Where Did Your ATAR Get You?

I found the "Preparing for HSC" thread interesting, so I thought lets hear what peoples ATAR (or no ATAR) was and where it got you today :)


      • english doesnt need be in the top 4 anymore, i chose further math, maths methods, math specialist and physics in my top 4

  • +20

    Getting an ATAR is important, what ATAR you get is irrelevant in most cases if you didn't get in due to a low ATAR.
    I got an ATAR in the mid-70's, did 2 units at Open Universities, then transferred to a degree that had an ATAR requirement much higher than what I had.
    Credited those two units towards my degree and away I went.

    Unless you want to go into a field with verrry high ATAR requirements, it doesnt really matter.

    • Unless you want to go into a field with verrry high ATAR requirements, it doesnt really matter.

      Can you not get transferred to these programs as well like you did?

      • Probably, but i could imagine some of the more cut throat degrees being harder to get into without really good results in either ATAR or previous uni subjects.

    • +2

      But with a high ATAR you would not have to bother with transferring etc so I wouldn't say it is irrelevant

      • I mean, we're talking a couple of forms lol

        • Yeah and some course units, which you may not get credit for in all degrees. But yes, the Unis are more than happy to take on students from alternative pathways, its more money for them afterall

          • @qvinto: Ideally you'd pick units that can directly go towards your degree, but worst case it can be electives.

    • It's important to do your best in whatever you do… getting a high ATAR is a good way to prove you have good work ethic and academic ability, but its not the end of the world. People should do their best and get their foot in the door of Uni instead of just giving up and trying alternate routes (if health/personal situation allows)

  • +47

    ATAR 99.90 $50k hecs debt and reliant on onlyfans.

    • +5

      And you didn't even post as link…

      • +7


    • Must not be good at only fans, you could have paid debt of in a week from some people's earnings of that site.

      • Same could be said of other online platforms, majority of content providers earn well under the most popular providers.
        But they still earn decent coin.

  • +14

    It's been over 20 years so I don't remember my exact TER but it was high 70s from memory. I started studying computer science / cognitive science, but dropped out during my second year due to serious illness.

    Shortly after I started temping for a company and 17 years later I'm still working for that same company as a business analyst and graduated from the University of "Google any time I come across something I don't know how to do"

  • +8

    Was in the 50s as I didnt want to do uni at the time. Finished, did some random TAFE courses then overseas backpacking, came back and enrolled as a mature aged student at Uni. I dont feel like ATAR affected me at all.

    • Awesome story! :)

  • +2

    I got 88 UAI - Worthless as an 80s UAI was too low for many degree cutoffs and too high for the others.
    Otherwise, I got 2 degrees out of it and an unrelated job that pays the bills so can't complain.

    My wife (32) got 99.3 and earns around $200k a year in fintech. Also can't complain here either.

    • +7

      Where do you go to get a wife like that?
      It sounds like the real High-yield Investment.

      • +3

        Asking the real questions…

        Does she have a hot sister or brother? Like I have very low standards…

        • +3

          My sister-in-law is nowhere near as intelligent, pretty nor as nice as my wife, I'm afraid.
          She's also taken. In your case, consider it a bullet dodged as she has anger management issues.

      • +4

        We met at university. Been together since I was 18. Like many high yield investments, I got in early.

        • Haha love it bro..

  • +20

    93+ ATAR in 2016. The ATAR + behavioural interviews got me into a scholarship degree in finance that was work experience based. The work experience during uni fast tracked my career after graduating. I'm now in a finance role where most people of the same title are 5-10 years older than me. Did my ATAR help? - yes initially to get me into an ideal degree which has helped me in the long run. Did anyone ask about my ATAR after 2017? - No.

    Ultimately I think a higher ATAR just gives you a spot closer to the front of the queue, but everyone in the queue can still get to the degree/job they want (bridging courses, degree transfers etc).

  • 87.5 TER and got me into meeting smart girlfriend (TER 96) and got hooked since. :-)

    TER is very important. Without it, I wouldn't be where I am right now in my career.

