Media releases

ATARs released – what next?

14 Dec 2023

ATARs have been released and many 2023 HSC students will be turning their attention to how to order their course preferences in time for the December Round 2 offers next Thursday 21 December.

Kim Paino, Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer at the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) has some advice on what they should do now:

  • Many offers are made to students with ATARs below the lowest selection rank. This rank is not the ATAR you need for entry into a course because selection ranks include adjustment factors. Most students will be eligible for adjustment factors, which means you could get an offer to a course even though your ATAR is below the lowest selection rank (LSR). You need to do your research on university websites to see what adjustment factors you can get so you can take that into account when choosing your preferences.
  • If your ATAR is not what you’d hoped for, don’t lose heart. You can still leave your first preference in place because LSRs change from year to year. Remember too that many students don’t go straight into their first preference in their first year of tertiary study, and instead start in a general degree and apply to transfer after a year of study.
  • If your ATAR is well below your expectations, you may be feeling like you have no chance of studying in 2024. The good news is that there are many other options available. Some universities have foundation or pathways programs that can lead to entry into a degree course. For some courses you don’t even need an ATAR. If you haven’t applied through UAC yet, there’s still time to apply for these courses.
  • If your ATAR is higher than you expected, think carefully about what you want to study in 2024. Try to resist any advice that you shouldn’t ‘waste’ your ATAR on a course that has a much lower selection rank than your ATAR. It’s your ATAR, so it’s your choice.
  • The good news is that many HSC students (more than 14,000) have already received an early offer through one of UAC’s early offer rounds. If you’ve received an early offer but would like to try for another offer, you need to remove the successful preference from the top of your list or it will ‘block’ the lower preferences and prevent you from getting another offer in December Round 2. You can remove the successful preference completely or move it to the bottom of the list.
  • In addition, some institutions will make direct offers outside of the UAC offer rounds. Don’t worry – you can accept those offers and still be in the running for further offers through UAC. You may need to re-order your UAC preferences though.
  • Remember that some courses have prerequisites and/or additional selection criteria that you must meet to be considered for an offer. Don’t waste a preference on a course you’re not eligible for.
  • Contact the university you are applying to – most have special telephone lines and information days after ATAR release.
  • Have your final list of preferences locked in with UAC by 11.59pm on Friday 15 December. When you change your preferences, make sure you save them and then print your application summary and double check that everything is as you want it.

If students want to talk to someone about their ATAR, they can call the ATAR Enquiry Centre on (02) 9119 5012.

If they need general advice or advice about changing preferences, they can call UAC’s Customer Service on (02) 9752 0200. They will be open until 6.30pm on Friday 15 December.

For more information about changing preferences, read the associated media release, ATARs released – lock in your preferences.

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For further information (media only) email or contact:
Diane Jardine, Communications Coordinator, UAC on 0436 459 603, or
Kim Paino, Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer, UAC on 0409 155 112.