It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – results. But like many things in life, it’s not the hand you’re dealt – it’s how you play it. So whether you did better than expected, or your mark has got you concerned, don’t worry. You’ve got options.
I did well: I’ll get my first preference
Congratulations! You’ve worked hard and now you’re ready to take the next exciting step into university life. Make sure you have your application in, are across all the important dates, and keep an eye out for your offer.
Your offer is a written notice from the university letting you know that your application to a course was successful. You can choose to accept, decline or defer your offer by following the response procedure for your Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC, UAC and VTAC).
I’m worried: I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped
First off, don’t panic. Your ATAR/OP does not define your future success, and you still have plenty of options.
Getting the right selection rank isn’t the only way into university. A pathway course involves using another program as a stepping stone into your dream degree. They include associate degrees, diplomas and certificates, and can be completed through ACU, TAFE, or other VET providers.
If you successfully complete a pathway program, you may be able to gain credit towards your ACU degree, and in some cases, go straight into the second year of the program.
For example, if you didn’t get the results you needed for an undergraduate education degree, you could apply for an education pathway course such as the Diploma in Educational Studies (Tertiary Preparation). This course has lower entry requirements, and if you complete it successfully, you can then apply to your desired teaching degree.
You can apply to study a course with similar subjects but a lower entry score or less prerequisites, and use this as a pathway into your ideal course. This could be at the same, or even a different university. And if you receive credit for completed units, it shouldn’t take you any longer to complete your degree.
For example, if you don’t have the prerequisites for entry to the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary), you could apply for the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Birth to Five), which doesn’t require as many prerequisite subjects, and then apply to transfer after a year.
ACU has seven campuses around Australia, and entry scores can vary between locations. This means if you’re set on a particular degree but don’t get the marks to study at your preferred campus, you may be able to enrol at a campus where it has a lower entry score, and then transfer to your preferred location later on.
These schemes are helpful if you have experienced educational disadvantage and been unable to reach your full potential, or had restricted access to the courses of your choice due to life experiences such as financial hardship, personal illness, home environment and responsibilities, education disruption, and English language difficulties.
Applications for the Educational Access Scheme (Qld and NSW) and Special Entry Access Scheme (Vic) must be made directly to your Tertiary Admissions Centre.
If your ATAR/OP has opened up new possibilities, take another look at your options and make sure you truly did list your top course choice as your first preference. However, don’t be tempted to change your preferences just for the sake of it – you should choose a course because you want to study it, not just because you can study it.
You can also talk it over with an expert at ourKnow Your Options information session. Once you’ve decided, you can change your preferences through your local TAC (QTAC, UAC or VTAC). Just make sure you do so before the cut-off dates.
I’d like to talk to someone about my options
Sometimes there’s just no substitute for talking it over with an expert. We run Know Your Options information sessions, which are designed to give you one-on-one advice about your university choices. It can be great to reassure yourself you’ve made the right decision, or to learn more about pathways and entry schemes.
Not keen on attending an event? Our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call — whatever works for you. You can also book a personal campus tour to check out our facilities and discuss your study options at a time that suits you.
Want to discuss your options? Come along to a Know Your Options information session. Register now