  • +1

    UAI of 94 got me into BSc physics and maths which I quit then did BCSc which got me a job a quite enjoy

    • Why did you quit physics and maths?

      • +5

        I started failing in 2nd year. I never learned to study in school as I could turn up to exams and do fine. I'm also either very lazy or ADD or both. Couldn't get it together. Probably should have sought some help but I didn't. Oh well. I really enjoyed studying it but don't know what sort of career I would have had with that degree anyway. I would have been too lazy to be a researcher. Probably would have ended up a maths teacher then changing careers later in life to computer science anyway.

        • So why was CS more compatible?

          • +7

            @Scrooge McDuck: I like solving problems, but I am not good at abstract ones, need something I can visualise. Partial differentiation and the maths in quantum mechanics and electromagnetism I found incredibly difficult and not intuitive and needed proper work put in to understand them which I didn't do. Computer science with algorithms and linear algebra and logic etc I find very intuitive

  • +14

    Anything above 80 TER is adequate
    I was mid 90's and yes it was useful but it's not the defining number that everyone says it is. (unless you're really desperate to be a lawyer/doctor.)

    Honestly the amount of pressure heaped onto you in high school to get a TER as good as possible is a bit over the top.

    I have friends who scored 99+, did half a year of uni, burnt out and ended up going nowhere in life. I think they're on Centrelink at the age of 30.

    I also have friends who barely scraped by with a 50 TER who went into an alternative pathway, went to a tier one university and are now happily earning $150k as engineers.

    All i can say is yes, it is meaningful to have a good TER but it's not the be all and end all.

    As for me i studied engineering and geology, realised i wasn't great at licking rocks and haven't looked back.

    • +5

      I have friends who scored 99+, did half a year of uni, burnt out and ended up going nowhere in life. I think they're on Centrelink at the age of 30.


      • yeah i have some family/friends like that, sometimes i wonder if the mental condition wasnt already there and the insane studying/praise just doesnt help.

      • Yep! This happened to pretty much the entire smart group at my high school. They got into uni, courses like law, planning/architecture, psychology, and they all burnt out within a year or two. I'm not even sure any of them have finished a degree.

  • +9

    ATAR 95 - Military Pilot

    • Wow awesome! Curious tho, are there any ATAR requirements for the army?

      • +7

        It all depends what you want to do, I went via ADFA so had a minimum ATAR requirement to get into the UNSW, but that was only a 70. I have a much higher ATAR though as it's quite competitive, so two identical people differing only by their ATAR (therefore school results) the person with the higher ATAR is likely to be picked.

        If you are joining as an Officer, you generally need an ATAR or equivalent schooling results, OR generally completed year 10, but you'd need to be competitive against someone who had an ATAR going for the same job I reckon.

        • What are the minimum service duties?

          And what have you flown?

          • +3

            @Scrooge McDuck: When i joined, it was 11.5 years direct entry Officer Training, or 14.5 years through ADFA. Now it has changed a bit, I believe its 9 years from the start of your pilot training. Currently on PC-21, transport aircraft prior to my current gig and I went through CT4/PC9 initial training.

            • @toshjammi:

              When i joined, it was 11.5 years direct entry Officer Training, or 14.5 years through ADFA.

              You'd get less for murder! That's what scared me away. But I still yearn to fly…

              I should start with a paragliding school. I'd like to build an autogyro too. I can afford flying lessons now, but I'm still a tight arse…

              How is military life? And thanks for your service.

              • +6

                @Scrooge McDuck: Honestly it seems like a long time, I did the ADFA route so 14.5 years, but the first 3 is spent at uni, pilot training was another 2 years, so after 5 years I only just became useable in my job. Plus the things i've done and the places I have been in my job are incredible, so it's gone quite quickly. A lot of people will leave and go airlines in my job but right now that isn't a possibility and a lot of airline pilots have actually jumped back into the military for job security which is the way I see it, I can't be made redundant in that period of service, and im now at a point where I am fairly useful to the military that they probably wouldn't ask me to leave after my time is up and I am in a niche role that limits how much I move around with postings etc.

