Media Releases

I've got my ATAR, what do I do now?

14 Dec 2018

ATARs have been released and many HSC students will be turning their attention to how to order their course preferences in time for the December Round 2 offers on Thursday 20 December 2018. Kim Paino, General Manager of Marketing and Engagement at the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC), says there are a few things students need to remember:

  1. Many offers are made to students with ATARs below the lowest selection rank (previously known as the cut-off). This rank is not the ATAR you need for entry into a course because selection ranks include adjustment factors (previously known as bonus points). 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. 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.
  2. If your ATAR is not what you’d hoped for, don’t lose heart. You can still leave your first preference in place because lowest selection ranks 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.
  3. If your ATAR is well below your expectations, you may be feeling like you have no chance of studying next year. 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.
  4. If your ATAR is higher than you expected, think carefully about what you want to do next year. 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.
  5. The good news is that many HSC students (more than 12,000) 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.
  6. 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. 
  7. 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.
  8. Contact the university you are applying to – most have special telephone lines and information days after ATAR release.
  9. Have your final list of preferences locked in with UAC by midnight on Sunday 16 December. When you change your preferences, make sure you save them and then print out your application summary and double check that everything is as you want it.

If you want to talk to someone about your ATAR, call the ATAR Enquiry Centre on 1300 MY ATAR (1300 692 827) or (02) 9119 5012 from mobiles.

If you need advice about changing preferences, call UAC’s Customer Service Centre on 1300 ASK UAC (1300 275 822) or (02) 9752 0200 from mobiles.

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For further information (media only) email media@uac.edu.au or contact:
Diane Jardine, Communications Officer, UAC on (02) 9752 0775, or
Kim Paino, General Manager, Marketing and Engagement, UAC on (02) 9752 0760 or 0409 155 112.

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