As a student, it's really easy to become fixated on your Overall Position (OP) or Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). After all, it's the be all and end all of high school, right? If you get bad OP or ATAR, your life is over.
What if we told you that OPs and ATARs actually don't mean anything? Would it take a load of anxiety off your shoulders? Thought so.
Your ranking indicates how well you have done at a variety of subjects compared to your fellow students. This is great for anyone who really excels in the academic space, such as students who are visual or aural learners. But it's not an indicator of how smart you are, or your potential. The school system is set up to reward students who are really good at sitting down and reading and writing. But students who are hands-on learners can sometimes feel like they are being left behind.
OPs and ATARs serve one purpose: to give you a tertiary admissions ranking. They don't not illustrate how creative, clever, innovative or industrious you are. They're not a measure of your worth, or your intelligence.
Getting a good OP or ATAR is the most obvious way to get into university, but it is definitely not the only way.
Did you know that if you complete a diploma at TAFE Queensland, you are guaranteed entry into a related university course with one of our higher education partners with our diploma-to-degree pathways? Not only are you guaranteed a spot, but in most cases you can enter your university course straight into the second year.
If you take the diploma-to-degree pathway to further study, you get the added bonus of entering uni with a full qualification already under your belt. That means you can start working in your chosen industry straight away and get ahead of your peers. You will also commence your uni course with a full range of hands-on skills and experience that will give you the upper hand in the classroom.
You will graduate from university at the same time as your friends who got a good score. But you'll have two qualifications instead of one, and you'll have a lot more hands-on experience to back up your job search.
What's the downside? Oh wait. There isn't one.
TAFE Queensland has more than 270 formal university pathway arrangements. We also partner with the University of Canberra to offer their world-class degrees at our locations here in Queensland.
From 2020, the Overall Position (OP) for Queensland year 12 students will be replaced by the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). This means that ATARs will be introduced for students who start Year 11 in 2019 and graduate from the end of 2020. The ATAR is used nationally for tertiary admissions and indicates a student’s position relative to other students. It will be used for tertiary admissions from 2021 for Queensland students. The Queensland Tertiary Admission Centre (QTAC) will calculate ATARs for Queensland school leavers.