The 2010 ATAR score advice and tips

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Well it is that time of the year once again, the excitement, anticipation and most likely fear is gripping all year 12 students around Victoria. Most students are feeling uneasy about their ATAR scores – so here are some things to keep in mind when you get those results on December 13th, 2010.

Whatever ATAR score you get, it does not limit your potential
The ATAR score is simply a number representing how well you performed in exam sitting situations. All the SAC’s and exams that you have sat throughout the year, accumulate into the ATAR score. It is not the only measure of how skilled you are in the academic field. Remember that the ATAR score is simply a number – you still have a choice of how you will interpret that number.

For instance, you can take an ATAR of perhaps 65, and begin to feel upset because you needed an 82. Although perhaps the ATAR score is lower than you expected to receive, remember that there are still pathways into entering the exact course you desire.

Anything is possible to a willing heart – and if you are 100% devoted to your dream course, there will be a way to study it. Sure, it would be better entering into that course straight away – since it would offer much more security. However, if you really would like to study a course and unfortunately did not receive a high enough ATAR do not give up! There are many examples of individuals that entered graduate medicine from general science, or pharmacy from biomedical science or law from arts or even TAFE to university. Remember that if you are dedicated towards your goal and are serious about studying in a particular field – there are many doors into this field and it does not need to be based on the ATAR score.

On December 13th, if you obtain an ATAR score lower than your personal expectations; ask yourself “what am I going to allow that ATAR score do to me?”

Are you going to allow the ATAR score to prevent you from studying what you really want? Are you going to allow the number to tag you, and place you into a tiny box believing that you are now stuck? Will you carry that ATAR score as an excuse for the rest of your life? Are you going to let it determine your future job and profession? If you do, it is mostly from a blind perspective. You have been brainwashed to believe, by teachers, friends and parents that there is no other way of entering university without obtaining a reasonable ATAR. You have chosen to believe that nothing is more important than that 4 digit number – it is the key to all your education dreams. The truth is that the ATAR is simply a neutral number – what you do, and how you interpret the number is where the power resides. You can take that four digit number resist against it while feel scared, worried, upset and hopeless or you can take that four digit number, accept it – and know that no matter what it is, your goal for the future is unstoppable and unbreakable. There is nothing that the ATAR can do to your academic dreams because you have the power and drive to take control of life and achieve those dreams regardless.

How to handle your parents if your ATAR score is lower than expected
Most parents are loving and supporting, you have to understand that the only reason that they are pushing you, fundamentally, if because they want their children to be safe, secure and well off. Generally, parents want their children to enter university and obtain a degree because they believe that taking this path will result in “a stable profession”. Whereas other parents may just want you to obtain a high ATAR because they want to use it as a slight ego boost – either way there are ways to reveal your ATAR score without your parents “killing you”.

Before getting the ATAR, talk to your parents and warn them
Open up to your parents and tell them that you are worried that your ATAR may not be as high as expected. Let them know that no matter what ATAR you will receive, it is not a true representation of the level of success you are capable of. Ensure them that now, as an adult you will work hard to ensure that you build a successful life – so that they can still be proud of you.

If you had no time warning them…
If your parents thought you will get a 95, but you obtained a 63 they may be shocked – there is no doubt in that. However you can still let them know that this is a huge disappointment for you and you can reassure that you realise that you made several mistakes in the VCE, and you need to have time to learn from the mistakes. Tell them that you are an adult, and you will take the full responsibility of the ATAR – but you will not allow it to prevent you from succeeding in life. If they are very unreasonable – write them a letter. If parents are yelling at you, or very emotional – very often they will simply not hear you. Eventually they will read the letter, unless of course they tear it up 😛 if you know that your parents are prone to this type of behaviour, save your letter as a word copy.

Writing a letter to your parents – or making a private YouTube video 😉People are most unreasonable when they are upset. If you find that your parents are very upset at you, put all your feelings into a letter. Write exactly how you feel, what you learned and what you are going to do about your situation – be sensitive towards them, and let them know that you can understand their vantage point and ensure them that you will do your absolute best in the future. Another idea is making a YouTube video, if your parents see that you really are disappointed, and upset then they are more likely to accept your ATAR score.

The closure of the door and the beginning of the journey…In all honesty, within a year you will completely forget about the ATAR score. Your life will begin to change dramatically. The effects of the ATAR will wear of – and even your parents will accept it, or perhaps they will simply find new problems 😛 Either way, be prepared for a journey and adventure into adulthood. Life will change and you will still encounter challenges and moments of struggle within your life – but that becomes the beauty of life, to stand tall even after encountering those hurdles. To discover your true nature so that you know who you really are.