Get into your dream course no matter your ATAR

Get into your dream course no matter your ATAR

You’ve probably heard your parents and teachers say, ‘Your ATAR isn’t everything. There are many ways to get where you want to go.’

Look, it’s true. The path to achieving your goals isn’t always a straight line. And it shouldn’t be! Even for the straight A+ students, it pays to see what’s out there.

If you know where to look, there are many ways to boost your ATAR, get a better score, lock in an early offer and set yourself up for a scholarship, and make sure you have everything you need to get there.

Here are five ways to up your chances of getting into your dream course:

Get an early taste of uni

There are other ways to go above and beyond your school work to help your university chances. For instance, did you know you can start uni before you finish Year 12? Our VCE Plus program allows you to complete two first-year university subjects and have them recognised as part of your VCE.

Finding the time to take on further work might sound challenging, but VCE Plus offers big rewards for your efforts. You’ll get a boost to your ATAR, choose from a wider range of topics and experience a taste of the uni experience before everybody else.

Be rewarded for going that extra mile

You’ve probably done plenty of extracurriculars during high school. Maybe you’ve coached a sport team or been captain of debating. Perhaps you’ve taken on a school leadership role or been a volunteer?

La Trobe rewards you for what you’ve done to give back to the community. Our Aspire Early Admissions Program offers you an early conditional offer into your chosen course. It’s a great way to secure your place at uni now – and take some of the stress and uncertainty out of Year 12. You’ll also get access to a bunch of other perks, like eligibility for the Aspire scholarship, free access to revision lectures and study guides, a minimum ‘Aspire ATAR’ and more.

Check your prerequisites

As you probably already know, prerequisites are the subjects you need to study for your chosen course. Universities set prerequisites so we know you have the necessary base-level skills and knowledge for the degree you want to pursue.

Every course has different prerequisites – you’ll find them listed on the course page online. Choosing common prerequisites, like English and Maths, is often a safe way to ensure you’re eligible for a range of courses if you don’t know what you want to study. However, it’s best to make sure you’re choosing the subjects that are right for you and your passions!

If you realise your haven’t got the prerequisites you need, don’t worry too much. Just find another way to tick that box. Talk to us for help.

Research your pathways

While getting a good ATAR score is important, it isn’t the only way to score your uni offer. Universities offer a range of pathways to help you get where you want to go. Have you ever heard the advice, start a related degree and transfer into the degree you really want later? Or been told to complete a Diploma first?

Well, there are newer pathways the adults in your life might not know about. Achieve at La Trobe lets you complete a single first year La Trobe subject. If your marks are higher than your ATAR, we’ll calculate an ATAR-equivalent and use this higher score when you apply for eligible courses. Even better, Achieve at La Trobe is entirely free and online.

Take advantage of study hacks

It may sound obvious, but studying hard is a pretty great way to get the ATAR you want. The downside is that studying can often be both lonely and laborious. It’s important to find ways to make it more enjoyable. This will help you increase your productivity levels, eliminate distractions and boost your focus.

Listening to your favourite album or playlist can be one way to liven up your study time. Eating well and getting a good night’s sleep will also help you to feel good and enhance your concentration.

We hold Year 12 revision lectures in July and September, free for anyone who applies for the Aspire Early Admissions Program. You’ll also get access to hundreds of free VCE and HSC study guides from EdUnlimited as soon as you apply.


There are many ways to ensure you get into your dream course and collect all the perks you can before the end of Year 12. To determine the program or pathway that’s right for you, it’s important to take the time to research and plan in advance.

Need help or advice? Book a one-on-one consultation, give us a call on 1300 135 045 or chat to us via our live chat.