Senior and ATAR Options

Transforming Education Australasia (TEA) encompasses many schools, learning networks and educators who are looking at the senior years of learning in different ways. While we appreciate that obtaining an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) is a key goal for many students and families, we wish to highlight that there are multiple pathways to university and further education entry, and also many different ways to gain an ATAR. Some information about these possibilities are listed in the sites and resources provided below.

These are useful publications and resources that look at the ATAR system and beyond.

ATAR is a ranked score and is ONE way to gain entrance to university. 25% of people enter University through Atar. There are many alternative pathways to consider. Some resources below alternatives to ATAR, including exams, portfolio or audition entry, via certificates and courses, prep and bridging course, and early entry.

Alternatives to ATAR


Portfolios / audition e.g.


o–.html Capability certificate



Via Other certs/ courses first etc

o   Start different Uni course + transfer OR Apply straight to post grad courses

o   Tafe certs + diploma IF AQF standard or Cert IV in Business Enterprise

o   MOOCs/ Coursera/ micro credentials and/ OR Open University online

  1. Prep Uni prep course Bridging, prep courses, Unilearn REady Program
  2. Proof in other ways eg  LinkedIn Profile competent/ talent, speciality

  1. Early entry Uni Place offered while in school Head-start eg Sun CQU,

This raises the question – if gaining an ATAR is not the only purpose of senior schooling (and indeed, this information indicates that gaining an ATAR is not the sole, the most common or the possibly the ‘best’ way to get into further education), what IS the purpose of learning in the senior years of schooling? 

We invited member organisations to share their stories. What do you think is really important in the senior years of school (16, 17 and 18 year olds, traditionally ‘Year 11 and 12’)? What do you value in your setting? 

Go here to see these responses.