Articles on ATAR

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Prospective uni students often talk about “wasting their ATAR”. Don’t worry about that, it’s not a thing. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Five things to think about when choosing a university course

How do you choose the right university, or the right degree? The whole process can seem daunting. What should you focus on? How do you weigh up the different elements involved?
Students with low ATARs are less likely to graduate from university, but very likely to leave with debt. So is it ethical to give places to all-comers? Shutterstock

The ATAR debate: students need to be able to finish uni, not just start it

Controversies surrounding university courses with low ATAR admission requirements have become a January ritual. Once universities make their offers to potential students, debates start over whether widening…
Getting a low ATAR, or not getting the ATAR you need for the university course you want, can seem like the end of the world. But it’s not. Shutterstock

So you didn’t get a great ATAR – it’s not the end of the world

The release of this year’s Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) will result in mixed feelings among school-leavers. There are those who will be elated at having achieved a score that places them in…
Tutors may be a good thing for improving test scores, but may be a bad thing if the student becomes overly reliant on the tutor. Shutterstock

Hiring a tutor may have short-term gains but long-term losses

Significant numbers of secondary school students receive additional assistance from private tutors. This requires a measure of time, commitment and sometimes a substantial financial investment. So does…
Less students are choosing to undertake more complex maths subjects because they want to maximise their tertiary admission score. Shutterstock

Maximising ATARs: why studying maths doesn’t add up

The percentage of students taking intermediate or advanced mathematics at school has declined significantly. Why is this happening and why does it matter? Why the decline? Some factors that influence whether…
Do teachers’ grades affect how well they can teach? AAP

ATAR scores only part of the picture for teaching

A common debate has resurfaced over teacher quality and the quality of teacher education in Australia. This time it was started by a leaked draft report into teacher education from the Australian Institute…
The way we pick which students are let in to university is not a fair system. School image from www.shutterstock.com

ATARs – you may as well use postcodes for university admissions

For the next couple of months, young people across Australia will be sitting their final Year 12 examinations. For them, it’s the end of more than a decade of schooling looming large. Their soon to be…
Australia has had a grand experiment in providing greater university access to disadvantaged students. University graduates from www.shutterstock.com

Does equality come at the cost of quality in universities? Let’s look at the evidence

With a new leader at the helm, a new higher education minister and an election not too far away, university policy seems to be up in the air. Since starting his new portfolio, minister Kim Carr has floated…
University is no longer just a place for high achievers. AAP/Julian Smith

Uncapped uni places may be the death of the ATAR obsession

Each December we celebrate students who achieved an ATAR Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 99.95. In January, we are awed by what you need to study subjects such as medicine, or horrified that…

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