When you're in your final year of high school, your exam results can feel monumental. With years of schooling on your shoulders, this tiny snapshot of your life can come to a boiling point; pressure-cooked by the expectations of your family, friends, teachers and self. However, there's always one thing adults forget to tell you: ATAR doesn't mean much to your success in the long-run.
When your score arrives, remind yourself that you're more than just a number; a low ATAR isn't as big of an obstacle you may think on the journey to a prestigious dream job. Here are some reasons why that ranking shouldn't stop you from doing what you love.
MORE STUDENTS ARE ACCEPTED INTO UNI WITHOUT ATARS
According to a 2018 report from the Australian Government's Department of Education, more than half the people who were offered to study at an higher education institution (58% — that's about 163,000 people) were accepted based on criteria that was not ATAR. So what else are they looking at? There's portfolios, entrance essays, personal statements, aptitude tests, and past experience that can steer the chances of acceptance in your favour.
THERE ARE OTHER PATHWAYS INTO YOUR DESIRED COURSE
If you received an ATAR that didn't meet the requirements for your dream course, remember that there are still many pathways available to get into your preferred degree. You can use diplomas or certificates with more accessible entrance criteria, or special consideration programs, as stepping stones to where you want to go. At Collarts, we offer diplomas in most courses for those who aren't quite ready, which you can then use to pursue a Bachelor's degree.
ATAR DOESN'T REFLECT YOUR INTELLIGENCE
It's been a long-held belief that ATAR isn't the best measurement of a student's academic success as it reduces them to a ranked number. If you received a low ATAR, we want you to know that it's not representative of your intelligence. Not only is intelligence a complex combination of non-academic factors, but the ATAR is also heavily affected by an individual's school ranking, meaning your score can be lowered or raised by how well the rest of your peers do too.
COLLARTS DOESN'T LOOK AT ATAR
ATAR? Who is she?! We at Collarts believe that ATAR doesn't show us your passion, personality, or potential: the most important ingredients needed to work in the entertainment and design industries we specialise in. Every applicant goes through an interview or audition process — depending on the course you're interested in — so we can get to know you better as a person. If you're worried about your ATAR results and available opportunities, VTAC's Change of Preference period is the perfect time to consider joining our community before offers are released.