Can You Get Into A Good University With Bad Or Low ATAR?

Every student dreams of getting into a good university and pursuing a course that would help them achieve their goals or purpose in life. ATAR is one such opportunity that lets students into their dream university. As Year 12 approaches its end, every student fears their ATAR score and what if your score is bad or low? How can you then enter a university? or Can you even get into a university without ATAR?

This blog post will help you find out!

Before we move on, here are some questions about ATAR answered for you…

How Does ATAR Score Work?

You must know that ATAR or Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank is a score calculated to provide students with a RANK of where they stand among several students of Australia. The students must complete at least 10 Units of ATAR to be eligible for the score. It is calculated using four parameters examination marks, assessment mark, HSC mark and performance band. HSC marks play a major role in your ATAR scores. If you find yourself struggling in HSC courses, don’t shy away from getting tutoring to succeed in HSC.

What is the Highest ATAR score possible?

The ATAR score is calculated between 0 and 99.95 with an interval of 0.5 possible. In fact, the highest ATAR score of 99.95 was achieved by a student in 2018!

To achieve a 99+ in ATAR requires you to improve your study skills. Make sure you work on that!

What is the Lowest ATAR score?

The lowest ATAR score is not zero! It is 30. Any score that is lower than that is demonstrated as ‘less than 30’.

What Is A Good ATAR Score?

The answer to this question mainly depends upon your choice of university and course. For instance, the indicative ATAR score for 2019 for Business Courses at the University of New South Wales is 97 while it is only 70 for Curtin University. So check your university ATAR requirements. Focus on getting good marks in high school. If you feel you need extra help apart from school, you should definitely invest in high school tutors for English, Science and other tough courses.

So now that we are through with some common questions, let us now move on to the main section of our post…

What if I Don’t Get The ATAR I Need?

First of all… DON’T LOSE HOPE! There is always a choice and a PATHWAY for you. All you need to do is find what suits you next after your ATAR exam scores disappointed you. Read these reviews from some students who found their way to their dream careers with a low ATAR. Hope this would be some real motivation for you!

Find your PATHWAY

Suppose you need to cross a river and the bridge is broken. Well, you will find another way to reach the other side. The same concept applied here with pathways. A pathway is an alternative that you can choose to get into the same university or find some other courses that interest you. We have compiled 5 best Pathways that you can opt for when you receive a low or bad ATAR score!

Pick up some other course in the same university

If you really want to be part of the university, you must look into other courses. You might some courses related to what you wanted to pursue earlier or a course that is related to a completely different area. Some universities have pathways to the best courses through credits. See if you can find one.


Some university courses have pathways through TAFE courses. So you can pursue a diploma course at a TAFE institution and then find your way to the university course you always wanted to study. Check out with your university today.

Find a Job

You might just start your job after high school and gain some work experience that would get you into your favorite course or university. Make sure you do complete research if the university actually has some criteria like this. Then only move ahead.

Study at Another Campus

There can be a chance that the ATAR score for the course that you want is low on other campuses of the university. So you can study the course there, at least for the first year and then get a transfer.

Transitional Courses

There are certain courses that can be converted into a bachelor’s degree later. You can see if the same is available for your course and then start with it. This would not overwhelm you with the hectic routine of pursuing a degree and you will also have a chance to see if you actually want to have a degree in that field.

So here we have discussed the 5 Pathways to choose when you have a low ATAR. Do not hesitate to share with us, if you find a better pathway.

But, before we end this post… here are a few things that you must know.

What Subjects Give You Good ATAR?

It is true that your ATAR results will be affected by the combination of subjects that you choose. So you need to be careful while choosing the subjects. It has been found that science subjects and math when combined are given higher ATAR scores upon scaling. Humanities subjects are more scaled and hence students have to achieve very good marks in those subjects to achieve a good ATAR score. You must read what is scaling and why it is done before jumping to conclusions.

Does your School affect your ATAR?

The simple answer to this question is YES! We all know that the HSC marks also contribute to the ATAR results. Those HSC marks are calculated by calculating the average of your HSC marks and moderated school assessment marks. Due to the scaling of HSC marks, your score might get affected by how well your school performs.

PRO-TIP for You!

The ATAR score is not the end of the world. There is a lot more than you can achieve and find out through your journey. So embrace what you have, do not panic and see how you can turn the situation to your favor. We know you will conquer your dreams for sure. Check out our blog for more information about ATAR Australia and keep yourself informed!

If you’re like many students who fear Math the most, you can find Australia’s best Math Tutor at CrunchGrade.

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