                One of the reasons I went military, a million dollars worth of training and I don't have any debt for it (although it comes with many other sacrifices and potentially dangerous aspects). Pilot training definitely isn't cheap, some of my friends who went civillian flying route had debs of over $100-150k.

                • @toshjammi: whats the age limit?

                  • +2

                    @juki: To join as a pilot? 45 is the maximum. However, the oldest person I know that has done it was late 30's. You would probably need to show a higher aptitude the older you get as the pilot training can be very physically demanding in some stages.

                    • +1

                      @toshjammi: I thought being a pilot was as simple as flicking on and off switches and steering a joystick and that's it. That doesn't sound "physically demanding" ….

                      • +3

                        @Zachary: Would you like the short answer or long answer on that one?

                        • @toshjammi: I'd appreciate the long one, please.

                          • +14

                            @Warehouse: Civilian pilots are taught to fly an aircraft an aircraft within normal operating limitations, air speeds, g limits, etc. Military pilots are taught to max perform an aircraft within the flight envelope and push it to the boundary, because that’s how you end up beating the enemy at the end of the day. That includes things such as maximum rate turns, manoeuvre on the buffet (maximum alpha prior to stall), advanced aerobatics etc. Even in basic pilot training you can be pulling consistent 4-5G during a sortie which is physically fatiguing. At those levels, the forces on your body make things such as moving rudder pedals, the control column and even turning your head very difficult. After about 1-2 minutes of that you are sweating, your breathing becomes incredibly laboured as your diaphragm has to overcome the force of G just to breath properly. Blood drains from your brain and without the G suit and proper straining you can quite easily grey or black out. You are also in a very small cockpit, with a flying suit, a G suit, a secumar, gloves, helmet and oxygen mask which is not only very warm, it’s also somewhat claustrophobic, which you are also strapped to an ejection seat so movement is very limited to arms, head turning, a bit of back twist and your feet.

                            That’s the gist of the physical aspect, now the mental part which I would argue is just as, if not more fatiguing. Anyone can be a pilot, heck even a monkey makes a pretty good astronaut. Enough time and money and you can get your licence easily. The Military doesn’t have infinite time or money to put into you. There is a required rate of learning and that rate will test even the most academic of people at times throughout pilot training. You go from potentially never having flown an aircraft in your life to within as little as 2.5 years flying an F-35 alone strapped with weapons or a C-17 loaded with up to half a million pounds of equipment or people. Even a PC-21, the training aircraft we use is highly advanced next to a Cessna 152 or 172. Maximum speed of 370 knots is a bit higher than your 100 knots from a Cessna. Systems are also more complex which you require a thorough understanding of.

                            On pilots course you will do a flight almost every day, sometimes two if you have a sim or a solo as well. You are expected to rock up with a good understanding of the sortie, parameters for what you are doing well versed and committed to memory so that the instructor need only give a demo and talk you through one, then watch you do it before moving on to the next thing. Then, the following day, do everything you did the previous day and learn something new.

                            After 15 months of pilot training, we can send two pilots out as a formation of two aircraft with nothing more than a paper topographic map they printed and a stopwatch hacked to UTC. They can then fly that plane at 250’ and over 400km/h to reach a predetermined target (be it a bridge or road crossing, dam wall, or silo) within 15 seconds of a preselected time. Using nothing more than visual navigation and mathematics to determine track and timing corrections due to wind or taking off late. No GPS, no moving map.

                            For what it’s worth, we started with almost 20 pilots on our course, these people were high achievers prior to joining the Military, they graduated top of their high school, they excelled in aptitude testing and they were chosen out of a pool that generally allows the Military to select 1 from every 20-30 applicants. At the end of basic and advanced pilots course we graduated with a touch over half. If you fail a flight, you’ll get a remedial package of 1-2 flights and a retest. If you fail the retest you’ll generally go to a review board and be given a notice for termination unless you can convince them to continue flying or show them the error was not linked or due to instructional error. It’s a hard course, probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done and there were plenty of times when I was a flight away from failing but I held on and got through. Back then I was on PC9 and CT4. I would consider those much less complicated to fly than a PC21 as a training aircraft and we are already seeing courses where more than half are failing to pass due to both physical and mental demands.

