Good information key to ATAR decisions

As Queensland school leavers receive their much-anticipated ATAR results, many will face difficult decisions about how to order their university preferences.

To help, The University of Queensland is hosting an online ATAR advice event on December 19, where year 12 graduates and parents can get one-on-one guidance.

In congratulating senior students who finished years 11 and 12 under pretty difficult circumstances, UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said it was important they have the right information.

“It is not the end of the world if a student does not get the ATAR for their preferred course, but they may need to reconsider their options through QTAC or investigate different pathways,” Professor Terry said.

“We would strongly encourage students to join our online forum so they can talk to staff and current students about the many pathways into university and into particular courses.

“Good information is the key to turning around any initial disappointment.”

UQ’s five most popular programs by number of first preferences this year are Provisional Medicine, Law, Engineering, Psychological Science, and Arts.

Courses within UQ’s Faculty of Engineering, Architecture, and Information Technology are up 20 per cent due to a steep increase in demand for Engineering.

Demand at UQ for allied health programs is on par with last year when numbers of first preferences increased while interest in Humanities and Social Sciences has declined across the sector, mostly due to a drop in demand for education.

Professor Terry said once a university student had completed a year of full-time study towards a bachelor’s degree, UQ no longer used their Year 12 results for entry into other programs.

“What determines whether you will be accepted into a course in the future is essentially how well you perform at university,” Professor Terry said.

“Many students decide to enter UQ through a degree with a lower ATAR cut-off and stay because they find it’s exactly what they wanted, or they may move into another degree.

“Lots of our students do change courses.”

A passing grade point average of four on a seven-point scale, gives students an entry rank equivalent to an ATAR of 93.00.

The Bachelor of Health Science is an example of a course a student might choose if they want to study nursing but did not get the required ATAR.

It traditionally has a lower entry rank (81.25 in 2021) than the Bachelor of Nursing, where the cut-off has been in the higher 80s in the last few intakes.

“The Bachelor of Health Sciences can give students a good overview of the health area and many of those courses may be used for credit in other degree programs,” Professor Terry said.

“I encourage students to tune into the online forum because there will be a lot of advice on how they find their way to university and the course they want to do.

“We look forward to welcoming them to UQ next year.”

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