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5 things to consider when making your subject decisions

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It’s normal to have multiple career ideas and an interest in a wide range of subjects. So which subjects are best for you?

To help you make the right decision, we’ve noted down a few things for you to consider first.

1. Your ranking is generated from your top 4 ATAR subjects

You can study up to six ATAR subjects, but only need four to generate an ATAR score. If you’re studying more than four, you’ll have a backup if one subject doesn’t work out and wriggle-room if you eventually decide to change your career pathway or drop a subject.

2. Competitive courses require prerequisites

Many university courses require you to have studied subjects such as English, maths and sciences in years 11 and 12. When you are browsing courses, consider what prerequisite subjects and ATAR you’ll need. You can also see which subjects are ‘desirable’. Studying a desirable course gives you a competitive edge. An added bonus: if you study maths methods, specialist or a language other than English, you may be eligible to receive an ATAR adjustment for studying a challenging course.

3. Stick to your subjects

Many schools will advise you not to swap to a different ATAR subject because year 11 and 12 subjects are designed to work together. This means if you switch subjects during the year you will miss out on a lot of the content your peers have already learned. However, changing from an ATAR subject to a general subject is more likely to get approved. If you are struggling with the subjects you have chosen or feel like you have made the wrong decision, talk to your career advisor as soon as you can to see if they can make any arrangements. The earlier you voice your need for the change the more likely they are to grant it.

4. There are many pathways into university

ATAR entry is the most direct entry pathway into university and will prepare you academically. But if you decide ATAR isn’t for you, there are many alternative pathways that could work for you, such as taking VET certificates, or applying via portfolio entry if you are taking General subjects. Explore our Pathway Finder to see what options could fit your circumstances.

5. Seek help

If you have a change of heart and realise the subjects you’ve chosen aren’t the right fit, talk to your career advisor to find the right option for you.

If you’re wanting to explore different career paths, book a Career Voyage session for a 1:1 meeting with a member of our friendly team.

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