                            Hope that helps put perspective on it.

                            • @toshjammi: Whoa…..sounds intense when you've described it that way! But hey, at least you get to have fun doing flybys, barrel rolls, loop de loops and flips (and other cool showy stuff to impress or avoid being hit by enemy fire) and firing cruise missiles and shooting from a GAU-8 Avenger or M61 Vulcan rotary cannons in the military!

                              • +3


                                But hey, at least you get to have fun doing flybys, barrel rolls, loop de loops and flips

                                In training yes, but I’m a transport by background, not fast jet. They both have their pros and cons but if you want to fly fast jet you need to a) excel and b) really want it because it’s a long hard road.

                                Of my course, 6 went on to fast jet training but only 3 graduated onto classic or super hornet. The other 3 didn’t make the grade and are now flying various other types. Still I’d argue that landing an airlift platform on a small unlit dirt strip at night with nothing but a pair of NVIS goggles is a different sort of challenging to flying a fast jet.

                              • +4

                                @Zachary: As an example of how fatiguing pulling G can be, it can be hard to believe but unassisted escape is highly improbably above 2.5G and impossible above 3G. Meaning under that constant G you do not have the strength to exit the cockpit if need be without the assistance of an ejection seat.

                                If you’ve ever been on one of those gravitron carnival rides (looks like a spaceship) that spins around and you stick to the wall, they’re around 3G of force to hold you there. Not sure if you moved your arms or body but if you tried you’d find it was near impossible. So imagine during a manoeuvre you’re trying to look around and behind you to find the other aircraft. We definitely end up with a lot of back and neck issues among our aircrew. We’re now developing special fitness programs to help combat that which is showing good improvement.

                                • @toshjammi: Is there research on the circulatory, vascular and kidney effects of long-term high G exposure?

                                  • +2

                                    @Scrooge McDuck: There has been a bit of study, effects on those systems cardiovascular effect in particular is pretty minimal. Fast Jet pilots generally have higher mean arterial pressure but that actually helps them to sustain G for longer prior to grey/black out.

                                    The biggest long term health effects are related to back and neck injury which is far more prevalent.

                                • @toshjammi: I'm guessing 1G is normal gravity and 3G is 3 times the gravity? And no I've never been on one of those carnival rides before….. but have seen it in movies and cartoons though with what you're describing it as. I'm guessing anti-gravity tech isn't there yet to cancel it out?

                                  • +1

                                    @Zachary: Correct. So if you weigh 80kg normally, under 3G you would effectively weigh 240kg (or at least the force required to move would be equivalent to you being 240kg)

                                    We have a G suit, which is a suit that goes around the legs and lower abdomen which compresses as we pull g by the use of air being pumped into it. The compression helps stop blood from rushing to the feet and helps when straining and tensing against it to push blood back up too so that you can improve your G tolerance by around +1-2G with it on.

                            • @toshjammi: Awesome insight. Thanks for sharing.

                              Did you play afterburner or flight simulator growing up? Command & Conquer possibly?

                              • @Pootie Tang: Never played any flight simulator. Closest I got was probably flying a plane in Battlefield 2 or GTA San Andreas haha!

    • +1

      Damn, living the dream. Especially if that's you your display pic!

    • How fly plane?

      Move stick up or down???

      • +16

        Pull back - trees get smaller
        Push forward - trees get bigger

  • +5

    Got 96 ATAR and now with 100K of HECS debt and not much skills in a generic job.

    • +2

      100k yikes

    • yikes, what course(s) did you do?

  • +2

    90 atar
    Helped me get into degree of choice
    Working in Finance
    Studied in finance

    If atar had been any higher, would've been a waste of effort haha

    • haha i hope thats me, got 90 and studying a commerce double(1st year) so hopefully it works out

      • +2

        Pick your poison

        Either be really good at Uni. High credit or distinction average.

