It has been revealed that more than half of all students in Australia commencing study of a bachelor degree have been admitted to that degree based on something other than their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR.) The statistic of 56% comes from 2015, and this is the the highest proportion in the past decade. This was revealed in the latest figures offered by the Department of Education and Training figures. A lower ATAR score is generally correlated with a higher drop out rate.
The University of Notre Dame are one of the leaders in terms of not accepting students soley based on their ATAR score. Instead, they rely on the student’s year 11 and 12 reports, a personal essay and an interview. Their vice-chancellor, Professor Margot Kearns has said of the decision to not focus on ATAR, “We actually try to see what’s happening in the student’s life and what their aspirations are, and look at whether they’re choosing the right course and the right university.” There are many who believe that tests are not the best way to gauge a students knowledge or skill, like our very own writer Georgia Grace, who covered the topic in a recent feature.
It has been noted that while a student’s ATAR is a good indicator as to whether the student will flourish and complete their degree, other factors including the institution, hours of study, age and dedication all factor in as well. So, while your ATAR is certainly important, 56% of you will likely get into uni anyway, so take a load off.