For Year 12 students – submitting uni course preferences seems like an overwhelming task.
You’re trying to juggle exam time while deciphering through uni courses at the same time – and it all just seems a bit too hard. It’s a whole different world outside of school and you haven’t been taught the rules, so, where do you start?
Well – a good place is right here, with our 10 things to consider before making your uni selections:
- Important dates
Noting down all of the important dates for when applications open and close will give you a timeframe to make your decisions, and it will provide you with a bit of a framework to structure your plan of attack.
- Gather as much info as possible
Find all of the courses that catch your interest – and get printing (or bookmarking)! Sure you can look at all of the courses online, but there’s something different about spreading it all out in front of you and highlighting or scribbling on the sheets; if you’re looking at Flinders or CQUni you can access their online degrees offered at our hubs on our website. It’ll help you give you direct comparisons of course requirements so you can filter out the ones that aren’t quite your niche. It could ultimately decide the tie breaker between your final two choices.
- Attend the open days (if they’re holding them) or online tours
Maybe you’re one of those people who analyses the booklets, but can’t visualise it. In this case, open days will be your best friend. When you’re sitting in a lecture theatre filled with people who have the same interests as you – listening to a professor talk about the course and what sets it apart – that’s when it’ll all click. A bonus about the Study Hub is that you can go in anytime to our campuses to get a feel of what online uni life is like – and for us to answer your questions. Just line this up directly with our team.
- Have some back ups
Some people have their heart set on one particular course – but it doesn’t hurt to have a safety net. You can have up to 6 preferences; so do yourself a favour and actually list 6. Even if it’s the same course offered at different universities; it’s worth it.
- List your preferences in order
A common mistake made in course selections is that students automatically assume that they put the course with the highest ATAR at the top. We’re here to tell you not to do this! Even if the ATARs lower – put the course you like the most at the top. Otherwise you’ll wind up in a degree you didn’t really want in the first place and you’ll have to go to the effort of trying to swap into your second preference.
- Pick a course you actually like
You might have your parents in your ear about a certain degree – or your friends all leaning towards one faculty; but if you put your preferences in based on other people you’ll be doomed from the get-go. You have to do what feeds your passion; regardless of other peoples’ thoughts. They’re not the ones doing the work or building the HECS debt.
- While we’re on the topic; start reading up about HECS.
You might have heard people talking about HECS debt; it’s actually a really cool idea. You can get all of your course fees put on the Higher Education Contribution Scheme. It acts as a loan that you only have to pay back once you’re out in the work force and earn a decent salary. Reading up on HECS will help you understand the billing system and confirm that it isn’t so scary!
- Don’t just pick a course because the cut off is close to you’re the ATAR you think you are going to achieve
Time and time again – students have gone for high ATAR subjects just because that’s what they’re predicted to get. High ATAR courses don’t establish your intelligence – and it doesn’t guarantee you success.
- A lower ATAR course doesn’t mean it’s less hard
A lot of people think that a course with a lower ATAR is easier. This is a common misunderstanding; but it’s important to understand that it’s not true. Basically, the entry level ATAR is based on how competitive the field is; and therefore, it changes every year.
- Rest easy knowing you can always change your mind
Let us introduce something to you called the Census date. This day is usually about two weeks into the uni semester. If you decide you made the wrong decision – as long as you withdraw before the census date you won’t have to pay for it. This should hopefully bring you some peace of mind that it’s not do or die; there’s room for error and you can swap courses or change your mind about your career in those first couple of weeks.
You can rest easy knowing that our student advisors are here to help – and bursting will course selection knowledge. They’re always contactable (just click here) to give you a hand with the frenzy. We know it’s your first time getting a handle on the system; but it’s not theirs – so take advantage of it!