Karen Lomas
June 20, 2017

Year 12 students apply through VTAC for tertiary courses

Year 12 students in Victoria will soon be able to apply through the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) for tertiary places in up to 8 courses. It is a period when they are also really busy completing SACs and so semester 2 in year 12 can be really busy and maybe a little stressful for some.

Parents, do not worry, as help is at hand. I can seem overwhelming if your year 12 son or daughter is not sure what they would like to study, or if you are doing this with a child for the first time. You might not remember what you had to do when you were at school, or maybe you didn’t go to university yourselves. It can be confusing, but I can take a bit of the mystery out of the process for you.

Simply put, your child will have completed some assessments in year 11, typically in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), or in Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs that can contribute to their overall senior school qualification. Some schools offer the International Baccalaureate (IB). Their study scores in year 11 will be added to those that they finally receive in year 12 and the study scores are for their individual subjects, be they Further Maths, History, Biology, etc.

For the purposes of applying to a higher education course at a university or other institution, study scores are converted into the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). Note that this is just for Australian institution and so is not relevant for overseas applications. The VCE qualification is recognised nationally, so does not need any conversion if applying interstate.

The school that your year 12 child attends will have a Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA) supervisor and so your child will have been supported in ensuring that they are taking a sufficient number of study subjects in order to qualify to obtain an ATAR. The only reason why your child may not be fulfilling the required number of subjects for scoring is if it has been discussed and agreed with parents in year 10 or early in year 11.

Every year tertiary institutions will set the required ATAR for admission to each of their individual courses. The ATAR for a course is similar each year, but not always the same. This is because of, for example, of number of places offered. So if the number of places offered in a course changes, so too will the ATAR. You should use the current years’ published ATAR as a guide only.

In semester 2 year 12 students will be able to access the VTAC resources to look for tertiary courses. These include their telephone App, which is a really handy tool to do their course preference practice. They will then be able to choose to 8 courses in order of preference and finalise their application.

So if your year 12 child is in need of support in ensuring that the courses of interest to them are entered in their VTAC application in the right order of preference, please contact Karen at www.karenyourcareercoach.com.au or on 0419 390 994 for help.


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