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Rethinking ATAR in 2021

Male high school student

Year 12 has long been placed on a pedestal as the gateway to tertiary education and the promises of careers that go with it. But is Year 12 worth all the stress that comes with exams?

If your teen is in their final years of high school, you may have seen first-hand the stress caused by both exams and the impact of COVID-19 on their learning. If they don't do as well as they hope in their final year, you can both rest assured knowing that there's numerous pathways they can take to study at university

If your teen is planning on attending university in 2022, they may be feeling anxious about their future. But in Western Australia, a lot of thought has been given to how best to support teenagers who are finishing high school and wanting to make the transition to university. Sitting WACE exams can be stressful enough without the added pressure of experiencing interruptions in your final school years.

What is WACE?

Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) is given to senior high school students as evidence of their achievements. WACE is recognised by universities, TAFE, and other training providers and shows a student has met several standards of learning in their secondary schooling. These include:

  • Breadth and depth standard
  • Achievement standard
  • Literacy and numeracy standard

There are several ways for students to achieve their WACE. Most commonly students progress through one of two pathways, one for general curriculum studies and one for students taking ATAR courses. Students taking ATAR subjects have ATAR exams – at the end of Year 11 and again in Year 12 – which count towards your child’s ATAR score.  

Year 12 Early Offer Program

In 2021, Murdoch University announced the Year 12 Early Offer Program to encourage early applications to Murdoch’s courses for 2022 and to reduce uncertainty for students.

High school students graduating in 2021 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.

This means a high school student graduating in 2021 can be offered a place to their chosen course while still completing Year 12 (for ATAR students) or successfully completing another pathway, for example, Portfolio entry, Certificate IV, FlexiTrack High  or TLC110 (for non ATAR students). 

With more pathways than ever before, there are plenty of options for your teen looking to study at university. 

Posted on:

15 Mar 2021

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