In case you’d somehow managed to block the memory from your brain, ATARs are going to be released in approximately two days. Which means that pretty soon, you’ll be finding out whether the all-nighters, breakdowns, frantic cramming, cancelled plans and study sessions were worth it.
You’ll finally know whether that extra hour spent cramming in the morning before your English exam was worth it, or if you should have spent more time studying instead of binge watching yet another Netflix series.
And, according to some people, you’ll finally know whether you’re destined to be successful in life or doomed for career failure.
Here’s the thing; despite all the hype, the stress and the intense amount of pressure that’s been put on you, it’s perfectly okay to forget about your ATAR. In fact, we reckon you need to ditch it entirely. Here’s why.
1. It doesn’t measure much
Don’t get us wrong, if you manage to smash your ATAR then congrats! It’s not easy and we know a lot of hard work went into your exams.
But we all know that the system the ATAR is based around is built on standardised testing that only takes into account a few quantifiable qualities.
Your ATAR will never reflect the night you stayed up till 4am talking to your friend to bring them out of a panic attack. It can’t take into account the amount of times you made your friends laugh until they cried, or the hours you spent driving your little brother to soccer practice. It doesn’t reflect your creativity, your kindness, your resilience or your ambition. There’s so much of you that your ATAR will never be able to measure.
2. It doesn’t affect any of your relationships
Your best mate won’t care if you don’t even get an ATAR and your parents will still love you (trust us). Your work buddies are still going to joke around with you every shift, your friends will still give you crap about being on your Ls even if you get a 90+ ATAR and it’s not going to stop the guy who thinks you’re cute from asking you out.
3. There are other ways into uni
Only one in four students are admitted into uni based on their ATAR which just goes to show there’s a tonne of backdoors and alternative entry options if you want to go to uni. Pathway programs like UTS Insearch (if you’re based in Sydney) know that your ATAR doesn’t measure all your potential and they offer courses that will get you a foot in the door and prepared for tertiary study.
4. Nobody really cares
Even though it feels like everyone is waiting to hear what your ATAR is, nobody really cares. Random strangers in the street aren’t going to stop and ask, your boss isn’t going to fire you because you ranked at the bottom of your year and you’re not going to be dropped from the first-grade footy team just because you didn’t ace your exams.
Even your parents don’t really care what that number turns out to be- all they want to know is that you’re going to have a happy and successful life and pretty soon they’ll realise your ATAR can’t determine that.
5. Everyone else will forget about it too
After a quick survey around the Year13 office, it turns out no one actually remembers what their ATAR was (one of us finished school last year and still can’t remember it).
The hype surrounding your ATAR will last all of two seconds. Then it becomes a distant memory as you get on with the rest of your life. Once you get on a plane to your first solo trip, sit down in a uni lecture or clock on for your shift in a new job, everyone will have already forgotten the number that was assigned to you at the end of high school.
Like we said, pathways like UTS Insearch help prepare students with the skills needed to ace university. They offer a tonne of different courses and most of their diplomas will fast track you into a second year of the corresponding UTS degree so you’re not wasting any time.
If you’re keen, you can check it all out here, or head along to the UTS Info Day coming up on 15 December (you can see all the details here). You can grab a coffee, talk about your options and suss out how the pathway works with no pressure. Or, if you want some more info but don’t want to leave the comfort of your bed, you can watch a live Q & A on 14 December at 2pm. Easy peasy.