7 tips to make the most of your UAC preferences

26 Nov 2020

This article is sponsored by The University of Sydney.

For many students, receiving ATAR results prompts a rethink of university and subject choices. It’s important to do your research and understand the process, so here are 7 tips to help you.

1. Be true to yourself

Choose a course based on what you enjoy and are passionate about – not because you don't want to ‘waste’ your ATAR. Your dreams and goals won’t disappear if you don't reach that elusive rank. After a year of study, your university results are what really counts.

Explore your course options, guaranteed entry, access to adjustment factors and compare results with our ATAR/IB Course Calculator.

2. Look at more than just the course alone

It's common for students to become so fixated on the ATAR that they lose sight of the big picture. Academic life at university is important, but you stand to gain so much more from the next three to five years than book-knowledge alone.

Once you've added your ideal preferences, look at where you would most like to study rather than what you'll study.

Explore how to get involved in everything university life has to offer.

3. Do your research

Check if your ideal course has a guaranteed ATAR, which will secure your place at the University of Sydney. When choosing your remaining preferences, look for similar courses – those that will allow you to take similar subjects in your first year.

If you're offered a place in a course that wasn’t your first preference, you can still reap the benefits. After one year of study, you can apply to transfer and look at having similar subjects credited to your new degree. This isn't unusual – up to 30 percent of students at the University of Sydney transfer their degrees during their time with us. This is a good option if you’re applying for a competitive double degree.

You may also be closer than you think to meeting entry requirements. Check out opportunities to boost your selection rank with our Academic Excellence Scheme and admission pathways.

4. Understand how UAC preferences work

UAC preferences are designed to benefit students so that every student has the opportunity to list their dream course and still include options that are more realistically attainable.

Each UAC applicant can choose up to five preferences across institutions, which are assessed based on ATAR achievement, adjustment factors and any additional admission criteria.

5. Use all 5 of your UAC preferences

Every preference is an opportunity to gain admission into university.

Many students believe that you have a lower chance of getting into a course if it’s further down your preference list – this is not the case. You'll receive an offer for the first course in your list for which you’re eligible.

6. Check and change

Take full advantage of your application by reshuffling your preferences to be considered for an additional offer in later rounds. But keep in mind that not all courses or institutions will have places available.

You can receive an offer in more than one round, which is useful if you change your mind or want to keep your options open. Your previous offers are not impacted.

7. Attend Info Day

Don’t rely on articles and websites alone!

Join us at Info Day on Saturday 19 December to experience campus life and get answers to your remaining questions before the close of main round preferences. Build your own schedule, with a mix of on-campus and online events, activities and one-on-one advice.