Now that we are halfway into Year 12, the transition from high school to university is looming right before our eyes! You have likely thought a lot about this and many questions have likely made their way into your mind – What should I study? Where should I study? How do I apply? Should I apply for a scholarship? How do I apply?
The first thing to consider is what you want to study, whether it be medicine, science, law, business, dentistry or engineering, each specific course has different application requirements. Some things you need to look out for when applying is:
- Cut off ATAR or Guaranteed ATAR – this is usually a very important part of deciding which degree you want to study after Year 12. Make sure to aim for the cut off ATAR or higher to guarantee your spot in your preferred course! Also keep your eye out for any adjustment points you may be eligible for (these are added on top of your ATAR and help boost your selection rank)
- Prerequisites – these are subjects you must complete before you can be guaranteed entry into your desired degree. If you are not completing these subjects in high school you will have to complete a bridging course before you can be admitted. Note that prerequisites are different from assumed knowledge – prerequisites MUST be completed before commencement of your course whilst assumed knowledge is only recommended and NOT mandatory
- Interview – double check if your course has an interview involved and in that way you can prepare yourself! Usually interviews are going to be more common in courses such as medicine and dentistry so if these courses are on your radar, make sure you check whether the course you want to apply for requires an interview!
- Additional Exams or Written Applications – Usually for degrees in law, medicine and dentistry, additional exams such as the UCAT and LAT are needed. Make sure to know when these exams occur and book them early!
- Early Entry Schemes – Most universities also offer early entry schemes. These programs allow you to accept an offer into a university course before you sit your final HSC exam and even before you recieve your ATAR! These schemes involve 2 types of offers: Conditional and Unconditional. A conditional offer is a sort of ‘pending offer’ that can turn into a full offer if your ATAR is satisfactory or be revoked if your ATAR is lower than expected. An unconditional offer if a full uni offer and no matter what your final ATAR is, you are guaranteed a spot in the degree. Examples of these schemes include the University of Sydney E12 scheme and the Newcastle University Schools Recommendation Scheme.
Another very important aspect of applying is knowing where to apply. Each state has their own different portal in which you can apply for not only university degrees but also scholarships. These are listed below:
NSW – UAC
QLD – QTAC
SA and NT – SATAC
VIC – VTAC
WA – TISC
TAS – Apply direct to University of Tasmania