The morning ATARs come out is like the finale of everyone’s personal reality TV show—there will be laughter, tears, dramatic pauses; the whole deal. Whatever your ATAR - one of these five thoughts will enter your head.

 1. It’s what you need

This is where it all comes together. The bullseye, nothing but net, straight over the black dot—you played the perfect game, and you’re set to start next year the way you want. There’s actually very little to do at this point except celebrate. Well done you!

2. It’s good … like, too good

Is this for real, was there some mix-up? Nope, it’s you, it’s yours: and that’s your ATAR, waaaay up there.

What are you going to do with all this ATAR? You didn’t plan for this!

In this scenario things have gone wrong in the best possible way. You’ve exceeded your expectations—but in doing so you may have exceeded the scope of your research. You suddenly only have a couple of weeks to look at uni courses again and figure out what you want to do with this unexpected ATAR.

One thing you’ll need to keep in mind: the only way you can waste ATAR points is by picking a degree you don’t really want to do, that leads to a career you don’t care about. So don’t pick a high-ATAR course just because you can. Look instead for high-achiever and advanced degrees in your field of interest, like UOW’s Dean’s Scholar programs.

3. It’s a near miss!

You’re a couple of points shy of what you need for the degree you really want. Like all near-misses, this can be more annoying than not even coming close, particularly if things have gone well for you all year.

There’s a good chance the degree you want is still in reach—you just might not get there exactly how you imagined. Don’t get yourself bogged down worrying about what to do next. Speak to people who can give you sound advice. Call or email UOW’s Admissions Advising Team or come to Options Day and our staff will give you advice on the best way to move forward with your preferences – so you can get you where you want to be. See #6

4. It’s baaaaaad*

Hey, there’s no sugar coat that can completely cover the disappointment of missing the ATAR you wanted by a wide margin.

A low ATAR doesn’t close the door to uni, it might just mean you need to take a different path. If you’re headed for UOW, finding out what your options are is as simple as a phone call or email—or coming to the appropriately named UOW Options Day. Also, see #6.

*It’s never that bad, guaranteed. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. See #6. 

5. WiFi is down and you've got no reception

Of all the days for technology to fail you it had to be today! If you've ruled out a family member playing a cruel prank on you and the old off-on trick doesn't work for the WiFi just relax and go for a walk - you may get better reception down the street.


6. BONUS: Your ATAR’s not everything

Remember, it’s a rank showing your relative position among other HSC students, not a score. It doesn’t directly measure your ability to do anything, and universities know this. That’s why there are alternative entry methods, and academic support (even for the best students) to make sure people keep on track.

Most of the time ATARs are a great indicator that someone has what it takes to succeed at uni—but not always. Someone with a low ATAR might be the next university medallist. Someone with a really high ATAR will still have to work hard to succeed at uni. Whatever that message says on ATAR morning, your story’s not over.

So if your ATAR’s not what you thought it would be, you can contact UOW Future Students, or come along to UOW Options Day on Friday 6 January 2017 and discuss your options with UOW staff and academics.