though, is that you should simply list the courses from most desired to least desired. Nothing else. You can’t really game the system by putting your most-preferred course at #3 or #4 – it just doesn’t work that way.

vtac preferences

You can’t really “waste your ATAR”.

Let’s say you think you’re going to get an ATAR of 80.00, but the course you want to do has a minimum ATAR requirement of 60.00. Does that mean you should look at a different course? No, absolutely not. Applying for a university degree just because you think you’re going to hit the required ATAR would be silly.

Let’s think about this more.

Say you’re the supermarket, doing some shopping. You have $10.00 in your hand, and you’re looking to buy a delicious chocolate bar. The options in front of you are:

  1. Your absolute favourite chocolate bar, priced at $2.50.
  2. Something organic that you’ve never heard of and, honestly, doesn’t look that nice, priced at $9.80.

Would buying the first option be wasting your money? No, obviously not. Sure, you could buy the second option if you really wanted to, but that would lead to a negative outcome – you don’t actually get what you want. The same sort of thing applies with preferences. Just buy the chocolate bar you actually want.


Step 3: ask for help if you need it.

We get it – there are so many options out there that narrowing down what you actually want to do can be insanely difficult. Many of us have been through the same process, and we’ll be more than happy to lend an ear, or to pitch in with our own experiences to help you settle on something you’re happy with.

You can access our general university discussion boards here, with places for discussion on individual universities and their degrees here. But if you’re really struggling to work it out, and just don’t know where to start, why not chuck a post in the thread below to get things rolling?

I don’t know what to study at uni – help!