How to get into uni if you fail ATAR

Student with head on hands behind pile of textbooks

The final year of high school can feel like a particularly stressful time. But there’s no doubt 2020 has been a different kettle of fish. Here’s what to do if you have underperformed in your Year 12 ATAR exams.

If you think you have not done as well in, or even failed, Year 12 exams it doesn’t mean the chance to start university next year has slipped through your fingers. There are plenty of ways to get into your preferred course

What is the Year 12 Uni Entry Safety Net?

Our Year 12 Uni Entry Safety Net provided 2020 school leavers with the opportunity to apply for university using their Year 11 ATAR subject results. This means they could be admitted to their chosen course if either their application under the Year 12 Uni Entry Safety Net or final ATAR score met our entry requirements.

Is Safety Net entry still open?

Applications for the Year 12 Uni Entry Safety Net have now closed. If you don't currently meet our admission requirements but would like to start studying in 2021, explore our enabling pathways

How does Safety Net work?

If you think you underperformed – for whatever reason – you are eligible. We do not require an explanation; all we need is your Year 11 results.

There are so many reasons why your ATAR may have been different to what you were expecting.  Perhaps you needed to work more hours, or maybe it was difficult to study with family members at home 24/7. There are others who may have had to relocate, and there are plenty of students who felt so much anxiety that it was hard to focus on studies. All of these reasons are understandable, and you should relax knowing you can still steam ahead with your university plans intact.

Also, be aware that Year 12 performance is not an indication of university performance, so you have every chance of excellent academic results next year, regardless of whether you overachieved or underachieved in 2020.

I already applied but  I did okay in Year 12 exams after all

That’s excellent! We couldn’t be happier. You can re-apply with these results if you like, but if you’ve already been accepted into your chosen course with the Safety Net, it’s not necessary to reapply.

What happens if I don’t qualify?

This can feel really disheartening, but it’s not all over.

If you don’t qualify based on either your Year 11 or Year 12 ATAR, we do have enabling courses and other pathways, including OnTrack, FlexiTrack, OnTrack Sprint, and Horizons Summer School. Read more about students who have pursued these options, including Olivia who gained entry to Sport and Exercise Science through FlexiTrack, and Nick who went on to study Chiropractic Science thanks to OnTrack Sprint.

You can also apply through our Portfolio Entry Pathway, which allows students who don’t meet standard admission requirements to apply to university by demonstrating their aptitude, motivation, passion and experience in areas related to their chosen study course.

The Meet Murdoch team is available from 8:00am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday, to advise you on a range of course options and pathways into them. Call 1300 687 3624 (then select #1) to discuss your options.

Learn more about our enabling courses and other pathways into university. 
Posted on:

8 Jan 2021

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