3 people who proved ATARs are just numbers

If the pandemic has seen you spend the majority of the year fretting about your ATAR score while learning from home, this article is for you.

Taylah - Studied Criminal Justice online through Open Universities Australia

Our editorial team has revisited this article for Year 12's graduating in 2021. 

It’s likely that you’ve heard a range of advice when it comes to your ATAR this year. From “don't sweat it!”, to “you’ve only got one shot at this!” – the words of others can make Year 12 stressful, particularly when you've spent the year trying to reach your ideal score while learning from home. 

While you may not want to entertain the thought that you “shouldn’t worry” about the ATAR you’ve been working so hard for, it’s healthy to remind yourself that your options won’t be stunted by the number you receive.

Don’t believe us? Take these stories of Open Universities Australia (OUA) students as proof.



On ATAR release day, Daniel was one of many Year 12 students across Australia in no mood to celebrate. “I thought all of my hard work didn’t really equate to the mark that I received back” he says.

With a strong desire to be the first person in his family to complete university education, Daniel started researching. That’s when he found the OUA website and realised his options weren’t limited, they were limitless.

Through OUA, if you don’t have the required ATAR to enter a full degree, you can become eligible by passing a few undergraduate subjects first. That’s exactly what Daniel did. Today, he’s a Graduate Analyst for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. A dream start to his career.



With three qualifications through OUA under her belt, Carmen wasn’t one to let a number hold her back. “When I received my [high school] results, I didn’t have high enough marks to get into university” she recalls. It’s the reason she chose OUA– to follow her dream of working in the criminal justice system.

Since then, Carmen has completed a Diploma, Graduate Certificate and a Master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice – all through Griffith University and OUA.

But Carmen’s not stopping there. She’s now completing Griffith University’s Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management. It really goes to show that a lower-than-expected ATAR certainly doesn’t stop you from university education.



“Teachers always told us that exams were important… (that) you need to get a high ATAR score or you won’t have many options,” Taylah recalls of her Year 12 journey. While Taylah didn’t score high enough for the degree in forensic science that she first had her eyes on, she soon discovered OUA. An OUA student advisor explained to Taylah that she could still qualify for entry despite her ATAR, if she passed a few of the degree’s core subjects first.

Taylah did just that – proving herself capable, and getting accepted into a degree that she was excited about. The subjects she completed were even credited towards her degree, so it took her no extra time to progress to where she is today.

No ATAR, no worries

Prefer not to let the pandemic's impact lock you out of your dream course? Through Open Universities Australia (OUA), you don’t need amazing results to get into uni in 2022. 

A number of subjects available through OUA have no entry requirements. Start with one of these, and you may be able to enter into the degree of your choice. Better yet, you can choose from a range of leading Australian universities.

And when it comes to the actual study? You'll find that the very skills you honed during the pandemic while learning at home will mean you're well equipped to tackle university subjects online. 

Need help understanding your options? Fill out the form on this page, and a friendly student advisor will get in contact. You can also reach them on Messenger, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or SMS. They’re here to help with your future.

Browse  thousands of courses from leading Australian universities.

Or complete the form on this page to chat to an advisor about study options.

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