I am a mechanical engineering student at the University of New South Wales. As part of my degree I have been given the chance to do a lot of fun and interesting activities. For example, I have been on teams that have designed catapults, garbage-bots, pumps, coffee machines, satellites, trains and drones. This, I should mention, only covers one school of engineering.
There is a culture among high school students and high school leavers which is centralised around a student’s ATAR. Once you arrive at university, you will discover that your ATAR, and any remnants of its importance, is a thing of the past. This does not, however, suggest the ATAR is unimportant for you right now.
I wanted to do engineering and I wanted it to be at UNSW. I was quite lucky to get in: my ATAR was insufficient but universities often run further application processes. My path to entry involved an interview with a UNSW engineering academic who assessed my personal desire to study engineering and my performance in the relevant HSC subjects.
I got in to my chosen degree, but if I had acquired a stronger HSC result then my entry into university would have been significantly less troublesome (in fact, it could have been guaranteed). The big picture is while you may get an ATAR sufficient to get into your desired degree, a stronger ATAR can open more opportunities (such as scholarships). Perhaps you have multiple interests for study and your current results will only give you one of those opportunities. Will a higher ATAR solve this problem for you?
Achieving a strong ATAR tells an employer more than about your ability to write an essay or take the second derivative of a function. A strong ATAR will say you are a hard worker, you apply yourself and you are committed to doing something well. This, more than your academic abilities, is what your future employer is looking for.
Phillip Hamilton- Capra TutorDate Posted: 10 December 2015