BlogStudyHow Your Year 11 Results Can Get You Into Uni Without an ATAR

How Your Year 11 Results Can Get You Into Uni Without an ATAR

You might’ve heard people say, “Year 11 results are not worth anything,” but this is absolutely not true! While Year 11 is a great time for you to build foundations and figure out what study techniques work for you, it can actually help you get into uni without an ATAR.

Essentially, Year 11 is not the time to slack off if you’ve already got an idea of what you’d like to pursue after high school. If you’d like to gain early entry into your dream course, there are a few things you should know.

Keep reading to find out more!

What is an ATAR?
Where can you get into uni without an ATAR?
What are ATAR score adjustments?
What do universities use to assess you?
What if you want to study at another university?

What is an ATAR?

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a ranking system used in the New South Wales (NSW) education system to assess and compare students’ academic achievements in their final year of high school. It’s a numerical measure that represents a student’s relative position among their peers statewide.

The ATAR is primarily utilised for university admission purposes, with higher ATAR scores generally granting students access to a broader range of university courses. This rank is calculated based on a combination of a student’s performance in their best HSC (Higher School Certificate) subjects and/or specific scaled subjects, allowing universities to make informed decisions regarding admissions.

Where can you get into uni without an ATAR (early entry)?

There are eight universities that offer early entry pathways and do not have a minimum ATAR requirement. This means that you can be accepted into university purely based on your Year 11 performance!

These universities are:

  1. Macquarie University
  2. University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
  3. Western Sydney University (WSU)
  4. University of Wollongong (UOW)
  5. Australian Catholic University (ACU)
  6. University of Notre Dame
  7. Charles Sturt University (CSU)
  8. University of New England (UNE)

But what if you’re looking to study at another university, such as the University of Sydney (USYD) or University of New South Wales (UNSW)?

Essentially, there are different schemes or specific courses that you can apply for at these universities in Year 11, to help you get into uni without an ATAR. 

Should you do well in Year 11? Does Year 11 even count towards your ATAR?

What are ATAR score adjustments?

ATAR score adjustments refer to modifications or alterations made to a student’s ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) based on various factors like additional tests, bonus points for specific subjects or circumstances, or alternative entry pathways.

These adjustments aim to fairly recognise and reward students for achievements, circumstances, or abilities that extend beyond their standard academic performance in determining their eligibility for tertiary education.

Special Tertiary Admissions Test

The Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) is an alternative pathway available in the New South Wales (NSW) education system for individuals who may not have an ATAR or wish to improve their ATAR score. It’s designed for non-school leavers or those seeking to gain entry into tertiary education based on factors beyond their ATAR.

STAT provides an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their academic abilities, reasoning skills, and aptitude for tertiary study through a standardised test. Universities may use the STAT results to adjust ATAR scores, allowing individuals to enhance their chances of gaining entry into higher education programs by showcasing their potential and capabilities through this additional assessment.

Portfolio Entry

Within the New South Wales (NSW) education system, the portfolio entry offers a unique avenue for students seeking admission into tertiary education. This method allows applicants to present a comprehensive portfolio of their achievements, skills, and experiences, showcasing their abilities in various fields such as creative arts, design, or specific academic disciplines.

This approach offers flexibility for students to demonstrate their strengths and passion in specific areas, often utilised for courses in fine arts, design, creative industries, and some other specialised fields.

What do universities use to assess you?

How to Get into Uni Without an ATAR - Criteria

These early entry schemes provide you guaranteed entry by looking at a range of other requirements to meet their criteria. Contrastingly, the ATAR is a rank based solely on your academic excellence, and does not take into consideration any extracurricular activities you might be involved in.

The key additional criteria universities look at for early entry are:

  • Leadership experience
  • Paid work
  • Volunteer history
  • Academic achievement 

So if you have a casual or part time job, are in leadership roles at school or your local community, or do a lot of volunteering, these entry schemes are a great way to demonstrate your extracurricular commitments. 

Of course, there is still an academic aspect to receiving early entry, and this is where your Year 11 results come into play.

For instance, the Leaders and Achievers Early Entry Scheme at Macquarie University will look at your Year 11 results alongside an application that you complete to show your extracurricular involvement. 

However, it is important to note that you must still complete Year 12 and sit the HSC examinations, even if you do receive an early entry offer. 

The difference being, that you will have a weight taken off your shoulders in Year 12! With less stress you’ll be able to maintain commitment to your extracurricular activities and get to enjoy the final year of high school a little more.

Learn more about applying for early entry schemes!

What if you want to study at another university?

Even if your dream course is not at one of the eight universities mentioned above, it is still worth applying for relevant courses as it can help you keep your options open or act as a safety net throughout Year 12. 

However, if USYD or UNSW are on your dream list, you can apply for the Schools Recommendation Scheme, also known as SRS. 

SRS involves your Year 11 results and a recommendation from your school. In order to receive a recommendation that will make your application stand out, you want to be involved with extracurricular activities at your school, such as leadership roles, sports or volunteering.

With SRS, there is a minimum ATAR that you must achieve, as opposed to guaranteed entry prior to the HSC examinations and ATAR release. Nonetheless, doing your best in Year 11 will provide a foundation for you to achieve greater results in Year 12.

Therefore, it is important that you work really hard in Year 11 to maximise your opportunities (and potentially get into uni without an ATAR) and to support your Year 12 studies. So yes, your Year 11 results DO matter! 

Looking for some extra help with your studies?

We pride ourselves on our inspirational coaches and mentors!

We offer tutoring and mentoring for Years K-12 in a variety of subjects, with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at our state of the art campus in Hornsby or the Hills!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational tutor and mentor get in touch today! 

Give us a ring on 1300 267 888, email us at [email protected] or check us out on Facebook!

Nandini Dhir is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Marketing) and a Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications), as a Dalyell Scholar, at Sydney University. She enjoys covering local issues in her area and writing about current events in the media. Nandini has had one of her pieces published in an article with the Sydney Morning Herald. In her free time, Nandini loves doing calligraphy, ballet, and sewing, or is otherwise found coddling her cats.   

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