        Or either have decent work experience, well presented, good social skills and uni society's etc. Note, this option doesn't mean you're allowed to fail. Just means you can get away with a low-mid credit average…but still has to be at least credit

        Good luck

        • Yeah I'm gonna try get the best of both worlds. Neither option is easy but I guess a balance of both will be the most interesting.

          Thanks for the advice!

          (you want to add on Linkedin lol?)

  • +31

    I had OP 2, which would be between 95~99?

    My parents, to be as polite as possible, didn't know how to raise kids and wouldn't accept that it's their responsibility nor believe that they've done something wrong. It led to me to complex PTSD and anxiety disorder and major depression, which led to my university and my career pathway going completely off the track.

    So my advice is your mental health is very important, take care of it. ATAR may get you into a good university (mine did), but your mental health could get you off the track quite easily.

    • +19

      Second this. Had a friend, high achiever, got somewhere in the vicinity of 95 and once they started university their mental health completely fell apart. Ended up with all sorts of psychological illnesses from schizophrenia to depression to psychosis.

      In the end their psychologist determined the cause to be due to high expectations and pressure from their parents which led them to not coping in the end.

      Mental health isn't a joke so if anyone feels something isn't right, would highly suggest getting a pulse check just to make sure you're ok.

      • +2

        I sincerely hope that your friend is doing better now.

        It takes a lot of strength to acknowledge that there is something going on, it takes even more to see a psychologist. This is coming from someone who studied psychology as his undergrad degree.

        When you are not at your best, you cannot do your best. It's OK to pause and recover. That is what I want to say to my younger self if I had the chance to.

        • Azn parents?

          How are you now?

          • +1

            @Scrooge McDuck: Just Asians, though, I do feel sorry for them since they had their own problems and all the things they've done weren't out of spite.

            Eh all that said, I am doing OK. Kinda had to recover and get back onto the career path I wanted, that was difficult and still is a difficult journey but the path was fortunately there.

            • @iridiumstem: Have you put distance between your parents and yourself?

              • +1

                @Scrooge McDuck: I have done a lot to kinda give myself some boundaries. Multiple attempts were done to reconcile with some boundaries, but basically, none stuck and I had to basically cut my entire family out of my life. That decision did not come lightly for me.

                This is not to say that they were spiteful, that's what happens when you grow up without a role model and a knowledge on how to raise kids. It is unfortunate, but what can you really do?

                This is coming from someone who's training to become a psychologist too, before anyone wonders what career path I am going for. :P
                Oh something to add to career stuff, Go8 is shit for practical applications, psychology classes there are mainly focussed on research side.

    • This, I wish this was the advice I had received from people before I went into my degree, and then dropped out in 2nd semester

  • My atar was 85 - Study score on english was like 37 - So an A on exam - but really doesn't mean much need to get A+ (43+)

    Pretty interesting as I was probally a C+ student for english.

    Given i went to a private school, scores over 90 where median,

    • +1

      My ATAR was 80 and I only scored 24 in English lol

      • Wow interesting, I assume you did harder subjects then?

        • +1

          No Maths Methods was my only subject that was scaled up significantly. Just did well in both my maths subjects and accounting

  • +3

    Makes you feel how insignificant all your efforts are if instead you could've become some drop kick shoveling shit for a living and then just YOLO'd into bitcoin 10 years ago.

    • +1

      I dont think many dropkicks shovelling shit got into bitcoin 10 years ago and HODL'd. There's a reason sportsbet/betting sites have a cash out early option ;)

    • +1

      Makes you feel how insignificant all your efforts are…

      I can't recall ever reading about anyone who valued their study by the education they received. I do, and the achievement I made. I earnt a first class honours degree, an advanced bachelor's degree and a minor, all in STEM fields; in the minimum time period — 5 years. I built a race car and managed a team, with a few others, between classes too.

