A parent’s guide to the uni admission process

Parent and teenage child look at laptop

By the time a child reaches Year 12, most parents are accustomed to the natural changes in the relationship. You’ve moved through all the stages of parenting and you’re both preparing for independence.

But when the first step to independence occurs at the same time as final exams, career selection, and education pathway considerations, it can be overwhelming to everyone. Having good resources for parental support can make all the difference between a bumpy ride and smooth sailing.

A lot is written about the stress teenagers feel as they get ready for university. What often goes unnoticed is the upheaval parents experience as they support their Year 12 student. While it’s a huge transition for everyone, it’s an exciting time and it doesn’t have to be stressful. By getting on top of key information, you might be surprised at how much you enjoy the whole process. 

Learning the lingo

The first step to gaining credibility is to demystify ”uni-speak” for your child. If you’re planning to visit our campus for an upcoming event, you might be feeling in the dark about all the acronyms and jargon used by students and professors. Understanding uni-speak is a lot easier than learning a foreign language and it’s a great way to lend parental support that will benefit both you and your child.

Admission pathways into university 

Year 12 Early Offer Program

In 2021 we introduced the Year 12 Early Offer program. If your teen is graduating from Year 12 in 2021, they can apply now to study at Murdoch using their Year 11 ATAR subject results, or by identifying that they are on a recognised pathway to meet entry to Murdoch, for example through studying a Certificate IV or an enabling program. This means your teen can be offered a place at Murdoch, with the condition that they either complete Year 12 (for ATAR students) or another approved pathway (for non-ATAR students).

Applications for the Year 12 Early Offer Program close on 16 December 2021.


In a normal year unaffected by a global pandemic, students are usually required to apply to university through TISC. This year, only students who are applying for Veterinary Science or Nursing need to apply through TISC. All other Year 12 students have the option of applying through either the Year 12 Early Offer Program or TISC.


Applying through TISC can be broken down into five simple steps:

  1. Register at the TISC website. Make sure to get your WACE number from your school before you start.
  2. Select six career preferences and rank them in order of desirability. (Confused? Find out more about choosing TISC preferences.)
  3. Complete your online application and pay your fees.
  4. Submit the supporting documents listed on the application.
  5. Wait for your TISC email confirmation. 

Exploring alternative university admission pathways

Not every student is going to achieve the ATAR you would like for them, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make their way into uni. We have a number of pathways to study to help students who didn’t excel in high school get ready for university. The good news is they’re free of charge for most students. Here are a few options to consider:

  • HorizonsPlus – 4-week course that will allow you to meet entry requirements for most Murdoch undergraduate degrees with a selection rank of 70 and 3 credit points towards your Murdoch degree while also preparing students for University level study.
  • OnTrack – 14-week course held on campus and designed to qualify students for admission to any course that has a minimum Selection Rank of 70.
  • K-Track – a 14-week course for Indigenous students to help them develop the skills needed to succeed at university.
  • FlexiTrack – online course qualifying students to apply directly to Murdoch for admission to any course that has a minimum Selection Rank of 70. FlexiTrack studies can be spread over 10 weeks, 20 weeks or 12 months.

Make sure to check out all the ways you can get into university. It can take a lot of pressure off your whole family to realise there are plenty of options besides the traditional TISC route. 

Visit the Year 12 Early Offer Program page to keep updated on the new provisions for helping your child start university in 2022.  
Posted on:

12 Jul 2021

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