What to do if your ATAR is low

It’s not long until ATAR scores hit the hands of eager Year 12 students. Find out what to do if you land a low ATAR and other tips for ATAR results in 2022. 

Woman in the dark looking at phone

If you could trade that shiny first car you got this year for a peek at your ATAR results, chances are you probably would. And you’re not alone. Year 12 students across Australia are spending many a sleepless night worrying and wondering, “what will my ATAR be?”

While these concerns are warranted, it’s important to stay grounded. Spend too many hours in the “would be’s” and “could be’s” and you won’t be of sound mind when your ATAR arrives. 

Instead, we recommend using the time before receiving your results to steady yourself for a range of scenarios. By ensuring you’re prepared for the worst yet poised for the best, you can rest easy knowing that at the very least your mind is in check. 

After all, there are many low ATAR success stories that prove no matter your score, there are options galore. 

How do I check my ATAR?

Once results are in, how you check your ATAR is up to you. You can either log onto the ATAR website for your state or territory the morning that results are released or wait for your results in the mail. The latter can take some time, so most students choose to jump online when they wake up. 

Worried about how you’ll feel on the day? Check out our article on how to cope with stress the morning of your Year 12 ATAR results. 

What is the average ATAR?

Most years, the average ATAR sits at around 70.00.

What is considered a good ATAR?

The definition of a “good” ATAR depends on a range of factors that vary from person to person. What’s good for one student may be different for another. 

When considering what’s a desirable ATAR for you, it’s important to consider your past academic performance and your future goals. Your ideal ATAR should be within the realm of marks you’d usually achieve, otherwise you may find yourself disappointed. 

A score of 70.00 may be an astronomical feat worth celebrating for a student who struggled during Year 12, while for someone who achieved A+ all year, a 90.00 or above may be what they expect of themselves.  

If you managed to achieve a score that sits on the upper-end of your usual level of performance, it’s safe to say, that’s a “good ATAR”. 

How to get into uni with a low ATAR

You may have heard parents and teachers telling you not to stress if you get a low ATAR. And while it’s frustrating to hear, they’re actually right!

Enrol through Open Universities Australia, and you can start studying with leading Australian universities regardless of your ATAR. That’s right, forget the digit staring back at you—you don’t even need one to get started!

Students who didn’t receive the ATAR they needed can enrol in a number of open enrolment subjects available across a range of study areas—all available to start without entry requirements. Once you’ve completed these, you can use your passing grades to meet entry requirements for a full degree down the track.

What’s more, in many cases the study you’ve already completed through Open Universities Australia will shave time off your degree.

Sound too good to be true? Here’s how to get into uni without an ATAR.  


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