I’ve got my ATAR, now what?

2 months ago   •   4 min read

By KIS Academics

Well done! You’ve studied hard all year (maybe with the help of a tutor) and now your nerves and stress have settled with the release of ATARs. You’ve wrapped your head around how the ATAR works, but now it's time to face the next challenge: using said ATAR to actually get into university!

While it may seem daunting, there’s some key information you should keep in mind to help maximise your chances of getting into your desired course.

Important note: The dates mentioned below are specific to Victoria and NSW only. If you live in another state, they are likely to be different. To find the most relevant information for you, check out the following tertiary admission centres (TAC), which manage course applications, offers, and more in your state:

When are offers released?🕑

The good news is that there are multiple offer rounds, which run all the way from December into February.

For Victoria, these dates are as follows:

  • December round: 21st December
  • January round 1: 12th January
  • January round 2: 30th January
  • February round 1: 6th February
  • February round 2: 13th February
  • February round 3: 20th February

For NSW:

  • December round: 21st December
  • January round 1: 11th January
  • January round 2: 24th January
  • February round 1: 8th February
  • February round 2: 15th February

*Note these dates may not be updated. Please refer to the Tertiary admission centre links above for final admission dates and deadlines.

You will receive a maximum of one offer per round. When you log into your VTAC account (VIC) or UAC (NSW), you will see up to 5 to 8 preferences that you would have listed earlier in the year. Make sure your preferences are ordered with the course you want the most at the top.

What happens when I receive an offer?

Throughout the day, offers will be progressively released, so keep your eyes peeled for an email from your state's university admission centre - double-check it hasn’t ended up in your spam or junk folder! This email will tell you what course you have been offered a place in. You can also log into your VTAC account, and any offers will be displayed at 2 pm.

The next steps may vary, depending on what your circumstances are, but my number one advice is:

If you receive an offer, ACCEPT IT! (Don't worry it doesn't lock you in).

Once you’ve accepted the offer, don’t stop - you’re not done yet!

Later that day, you will receive another email from the university that you have received an offer for. This will contain instructions on how to enrol with the uni. Be warned, this can be a lengthy process! If you have any questions regarding enrolment, it would be best to contact the specific uni - they have specific teams to help you out. If you’d like to take a gap year, you defer through the uni.

If there’s another course that you’re still hoping to get into, you can still receive offers in later rounds - make sure it’s listed higher than your current offer. You can always withdraw your enrolment if you receive another offer.

I received an offer, but it wasn’t my first preference or I’ve changed my mind.

ALWAYS accept any offer you receive! Then you can change your preferences later and try again for another course. Once you get in you can retract your enrolment from the original offer.

When can I change my preferences?

There are certain windows where you can change preferences around. Keep in mind that the majority of course offers are made in December and January, so these change of preference windows can be very important!

Below are the following dates for Victoria:

Opens

Closes

21st December, 2pm

22nd December, 4pm

12th January, 4pm

18th January, 4pm

31st January, 4pm

1st February, 4pm

7th February, 4pm

8th February, 4pm

13th February, 4pm

14th February, 4pm

To change preferences, use the arrows to move courses up and down your preference list. If you’re happy with your preferences, just leave them alone - you’ll automatically be considered for any course you’ve listed higher than this offer.

VTAC course preferences screen

If you’d like to make some changes, make sure that these preferences are listed above the offer that you’ve already received.

I didn’t receive an offer this round! 😱

Don’t panic! The good news is that if you miss out on the first round, or you didn’t get your first preference, there are multiple offer rounds. It might be worth shifting your preferences around. If you need any support or advice, here are some people who could help you out:

  • Parents.
  • School friends who graduated last year - they have gone through the same process!
  • VTAC (or your relevant TAC) - if you’re having any issues with your account
  • School - even though you’ve graduated, your teachers and guidance counsellors are still useful resources.

Throughout this journey, it is important to remember:

  • Your ATAR doesn’t define you.
  • If you didn’t get the ATAR you were hoping for, there are always alternative pathways and other options you can consider.


Ultimately, uni offers are one of the final hurdles you must face before leaving high school behind and crossing over to becoming a uni student. It’s challenging and can be stressful, but keeping the above tips in mind should make it a little easier.

Now that you’ve got all of that sorted out, take a step back and enjoy the free time! Sit back, relax, and enjoy your summer. You’ve well and truly earned a break after finishing your school studies. Take it easy before things start up again in February next year!

Written by Charlie Goldsworthy, VCE & High School Mathematics tutor at KIS Academics. Charlie received an ATAR of 99.60 and is currently studying a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics & Statistics at the University of Melbourne. You can read Charlie’s profile and reviews here and request him as a tutor. 🚀

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