Hello, year 12 students! With the quickly approaching end-of-year exams, the stress is now at an all-time high. It is very normal for a lot of you to feel overwhelmed, stressed and tired right now. Because we have gone through the same struggles, we definitely understand the situation you are in right now, and we, at Ozford, are here to give you all the support you should need during this examination time. One of the aspects that students often overlook is the real meaning of the ATAR: although it might make your life easier for a very short time after year 12 by granting you direct access to uni, it most definitely does not define you.
While it may seem like your past 13 years at school are all concluded by this ranking, it is not as important as you may think. For the past few years, you probably heard your teachers and parents inundating you about the ATAR, its consequences, its importance, and how you have to work hard to achieve a good score. While a good ATAR will define how easily you can enter uni directly, there is a plethora of things it does not affect in your life:
There is no country or destination that will refuse your entry based on your ATAR. Travelling will always be accessible for you, and a top ATAR is no match to the memories, experiences, and the discovery of new cultures and landscapes you will get from a trip. Hang out with locals, discover their way of life, and learn about their philosophy and you will come home with a head full of happy memories.
- Landing a job
It often feels like going to uni and getting a good degree is the only way to make good money in the future. While this is true for part of the high-paying jobs, there is a very wide range of jobs that don’t require a degree and in which you can work your way up to handsome salary packages. Furthermore, once you are in a job, your chances of getting raises, promotions, and bonuses aren’t impacted by your ATAR.
- Your relationships
While achieving a good ATAR is an impressive feat, it will not affect how your friends and romantic partners will look at you. There is no social media, dating app, or party that will ever ask you for your ATAR in order to let you in. Your true friends will also be there to celebrate the end of 13 long years of schooling, regardless of everyone’s outcome. What matters to them is your true colors: your kindness, genuineness, and the fact that you are here to support each other.
- Your family
Despite all the pressure and support your family has invested in your studies, their love is not dependent on your score. To them, you remain their beloved child and their love and support will not be affected by a score.
What makes your personality is far broader than what the ATAR tests you. The only few quantifiable factors that the ATAR actually define is all related to how accurately you can regurgitate information that teachers transmitted to you. Further than that, your ability to be creative, and be good at sports or music is not represented in your score. The truth is that life really begins after High School and the ATAR is not part of what influences your personality.
Finally, it is worth mentioning how the ATAR sort of has an expiry date: regardless of how good your ATAR is, you will only really speak about it for the few months following your graduation. Even in March, when Uni kicks off, not many people will care whether they’re sitting next to someone who scored 99.95 or 68.50. Moreover, you will be so sick of having heard about ATAR during your High School that you will not want to hear about it anymore.
So dear Year 12s, we wish you the best in the coming examinations. While we encourage you to do well, we more importantly encourage you to be well. For any issues you might have, whether it is academic or counseling matters, please don’t ever hesitate to reach out to the team and we will take care of you.
This article was written inspired by Why Your ATAR Isn’t A True Measure Of Your Success, What I Actually Used My ATAR For After High School, and Why Your ATAR Has An Expiry Date.