      I'm self employed so I don't use my qualifications at all, but I use my education pretty much everyday. I wouldn't change a thing.

      • Can I ask what you do?

        • Probably best not to get too specific in public, but I work in finance, negotiations and risk management.

    1. CS at a mid-tier uni.
  • +3

    I am not sure what this ATAR you speak of is, however, I have ended up being the King of Wakanda.

  • TER in my day.

    Bachelor of Economics admission was where it got me.

    Everything after that point was down to other factors.

  • I finished VCE, no idea what score I got, I was running into exams and leaving the second I was allowed to. (So I could get to work on time)

    Since then, 18 years of retail :D

  • +2

    I didn't study, didn't read the texts. Got somewhere around 78 to 79 ATAR.
    Had nfi what to do. Did a few degrees..

    Feel into an average role at 75k.

    Could have got this role without a degree to be honest - they preferred the retail for 8 years on my resume haha

    • What role did you 'fall' into? Any retail role could have got you over that in 8 years? I didn't have a passion for retail but the money was good enough to keep me

      • +7

        Library job!

  • +6

    Intelligence matters, but so much often depends on luck, timing, and connections/network.

    My son liked studying, had high ATAR (95? 6 subjects, too), & went on to study computer science/systems engineering. He followed up as an intern at Cisco in Perth & went on to work at a global sustainability co. Yes, he has his HECS debt, but he figures the interest rate is really nothing and it'll slowly get paid back. He loves his work and the people he works with, though he mostly works from home.

    My daughter, on the other hand, never liked school. She ended up getting entry to uni via portfolio and some uni entry classes whilst still in yr. 12. She studied gaming art design & global politics & policies. My son worried she'd never find work- lol. She ended up volunteering with a local MP + Lion's club + accepted a position on the local school board. Through job services, she was enrolled & earned a cert III in business administration. Through those efforts, she was hired as a ministerial assistant + found out about an (unadvertised), part-time position in a local print shop. Once there, she was immediately promoted to graphic designer. Her MP lost the last election, but two weeks prior to election day, she approached the print shop and requested full-time hours and higher pay— which she got. She loves the work and the people there. So, no ATAR, but her CV is very impressive— filled with volunteerism & glowing letters of reference from top-level people. She earns just enough that HECS is taking a tiny bit, but because she doesn't want that debt, she's electing to pay extra to have it gone sooner.

    • Didn't pay their hecs?

      • +2

        If you're offering, you can pay mine.

  • +4

    Only got a 65 TER but was pre accepted into my degree of choice in IT. Got a job working for a local company as a programmer in my 2nd year, went part-time with uni. Got married had a sick wife during pregnancy and dropped out of uni. Spent 17 years working for that company, and now work as a programmer at a school after completing a degree at a different uni. Depends on how you measure success. I'm in a job that has next to no stress, happily married with 4 kids. My initial learning at uni got me my job and I would probably be in a different role today if I'd not gone to uni, but life is so much more than your work - but it does pay the bills…

  • My atar got me into University.

  • +3

    I was the semi-smart but naturally lazy person (still am).

    I got into my first selection (engineering) with the exact UAI needed for the previous year (but it lowered for my year). 92 with minimal studying.

    I was already good at maths so I figured early on this trick they write about here would work for my lazy personality: ext 2 maths, physics.


  • +4

    I got 71.5. Below what I needed to get into physiotherapy (what I perceived was my dream job).

    I ended up getting accepted into a Bachelor of Sports Science. Which I finished a whisker under a credit average. Was fortunate enough to get accepted into an honours degree (just scraped the minimum GPA), which is a brief research year. This was super interesting and I did well.

    I was then lucky enough to be accepted for a PhD, which I have recently finished.

    Currently, I have a job as a lecturer at a university.

    For me ATAR was helpful. But at the end of the day it isn’t the be all end all. I like to tell people that it is useful for helping you guide yourself towards a goal. But really, you make the best of what you get if you want to.

    • Yep small improvements are better

      If you try to improve then you will overtake people

      Still it's a hard mentally

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