Taylah didn't let a low ATAR stand in her way

While Taylah didn't ace her high school exams, she was able to enter the degree she'd set her heart on, by studying and passing single subjects first.

When Taylah was in Year 12, tension was running high in the school hallways. Career dreams were at stake, and it was an ATAR score that could make or break a year (if not 12 years) of hard work. But Taylah wasn’t one to buckle under the pressure.

“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. “But I never felt too much pressure because I knew that no matter what, I would always have an option to get into what I wanted”.

Taylah was focused on the field of law and justice, with her sights set on a degree in forensic science. While she knew she had options regardless of her ATAR, she was still disappointed to learn that she didn’t score high enough. But it didn’t get her down for long. While browsing online, she found Open Universities Australia, and was attracted to a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice with Griffith University.

Taylah Lloyd with her dog
Taylah got into her Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice even after Year 12 didn't go to plan.


One of our student advisors 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 she was 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.

A career in the justice system is what Taylah is working towards. She intends to continue studying with Griffith University through us, and move into the graduate certificate or masters degree

“At the moment, I’m really just enjoying criminology theory—learning why people do what they do, and working on preventing that,” Taylah says.

Her advice to high school students entering or finishing Year 12 is to understand that a lower ATAR score isn’t a closed door.

“As much as I can say don’t stress about it—you’re always going to,” says Taylah with a grin. “Getting straight into the degree may be the easiest way, but it’s not the only way.”

Get into uni, no matter your ATAR

Through Open Universities Australia, you can:

Explore related courses

Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice – Griffith University

Bachelor of Criminal Justice – University of South Australia

Bachelor of Laws – University of New England

Bachelor of Security Studies – Macquarie University


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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